Decision Makers: UPS -- What Can Brown Do for You?
To many people, UPS is the way to get that almost-late birthday or Christmas gift to arrive on time. Every day the company delivers 15.5 million packages. That's 15.5 million tracking numbers. This takes a lot of manpower, so it should come as no surprise that the company also delivers 408,000 weekly paychecks worldwide.
The company is well-known by it's former slogan, "What Can Brown Do For You?" It's also gained a foothold in pop culture. In the movie Legally Blonde the hot UPS guy makes a woman speechless. Same thing happens in Debbie Macomber's The Shop on Blossom Street; the protagonist's romantic interest is Brad, a handsome UPS driver. And in a decidedly unscientific survey more than 50% of those polled reported that their UPS deliverymen is "Very hot," or "Looks sexy in shorts." We should note that women deliver for UPS as well.
So what's it like to work at UPS? More progressive than you might expect from Big Brown.
A unique element to the work environment is that employees are discouraged from eating lunch at their desks and encouraged to opt for the company cafe instead. The policy extends beyond the corporate headquarters. An obvious advantage is fewer crumbs in your keyboard but the higher-ups believe the informal networking that happens increases efficiency. And yes, top executives put in cafeteria face time along with people way down the ladder.
We spoke with Matt Lavery, UPS's manager of corporate workforce planning, to get some insights for aspiring employees.
Leave the Suit and Tie at Home
The old "wear a suit no matter what" doesn't necessarily apply to job interviews here. "The majority of our applicants are applying for positions that would never require them to wear a suit," says Lavery. "However, it is always important to look presentable." If your potential position at UPS would have you wear a suit then interview in one. Interviewing to work in the warehouse or as a driver? Look neat. Unsure? ASK!
Don't Call in Sick to Interview
If you're looking for a job while you're employed it can be difficult to schedule an interview. But don't call in sick to meet with your UPS interviewer. Lavery recommends scheduling an interview over a lunch hour or after work. "That demonstrates a commitment to ethical behavior," he says. (Don't miss National sick day has employees calling in for no good reason.)
Seriously, Silence Your Cellphone
You know those not-so-subtle reminders in the movie theaters to shut off your phones or risk a pummeling from your fellow theatergoers? Remember that the next time you interview. Lavery frequently sees applicants answer their phones during interviews! As you can imagine, those folks do not get hired. It seems like common sense, but Lavery says the reminder is necessary.
The Priceless Tip
If you've learned nothing else, this tip from Lavery will make the ten minutes you've spent reading this article entirely worth your time: He suggests using social media to contact people who work in the position you're seeking. This way you have a good sense of the job and the working conditions before you interview. Moreover, your interviewer is likely to be impressed that you made the effort. Lavery notes, "Someone who is motivated and can work independently is highly desired, and it is far more impressive to demonstrate those qualities than to list them on a resume."
Carol Berman, an award-winning journalist, writes the blog, The Scribble Lounge, a unique take on current events and pop culture. She's New York bred and now lives outside Philadelphia.
Over more than 15 years, she spent many years in broadcast journalism as a producer, followed by a short award-winning stint in public relations and now makes a happy return to journalism. An avid news junkie, Carol is also a runner, a recovering triathlete, and dog lover. She loves to bake for friends and family and volunteer with different non-profits.