A New Journey

A New Journey

My last blog was on October 18, 2019, almost 9 months ago. That’s a long time for anyone to go between articles. However, so much has changed and happened in those 9 months. February everything aligned in a way that only God could’ve done. I received a call asking if I would be interested in applying for a job in early February.

I had been praying hard for a change in my career and felt I had hit a brick wall.

First off, this blew my mind. I have never had anyone call me and ask me if I would like to apply for a job they were opening. So not only was I floored, but I was taken back by the ask from this Vice President at BN. I had been praying hard for a change in my career and felt I had hit a brick wall. I had applied for several positions within Walmart, and interviewed quite well for all of those applications. However, there were more qualified individuals who were given the job. I was disappointed, but knew that it went to people that were going to rock those positions.

Click on the image to listen to the Sparkcast podcast!

Anyways, I get this call and the VP tells me that the job is called Divisional Community Manager and would work with the Walmart Local Social Team. This role would help to be a resource for over 1000 stores and train associates to be Social Champs within their stores. I was floored. This job was exactly what I had been looking for and was exactly what I wanted. Yet, I had reservations. This was a big change and meant that I would be trading a secure job that I had become comfortable in, for one that was only secure for one year, and completely new. Uncharted territory. Yet I knew that God had opened this door. After prayer and talking with my wife, I chose to apply for the role.

On March 27, 2020 I walked out of the store as an Assistant Manager…

On March 27, 2020 I walked out of the store as an Assistant Manager for the last time and began my new journey with the Local Social team. I took this opportunity that God had provided and stepped through that open door. I interviewed prior to this day, three weeks prior in fact, and got a job offer just a week before I left. It was bitter sweet, because I came to care so much for the people I worked with and the associate I supervised. So many of those associates are great associates and embody what Mr. Sam looked for in his people. Many I still stay in touch with today.

However, I wasn’t a stranger to many of those on the Local Social team as I had worked with many of them while acting as the stores Social Champ. People like Jeff, Elliot, Elaina, Brandi, and Zack had worked with me on projects in my previous role and I felt really comfortable around them. So the transition wasn’t bad. Except for trading the 9 miles a day average I walked in the store to about 2 a day. That was and still is a challenge to this day, since I struggle with ADD and can’t sit still for too long.

Fast forward to April and three others from the Walmart field have joined the Divisional team. Surge Berg, our Team Lead and former Academy Facilitator. Brittany Haines, former multi-unit People Lead. Gled Ramirez, former Academy Facilitator. These three were also Social Champs for their stores and we all have worked on projects together during our time in the store. So this team was going to kick things off in a good way. I felt everything was lining up and with Surge leading our team, I knew that we were going to break down the walls!

I never thought we could have done this much in this little amount of time.

Since April we have been on a journey to get all 5000 Walmart stores trained for Local Social. We’ve trained hundreds of these stores, and are scheduling a weeks worth of training to capture all 5000 store in August. It’s incredible what this team has done for Walmart and the Social Champs. I never thought we could have done this much in this little amount of time. I have never felt so welcomed and so proud of the work that our team has done. It’s all because of the associates and the teams we work with that support what we are doing. They are the reason our success has happened.

We have an incredible support system and have been treated so well by our peers and leadership team. We have created a podcast called ‘Sparkcast’, a video series that highlights the top Local Social posts from across the nation call ‘Posts that SPARK’, Zoom training for operators, training offered in Spanish (courtesy of Gled), and many other projects. This has allowed us to reach more associates and create good impressions with Walmart leadership. We are on FIRE!

If all of this has happened in just four months, imagine what we will have done in four more.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us and how much more that we are able to accomplish with God’s help. If all of this has happened in just four months, imagine what we will have done in four more. I want to thank Walmart, BN, and our team for believing in us and giving us the chance to change the future of social for retail.

If you are a Walmart associate and want to join the Social Champ movement, email us at WalmartSocialChamps@bn.co to apply today. Don’t forget to follow me on my personal social @thetwward for behind the scenes content and on Workplace for what we are doing with Walmart.

God Bless!

This blog does not represent the views and opinions of Walmart or Brand Networks and its affiliates. It is the views and commentary of the author alone.