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Postal Service Job Promotions and Advancement

The United States Postal Service has many promotional opportunities for employees to advance in their postal careers.  Many employees will take advantage of the different training programs to become supervisors and managers and if your dream is to manage a large distribution center or post office, the training you need is available.

Working For the Postal Service
Working For the Postal Service

There are other opportunities as well, such as being “detailed” into a position, which is what I did.  I began my postal career in a large processing plant in Kansas City KS working as a PTF Distribution Clerk.  I was able to transfer to an associate office closer to home and was fortunate to have a Postmaster that encouraged me to learn more and allowed me to accept a detail in Personnel for 6 months.  Shortly after starting my detail a vacancy became available in Personnel for a Human Resources Specialist; I applied and was accepted for the position.  I loved working in Personnel and learned so much.  This position was supposed to be a temporary position; not-to exceed 2 years.  I was fortunate to be able to keep it for 5 years.

Most employees at the postal service begin their careers working as an hourly employee and most are able to move up the ladder.  The opportunities are there!  I had many co-workers that began when I did and are now supervisors and managers.  If you get a job with the postal service, ask your supervisor, Postmaster or Manager about detail opportunities or apply for one of the programs listed below.  Live your dream!

The postal service’s career development initiatives prepare employees to achieve their goals and turn their career dreams into realities.

National Center for Employee Development

The National Center for Employee Development (NCED) is the U.S. Postal Service’s national center for employee training. NCED oversees and conducts hands-on training for postal employees who manage and maintain major high-technology postal systems, vehicles, and mail processing equipment. Training offered at NCED supports postal automation efforts and national job skills training. NCED is a nationally recognized leader in the use of distance learning technology. NCED expands its reach from the resident classrooms by using national networks for live satellite broadcasts, audio teletraining, and computer driven audiographics courses, plus computer, video, and internet technology to deliver critical job skill training to postal employees.

Associate Supervisor Program

The Associate Supervisor Program (ASP) is designed to attract,  select, and train the best possible candidates for first-line supervisory positions. ASP will develop technical, operational, administrative, and leadership skills through its comprehensive classroom training and on-the-job assignments. Applicants who meet the requirements will learn the critical knowledge and skills necessary to become highly effective leaders of the U.S. Postal Service. ASP is a 16-week training program, combining classroom training and on-the-job assignments, to provide a practical hands-on experience. Coaching is an important aspect of the program. ASP trainees are assigned a coach who provides leadership and guidance throughout the program. If you like working with people, want to make a difference, and be associated with a winning team, then the supervisor position is the right job for you.

Managerial Leadership Program

The Managerial Leadership Program is a two week program based on the Managerial Competency Model. The curriculum spans a three month period: Week One is centered on the interpersonal and developmental aspects of leadership and includes an introduction to Lean Six Sigma, coaching, giving and receiving feedback, and effective messaging. Week Two contains interactive activities related to managing difficult business conversations, team development, and power & influence. MLP targets both Headquarters and Field employees, EAS Level 19 and above. MLP participants are high-potential managers who have demonstrated the ability to move into higher level EAS leadership roles; are not in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP); and have not attended the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

Advanced Leadership Program

The Advanced Leadership Program is a three week program based on the Executive Competency Model. The curriculum spans a 6-9 month period: Week 1: Business Foundations covers the essential information necessary to be an effective leader. Some of the topics include finance, strategy and transition, and project management; Week 2: Personal Development includes rich assessments and a one on one coaching session; and Week 3: Business Leadership and the Business Case presentation. Participants address an issue facing the Postal Service and present their findings and recommendations to an executive panel. The ALP participant must be a non-executive who has been identified as a potential successor in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) and has not previously attended the program. These individuals must be nominated by a sponsoring Executive and approved by their Vice President.ir career.

A Career development Plan or Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an essential first step for those who desire promotions and career advancement. It doesn’t have to be a formal plan however you must at the minimum set short and long term goals to achieve your objective (a targeted position, upgrade, or transfer to another specialty). Discuss your career development options with your supervisor and consider lateral assignments, details, and the various training programs available to postal service employees at your location.

Also consider ways to improve your chances for postal service job promotions or new assignments by attending night school or taking classes at local universities online or through weekend programs. Use whatever is available and realistic to achieve your goals.

Take Charge of Your Federal Career: A Practical Action-Oriented Career Management Workbook for Federal Employee by Dennis V. Damp can be used as a primer to develop your personal Individual Development Plan (IDP). It was written for federal employees however it is also helpful to anyone wishing to advance in their career. You will discover how to identify positions in your organization based on your interests, education and training, set realistic short and long term career goals, and work with your supervisor to make it happen.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

About The Author

I began my postal career on June 1, 1991 at the General Mail Facility in Kansas City KS as a Distribution Clerk. Wanting to get closer to home, I transferred to the Pleasant Hill Post Office in Pleasant Hill MO in August of 1993. I have also worked in the Greenwood MO and Bates City MO Post Offices. I began a two year NTE detail in Personnel in October 2003, which turned into 5 years. I was responsible for the hiring of career and non-career employees in the 700+ offices in Missouri and Kansas. This was a very challenging and rewarding position. I retired February 28, 2013 and have been enjoying my free time with my husband, Denny.