In order for you to become a warehouse operative, there are certain traits you’ll need to have to manage the job effectively. It’s a career that’s open to anyone, but not suitable for everyone.
Even with knowledge of computer skills, communication, good English skills for your reports, and some mathematical skills…you could still find that you’re not suitable to work as a warehouse operative.
To ensure you know what you need to be able to do, the following will help you discover if this is the career for you.
If you’re not prepared to be on your feet all day, an office job would be a better choice. As a warehouse operative, you’re going to be on the go. You’ll be on your toes for most, if not all of your shift, and you won’t be wearing cushioned footwear either.
Protective boots need to be worn for safety reasons. As unfashionable as they may seem, they’re a requirement of the job. Safety trumps the dress code, and there’s no negotiation. You can find some safety boots that come with cushioned padding around the ankles, but if you have any type of foot trouble, you may find it hard being on your feet all day.
You’ll also be required to do manual labour. This can involve some heavy lifting, so back problems could rule you out of this line of work.
Likewise, any type of health problems that can cause difficulty in your motor functions won’t be beneficial. The work can be labour intensive, so a good level of physical fitness will be required.
Warehouses are segregated into teams, and you’ll form a part of one of those teams. That could be working on an assembly line, a packing line, quality control, or working on a loading bay manoeuvring pallets to their designated storage areas.
All of these workstations will have a few people working on them. You’ll need to integrate into the team, and work well with your colleagues. It’s a team-working environment with everyone pulling their own weight.
Everyone has their own job to do, and nobody is going to carry anyone. It’s all about individual contribution for the purpose of meeting the job requirements. You won’t be doing it all alone, and you can’t expect anyone to do things alone either. When things start to fall behind, you’ll be expected to jump in and help whenever you can.
Teams can become like families, the longer you work with people, so it can be a benefit of working in a warehouse. You have the support of others around you, provided you can work well as part of a team.
The more experienced you are, the higher a base salary you can earn. That’s because with experience comes speed. It’s possible for new starts to work with speed, but it’s not always done to professional standards.
On a packing line is one example this would apply. You’d be required to work fast, in order to meet delivery schedules by having everything pre-packed, onto the pallets, shrink-wrapped, and ready for dispatch.
When the lorries arrive on the loading bay, they have a schedule to stick to. The drivers also have limited time, due to tachograph regulations. Therefore, they don’t have time to hang around the loading bay.
You’ll be relied on to ensure that productivity targets and deadlines are met, in order to keep the dispatch running smoothly and to schedule, without jeopardising the quality.
Whenever there’s stock involved, the management teams need to know what comes in and what goes out of the warehouse. That’s part of your job as a warehouse operative, and you do it through paperwork completion.
There’s next to no job immune from paperwork, but fortunately, in a warehouse, it is somewhat limited. Any stock you use, you maintain a record of it, or submit your reports to your direct team leader.
When you’re order picking, it may also be required that you do a stock count of the items left. This helps management know when inventory is running low and needs replenishing.
If you’re working on a packing line, the last thing you need is to run is to run out of boxes. Likewise, with pallets, sticky labels, or other components needed to pack items for distribution.
As a warehouse operative, you can find yourself handling some valuable stock that’s being distributed. Employers place a great deal of trust in their staff, and often employ security systems to detect theft wherever possible.
Theft in warehouses used to be rife, which is why most have integrated security measures to protect their stock inventory, and that of their clients.
There’s no three strikes and you’re out in the warehousing sector. Lose the trust of one employer, and you’ll find it next to impossible to get another job in the same sector, or any for that matter.
You need to be trustworthy, and never risk losing that. Part of your interview can sometimes require a disclosure for the purposes of identifying candidates that may not be suitable. Be sure that you’re always upfront and completely honest with your employers and never jeopardise that.
That’s referring to your working hours, and not your acrobatic abilities. You aren’t going to breaching health and safety regulations by swinging upside down from a cherry picker, racing up and down the warehouse aisles.
Due to the amount of work and deadlines involved in a warehouse, employers ask that their warehouse operatives can be flexible to meet their order needs. That can see you working shift patterns, and sometimes split shifts, depending on the work that needs done.
It’s beneficial for a warehouse operative to be onsite when the work is needing done, and not hanging around unproductively, when there’s a technical breakdown holding up the process.
In these instances, you may find yourself asked to go home early, to come back later, or to make up the hours later in the week, or the month.
It’s not every warehouse that will do that, but some of them might. That could also be something you’ll want to inquire about when you attend your interview.
“How flexible are you for working hours?”
“Depends what you mean by flexible”…would be advantageous reply for you to use. While you may not mind working extra hours, you will mind having your social and family life dictated to you by the hours you’re expected to work.
Flexibility is best to be agreed on by both the employee and the employer.
If you feel that you can meet the expectations listed above, then you may have what it takes to become a warehouse operative.
Use the above information wisely, and you’ll find yourself able to breeze through an interview, as the above outlines what employers are looking for in every candidate’s interview.
Put it to good use, and consider the above requirements when you’re creating your cover letter for any application you’re submitting. Highlight your skills in-line with the above and your CV will stand out from other candidates.