Editor’s Note: Tara Lovelady is the store manager at the new Neighborhood Market #7310 in Katy, Texas, which opened March 4, 2015.
Just 11 years ago this month, I was starting my career with Walmart, and I was a little unsure of how things were going to pan out. I began as a cashier in the garden center — which was not a good fit for fair skin and red hair. I remember going to my managers and honestly saying, “This is not a fit for me.” They listened, helped me to transition to an indoor cashier position, and I began the start of a very fulfilling career.
Today, I feel so fortunate to have had that experience. Not only am I still working at Walmart, but I have also moved up the ladder and used my story as an example for associates who are just starting out. I was told from the start that if there was something I wanted to do, I should let it be known and our managers would try to provide training and work with us to make it happen. I took that to heart, and I try to pass this same philosophy on to my associates because I want them to know there are endless options with Walmart.
No matter what you aspire to be — a lawyer, a store manager, or even a pilot — there are truly no boundaries, and I feel compelled to help others the same way I received help in my career path. Just since we began stocking this new store in January, I have already promoted five associates to supervisor positions, and I have helped several to move to different positions.
Walmart has also helped me to provide for my family. My husband and I had our son, Trent, who is now 14, before I started working with Walmart. When I started with the company I was a young mom, and the job allowed me to take care of him. When my daughter came along six years later, I was able to do the same for her. My career has allowed me to buy the extra things they want, and it has also given me the flexibility to be there for them when they really need me.
My job has been a series of stepping stones, and
now that my new Neighborhood Market is open in Katy, I can’t wait to jump to
the next one: Directly impacting my associates’ lives. Being the store manager
is a great opportunity, and I’m excited about the chance to pay it forward.