The Real Walmart: Thomas Dunn

By Thomas Dunn
December 3, 2014
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Why I Made Retail My Career, and Walmart My Home

It was a typical part-time job: bagging groceries and pushing carts at my local supermarket. But even as a teenager, I knew it was a good possibility for a future career.

It’s rare that we know exactly what path we want to take that early in life. For me, there were a few key things that helped make my decision clear. One, my mom worked at restaurants and my dad worked on commission, meaning consistent pay for our family was sometimes in question. Two, I love people – the very heart of retail. And finally, working in the grocery business meant job security. Everyone has to eat, right?

Thirty-six years later, that’s still true, and today I work as a store manager at Walmart, a company I’m confident will still be around for years to come. In fact, this was one reason I pursued a job at Walmart more than 10 years ago. The retailer I worked for previously had filed bankruptcy twice and changed owners three times. I had to start over quite a bit and in each instance, prove myself to someone new. Now, I enjoy much better stability, and that’s a benefit I don’t think Walmart talks about enough.

Another benefit I appreciate is my 401(k) retirement plan, which I was able to talk about recently in the company’s ad campaign, The Real Walmart. Walmart matches up to 6% of what I put in, which has really put my wife and I on solid footing to dream about the future. I hope to retire in a little over a decade, and as a Florida native who grew up close to the Gulf, I look forward to spending my later days fishing and boating with my family.

Right now, I love spending my workdays with my team, who are just about the best part of my job. I tell others that if you love people, teaching and training, retail is the perfect business for you. In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve promoted about 30 people from hourly to management, and I love granting that opportunity to those who want to move up and build a bigger and better Walmart.

Walmart has been great for me and my family. Through hard work, I’ve been able to help get us to a place where we can do things we’ve always wanted to do. The company offers that same opportunity to everybody, and I’m glad to have the chance to tell that story.