The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
If the idea of staying active, helping customers with a difficult event, and working a flexible schedule is appealing to you, a career change to a mover might be an appealing prospect. Before making the jump, consider the full range of tasks you might be asked to do, and the pros and cons of making moving your day job.
As you’re likely aware, a mover’s primary job will be to help customers move their things from one location to another. You will be responsible for packing possessions safely and securely, hauling them onto and off of a truck, and less often unpacking those boxes in the new location. You will need to take special care not to damage the items you handle, especially sensitive or fragile things such as furniture and artwork.
Always in demand – No matter what else is going on in the economy or what is fashionable, people will be moving. Businesses closing and opening, people relocating for jobs, and students moving to and away from universities are just a few of the evergreen reasons moving services will always be in demand. If you seek to avoid overly seasonal or unreliable employment, being a mover will constantly leave you with a steady income as long as you stay with a reliable moving company.
Respectable salary – For labor-oriented jobs that do not require much training or education, moving is one of the better paying opportunities out there. The constant need makes business compete on wage and benefits, and often overtime hours will be available when desired.
Flexible hours – While the exact time of moving is dictated by each individual customer, it is common for movers to be contracted for times outside of normal business hours. They may want to have the truck loaded and on the road early in the morning before rush hour traffic, or assist a business at night after they’re closed. Working weekends is common as people need to move while they’re off work. If you desire to work mainly at unusual times away from normal work, say to attend school, moving can be an excellent choice.
Difficult physically – There’s no getting around it: spending all day hauling heavy boxes and furniture, often up and down stairs, takes its tole physically. You must be fit enough to carry heavy objects, alone or with a partner, and do so for hours at a time. Any day you spend working is likely going to leave you exhausted by the end, and you will need to be mindful of injury, both acute and those due to repetitive movements.
Dealing with customers – While the more people-oriented among us may not see this as a negative, even your rank-and-file mover will have to deal with customers on a constant basis. Remember that you are handling and moving their things and they may fear that they’ll be damaged or, if they’ve had a bad experience with a moving company in the past, even stolen. Even if their fears are unfounded, some customers are likely to be difficult to work with and frustrating to listen to. You will have to maintain respectfulness and patience with all customers at all times, listening to and abiding by their requests no matter how unreasonable they may be.
While there is not a linear path upward for a mover in most companies, its role as a frontline position in a labor industry will often lead to valuable experience and other opportunities. Within one company, you may begin as a simple loader and progress to team leader or driver, taking on more responsibility within each individual job. If a job as a manager or other administrative role in a moving company is not forthcoming, that experience can be leveraged for positions in warehouse management, truck driving, or general contracting.
Being a mover is not a job everyone is cut out for, but if you can handle the physical stresses, like the unusual and flexible hours, and would rather work a physical job than a desk job, it might be a great path to your future.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for SMARTBOX Moving and Storage