Delivery Driver unloading a delivery van in a Warehouse with Warehouse staff running checks

How to change careers from a Warehouse Operative job to a Delivery Driver job

Warehouse Operative jobs are usually in high demand, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, not all warehouses have been operating business as usual. So what better time to start investigating your future career prospects? If you enjoy working in the supply chain industry then you might want to consider other roles within the sector and here we will look at how to change careers from Warehouse Operative to Delivery Driver. 

If you’ve worked in Warehouse Operative jobs you will be used to picking, packing and shipping orders, but do you ever think about what happens to those orders once they leave the warehouse? The next step in the supply chain is the Delivery Driver and you may already have some experience with loading and unloading delivery vehicles, so perhaps the idea of a career change to a Delivery Driver job has already crossed your mind. 

Even before COVID-19 was heard of, the past few years have seen a continuing rise in demand with online shopping, resulting in an increased availability of Delivery Driver jobs. Now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been even more opportunity for driving jobs as the supermarkets have had to increase their home delivery service for customers unable or preferring not to go to the store. If you are not yet sure about this career change, there are often temporary positions available for Delivery Driver jobs which would give you the opportunity to experience a driving job before deciding on it as a career change. 

What does a Delivery Driver do?

The basic role of a Delivery Driver is to collect goods from a warehouse, shop or collection point and deliver those goods and packages to the customer or client. Delivery Driver jobs are available in a wide variety of sectors including supermarkets, other retailers and courier services. Driving jobs are available all over the country and many Delivery Driver jobs will be local so you don’t have to drive long hours or be away from home. 

Delivery driving jobs tend to have flexible hours and shift patterns which may involve an early start or a late night, something you are probably used to if you have been working in Warehouse Operative jobs.

What skills do I need for a Delivery Driver job?

When thinking about a job change it is important to consider the skills needed for that new position and when it comes to driving jobs, the obvious necessity is, of course, the ability to drive. 

However, it is not enough to just to have a driving licence, if you are going to do a driving job where you are behind the wheel and on the road for the majority of your working day, then you need to be physically able and you should enjoy driving.   

Driving Skills

  • Have a good driving record and the correct valid licence.The majority of Delivery Driver jobs involve driving a light delivery van. A standard car driving licence allows you to drive any category B vehicle, which includes vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes; most delivery vans fall into this category. So if you have a clean driving licence you can apply for Delivery Driver jobs or Courier driving jobs.
  • Be physically able to drive and spend long periods on the road. You will be sitting in your vehicle for the majority of your working day, so it is important that you are physically able and fit to drive. You must also have good eyesight and wear glasses as needed when driving.
  • Enjoy being behind the wheel. Your van will become your office so it is important that you are happy driving for the majority of the day and that you remain patient behind the wheel. You need to be able to stay calm in stressful situations if you are you are considering a driving career.
  • Have good concentration. Being on the road for an entire shift means you must be able to focus and stay alert for long periods of time. 

Besides your driving ability, there are numerous other skills needed to be a good Delivery Driver. When thinking about how to change careers, consider your experience from Warehouse Operative jobs you have done and how that will help in your career change. 

Ability to Work Independently

Driving jobs require you to be self-motivated. Once you are in your delivery van you are responsible for organising, prioritising and carrying out your own workload. You need to be reliable and dependable.

Organisation and Problem Solving Skills

It is important as a Delivery Driver that you are able to think independently. You need to organise your route and your time efficiently as you will have deadlines and targets to work to. You must be able to check ahead for problems on the road so you can adapt your schedule accordingly to meet your delivery times. Map reading skills are also helpful in case of reliability gaps with online maps or the sat-nav.  

Communication Skills

Even though you are working independently for the majority of your shift, you are still part of a delivery team. You need good verbal and written communication skills to liaise with your manager and colleagues and to talk to customers. You will also have paperwork to deal with so must be organised and prompt with completing forms and reports.  

Customer Service

Part of the Delivery Driver job is providing good customer service. You need to be polite and friendly when delivering items to the customer whether it’s to their home or business. You also need to be able to handle any customer issues calmly, patiently and professionally as you are the face of the company you work for. 

Physical Fitness

Delivery driver jobs require you to be fit and mobile. Besides being able to drive for long periods, you will be jumping in and out of your vehicle throughout your shift and lifting and carrying packages. From experience in Warehouse Operative jobs you should already be aware of correct procedures for manual handling of parcels and boxes. 

Attention to detail

There are a few extra things that will make your job as a Delivery Driver run more smoothly and this is where good attention to detail comes in. Planning the details of your schedule, finding alternative routes and checking the fuel level, oil and tyre pressure of your vehicle are all small things that go a long way in ensuring success with your career change.

Qualifications

Delivery Driver jobs that require you to drive a light delivery van smaller than 3.5 tonnes don’t usually require you to have any further qualifications other than a clean driving licence. Most driving jobs will need you to have Maths and English GCSE. 

What challenges might you face as a Delivery Driver?

As in any job, you may have certain challenges to deal with in your Delivery Driver job. If there is an accident or heavy traffic you may have to change your route at the last minute. If you are late or the package is not as expected, you may have to deal with unhappy customers. If your vehicle has issues you need to be able to recognise them. The best way to overcome any challenge is to be adaptable, have good customer service skills and maintain a calm, professional manner at all times, whether dealing with a difficult customer or calling your boss to explain about a mechanical problem. 

How do I get a Delivery Driver job? 

When you apply for driving jobs, think about all the skills covered above and how you have achieved them in your Warehouse Operative job role. This will help you write an impressive CV and job application.

For more CV writing advice, read our top 5 tips for CV writing. You can also use our Delivery Driver CV template

You can find Delivery Jobs with us at Blue Arrow here, and temporary Delivery Driver jobs are a good opportunity to try this job change before deciding if a driving job is the best long term career change for you.  

View our Delivery Driver jobs page for our latest positions available.  

Career Progression

If you are thinking about how to change careers to become a professional driver, then experience as a Delivery Driver will put you in a good position for furthering your career in transport and logistics and will help when applying for future driving jobs. 

Being a Delivery Driver can be stepping stone to a driving career without having to get your HGV licence, giving you the opportunity to decide if this is the right career change for you. Learn more about driving career prospects here and for more information on licence classifications, view our Commercial Driving Licences Explained page. 

Want to know how to become a Delivery Driver? This page will tell you all you need to know.

To continue in your Warehouse career, check out the latest Warehouse Operative jobs here.

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