Trollope travelled across the world on Post Office business, to Egypt, the Caribbean and America, but missing out senior promotion, eventually resigned in 1866.
Trollope’s postal career continued to flourish, and was enhanced by the promotion of his brother-in-law, John Tilley to the post of Assistant Secretary. In 1852 he applied for the position of Superintendent of the Mail Coaches, but was rejected by the Postmaster General, on the advice of his old boss and enemy, Colonel Mabereley. He was however appointed Acting Surveyor of the Northern Districts in 1854 with a salary of £650.
In 1858 he was sent on a special mission to Egypt to negotiate the use of railways rather than camels for British mail bound for India and Australia, and on his return to inspect the postal operation at Malta and Gibraltar. By this time Trollope’s undoubted ability and organisation skills had been provend. It was followed by a secondment to Scotland to reorganise the postal service in Glasgow and a commission to reorganise West Indian Post Office, in November 1858. His work was highly praised and in 1859 he was appointed Surveyor of the Eastern District of England with a salary of £700, plus expenses of 20s a day.
In 1860 Trollope testified against the suitability of competitive exams for entry to the Post Office. His own entry to the civil service had been before competitive exams, and he felt that candidates should be assessed on more that just their ability to cram for an exam. In The Three Clerks, Trollope writes about the iniquities of the competitive exams, with Alaric Tudor winning a place to which Henry Norman aspired.
In March 1864 Rowland Hill retired, and Trollope applied for promotion to Assistant Secretaryship. This would have been a major promotion, and Trollope was prepared to give up hunting and much of his literary work if he were to get it. Trollope did not get the promotion, and felt it he had been treated unfairly. He was offered a postal mission to the East in 1865, and in 1866 the position of Metropolitan Surveyor, but he declined both. He produced one final report on reorganising the London postal service, and then resigned from the Post Office, forfeiting the £500 pension he would have been entitled to if he had completed eight more years of service.