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  1. #1
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    Need some opinions on Job choice.

    So to start off I'm 23, didn't finish highschool but going to community college and very slowly working toward an AA in business management and accounting.

    I currently work at Walmart and have been for a year next week. I started cleaning bathrooms part-time for minimum wage as a temporary job while I waited for an opening at a small east coast company my friends works for online that makes websites for businesses. Within two months, I was moved to an inventory position as a full time associate. This changed my attitude toward working at walmart and gave me the idea of making it a career. A year later and I have had 2 interviews for department manager positions, 1 for a training coordinator and am actually an interim department manager at the moment filling in for a guy who is out hurt for a month or so. As far as I can tell, I've been doing a decent job at it so far so I could assume that at the next opening for a dept. manager, I would have a good chance of getting the job.

    With all that in mind, the website company now has an opening for me to do what they call "Set-up calls" where I basically call the client to get basic information from them to build their site around. I would start at 13 an hour as a contractor and move to a salary position within a few months at the equivalent of 15 an hour (My friend has never worked more than 40 hours a week in the 3 years he's worked there). At walmart, if I was to actually work as a dept. manager, i would be making 10.90 an hour including my yearly raise.

    Now this seems like an easy no-brainer but at the website company I would be basically topped off right away with no room to move up while walmart has virtually endless opportunity for upward movement. I want to think about where I will be 5 to 10 years down the road and make sure I make a smart decision. Salary managers at walmart start at about 45k and work on average about 50 hours a week (3 days on, 3 off). The big unknown is the time it will take to actually get to that position.

    I was hoping I could get some opinions from people who might have some experience in either field. What skills gained from either can translate to other possibilities? What other fields are there for a relatively uneducated person like me to start from the bottom and work up? I thought about banks but I'm not sure I'm cut out for that.

    Thanks, any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I'm probably the wrong person to be giving advise, but do you want to build someone else's dreams, or yours? Pursue your dreams.
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  3. #3
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    Think of where you want to be. One with the website company could you possible get enough experience with it to start your own company down the line? With walmart do you want to be working with corporate retail? You need to look for what gives the better experience.

    The website might top you off to start with but might give you better experience in the long run.
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  4. #4
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    Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Do you really want to be an overworked/underpaid corporate slave? Just think about it.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I've done Corporate Slavery for many years....all of it completely wasted. Go for the online website job and help grow it into the career opportunity you feel it should be.
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  6. #6
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    How about pay for a salaried manager after a few years? If 45k to start how high can it go? I vote for the website design job. Either it gives you experience to develop your own company or you can move to another company and move up in that arena. It seems like webdesign would be a hell of a lot more interesting than retail at Wally World but that's just me.

  7. #7
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    Well I'm not exactly sure of the yearly raises for salary managers but the next step after assistant manager is co-manager and they start off around 60k and can get bonuses upwards of 10 grand. This last year the co-managers at our store got 18 grand.

    My main concern with the website company is that all I will do is call people for basic information and send it off to the design people and then call others to review their site, take more notes of changes they want and send those off again. Also, with so many people outsourcing design work oversees and websites like squarespace make me wonder what the future holds for companies like this.

    I just really don't want to wait 5+ years at walmart to actually start making a livable wage.

  8. #8
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    Need some opinions on Job choice.

    In this slow job market, take what you can get. See if wal-mart has a tuition reimbursement program, so that you can work towards your bachelor's degree

  9. #9
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    One thing to consider here is that you're getting your foot in the door at the web design firm. That's how many people get their jobs these days. It might seem like menial work now but once you're there for awhile see if you can do something a little bit more challenging, take on new tasks on your own initiative if you can. Before you know it you'll get a reputation that you are a go to guy to get stuff done. This is how you climb the non corporate ladder. Frankly it sounds much more interesting to me. However Walmart could offer a certain security and you seem to be on an advancement track there. My vote is still with the web design though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    I say go with the web company, and put your heart into learning everything you can about it. Do some development on your own and talk to the developers and product managers at the web company and learn from then. Learn seo, paid search advertising, and basic html/js, and keep going from there, learning web tech and web business. Focus your degree on web business models of you're not already. Anyone can be manager at Walmart, you want special skills that differentiate you. I have had openings for entry level programmers open for almost the entire year ($100k start for fresh grads, masters) and can't fill them because the job market is so competitive. This is silicon valley, which can be a different world, but we've hired folks from all over the country and paid relo. It will be the hardest thing you've ever done, harder than manager at Walmart, but, that's to your benefit because few do it.

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  11. #11
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    I was at Walmart for 5.5 years. You don't want to go for the department manager job there. I did that for a while. Advancing to assistant and co manager are crap jobs as well. My wife was an assistant manager there for 5 years. They really take advantage of you after you are salaried and make you work some insane hours.

    Take the web dev job or any entry level IT job and you'll make more than wally world. Plus your potential earnings in a few years will trump that of assistants and co managers. I make well more than a co and average 40 hours a week..whereas they are usually working 60.

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  12. #12
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    The fact of what I just read of how they pay lower levels at Walmart vs what the store managers makes is just sickening. Not to mention the fact Walmart is one of the top rated crappiest places to work.

    Take the webdesign!!!!!! I did the big corp thing and got hosed. But working for smaller companies money was better and was/am treated better. It's a tough market and internet is where its at. Took me 2 years of delivering pizzas after last place I worked for closed up, now got my foot in the door at a smaller manufacturing company with great offering and endless advancement. All becuase I got the experience while working somewhere that was small and treated me well.

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  13. #13
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    Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    I was at Walmart for 5.5 years. You don't want to go for the department manager job there. I did that for a while. Advancing to assistant and co manager are crap jobs as well. My wife was an assistant manager there for 5 years. They really take advantage of you after you are salaried and make you work some insane hours.

    Take the web dev job or any entry level IT job and you'll make more than wally world. Plus your potential earnings in a few years will trump that of assistants and co managers. I make well more than a co and average 40 hours a week..whereas they are usually working 60.

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    Here's advice from someone who has tangible experience with one of your options. This outweighs conjecture all day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstein View Post
    Go for Walmart, forget about the Web company. This is my opinion.

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    Is there a reason behind you opinion or did you just shoot something out to get your first post?
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  15. #15
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    What does each place offer for benefits? Health care? 401k?
    $10/hour seems quite low for a manager does it not?
    Gotta consider what will look better on your resume too.

    At the end of the day make sure you enjoy what ever you do.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstein View Post
    Web design is just no a Job, every one can set up a website in a couple of hours wherever in the world! Go for a retail job, it's a more concrete thing and a real job.
    That may be true to some degree except people are willing to pay professional web designers for their services and expertise. And of course if a web design firm is willing to pay somebody to work for them then by definition it is a job, no? Read those posts from the Walmart vets and I think the choice is clear.

  17. #17
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    That may be true to some degree except people are willing to pay professional web designers for their services and expertise. And of course if a web design firm is willing to pay somebody to work for them then by definition it is a job, no? Read those posts from the Walmart vets and I think the choice is clear.
    I think he was being sarcastic.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstein View Post
    Web design is just no a Job, every one can set up a website in a couple of hours wherever in the world! Go for a retail job, it's a more concrete thing and a real job.
    Yeah except businesses that are not home based businesses don't have the time or patience to make their websites. And even then when the home base business grows chances are they to don't have time to keep up the website.

    I really don't think walmart, and I know people who work or have worked there, should be a choice when there is another option. I have worked retail and it really isn't worth what you get paid vs what you have to do and the hours you work.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    I think he was being sarcastic.

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    Maybe, but I didn't pick up on it. If so he has poor sarcastic delivery.

  20. #20
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Maybe, but I didn't pick up on it. If so he has poor sarcastic delivery.
    Maybe you have to know something about web design to get it? Not just anyone can be a web designer unless you are doing very plain websites. Business websites will likely include scripting to some extent and could even require you to understand databases.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    Maybe you have to know something about web design to get it? Not just anyone can be a web designer unless you are doing very plain websites. Business websites will likely include scripting to some extent and could even require you to understand databases.

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    Mr bernstein is telling him to go into retail. If he was sarcastic then wouldn't that mean that he's really telling him to take the web design job? I think he's being literal and probably for the very reasons you gave. I get that the OP may not have the usual set of qualifications but he has the opportunity to work at a web design firm and presumably that would present an opportunity to learn how to be a web designer? That's how a lot of people learn their trade and move up in the world.

  22. #22
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Mr bernstein is telling him to go into retail. If he was sarcastic then wouldn't that mean that he's really telling him to take the web design job? I think he's being literal and probably for the very reasons you gave. I get that the OP may not have the usual set of qualifications but he has the opportunity to work at a web design firm and presumably that would present an opportunity to learn how to be a web designer? That's how a lot of people learn their trade and move up in the world.
    Exactly..anyone who actually wants to work in retail, especially at Walmart, has lost their mind. The pay sucks and they work you to death. When I was there, I was in college and really felt bad for the lifers that had capped out on the hourly wage and been there forever. Walmart is a job, not a career.

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  23. #23
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    The documentaries and books I've read on Wal-Mart have led me to believe that their upper level employees get treated like shit, are forced to treat other employees like shit and are fired if they don't comply. I took a class that focused a lot on Wal-Mart's business model and employee hierarchy. No personal experience. But the web design job sounds much more fulfilling.

    And bear in mind that you probably won't work at either of these jobs forever. Which one is going to be more advantageous to have on your resume when you apply for the next job?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstein View Post
    Web design is just no a Job, every one can set up a website in a couple of hours wherever in the world! Go for a retail job, it's a more concrete thing and a real job.
    I have one of these non-existent jobs. I've been doing it since 1993. I make between $50 and $80 an hour. I am my own boss and the only way I'll ever lose my job is if I quit. I work as much as I want and pick my own hours and days of work. ALL of my clients accept "going riding" as a reasonable excuse for me to not be available. I can work anywhere in the world with internet access.

    I'd suggest the web design job and MAKE them teach you everything about the business.

    What did I do before? I was a janitor.
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  25. #25
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    I greatly appreciate all the replies, the one that gets to me most is from drwx with actual first hand experience. How long ago was your wife a manager? It's hard to get answers from anyone who actually works in management about their quality of life as I think they are trained to only say wonderful things about working at Walmart.

    Both jobs offer similar benefits except Walmart also has their stock purchase plan where they give you 15% on top of your stock purchase for up to 1,600 a year which comes out to be about 200 bucks a year at max. Not significant but it's free money.

    The only thing keeping me at Walmart is the potential possibility of getting a decent living wage if I put in the time as I don't have a college degree of any kind and no money to even go to school for one. Haven't taken classes for over a year now and when I was, 2 classes per quarter was really hard to pay for and had to usually put my books on credit. No offense to anyone who works in retail but I feel that it's the only place for someone with no education to eventually make decent money.

    As far as going with the web firm and help them grow, I know very little about web development and seo and everyone in the company works from home with their own set tasks, it would be hard to get training in anything other than my own tasks. Also with the company being so small, there really is no upward movement at all as they have virtually no turnover and any opening for design work is usually contracted off to already established people.

    I'm also not sure if web development is my calling. I feel that management of some sort is where I belong having helped my parents manage a restaurant for 8 years and my very limited education in management, I would like to be able to eventually make that my goal and if working for a web development company is a better path to that then I am happy.

    Being that I'm still relatively young, I don't want to go from job to job to job and really not make it anywhere in 10 or so years in terms of salary. To help a small business grow into something big would be a dream job for me but I need the opportunity to actually be in a position to do that. And, of course, the knowledge.

    Thanks again for all the great replies, I think my next step is to try to meet with the owner and see what kind of realistic future there can be for me. I don't think he would just sell me a dream as we are somewhat friends, I think I would get honest answers.

  26. #26
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    Tough decision Jason... on the one hand you have the chance of a relatively stable, yet probably non-fulfilling job at Walmart, (The Devil in my opinion, but that is just my opinion), and on the other, you have a possibility of something that may turn out to be more fulfilling to you in the long run, but you are not sure.
    A big part of all this that you may want to take into account is the fact that you are obviously seriously thinking of doing something a little more stretching for you, that may lead to a more interesting job in the future (web), which fact leads me to believe that you are perhaps a little more imaginative than yer average Walmart employee, (no disrespect intended to them).
    I believe that if you take the Walmart job, it will become exponentially more difficult to move away from it as you progress, and you may well find yourself so deep into it that it becomes close to impossible to get out at that point without some serious life changes. If you are going to try and do something that is somewhat more 'risky', I feel now might be the time to go for that, otherwise you may wake up one morning in the future, and think to yourself "Why the F**k didn't I listen to those guys back in the OC?!?"

    I of course take no responsibility for whatever happens to you! We all make mistakes, we just have to own them and move on where we can...
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  27. #27
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    She became an assistant manager in 04 and was an assistant up until 2010. 45 hours a week is mandatory for assistants and when she quit, she wasn't making that much money...more than the hourlies, but not half of what I make in IT.

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  28. #28
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Also, as of about 4 years ago, Wal-Mart started requiring a college degree for assistant manager positions.


    And just because you start in web dev doesn't mean you stay there. I started at a helpdesk position and worked my way into php scripting and some database development. In my next job, I still scripted, but not php...and now I rarely get involved with databases....but still script non stop.

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  29. #29
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    Here's another perspective from one that never worked for Walmart, but has worked retail, restaurants, start-ups, corporations, non-profits, and am self-employed.

    Mistakes are costly, individual health insurance is $$$$, and current training / education is very important. Without them your growth is limited.

    IMO get your GED, associates degree, and some relevant management classes while working @ Wallyworld since they offer full benefits & tuition reimbursement. Pay attention to, and pursue your passions.
    Take classes that will enable you to carve out a niche. Trust your instincts, and desire will guide you to the right decision.
    Best,

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    Tough decision Jason... on the one hand you have the chance of a relatively stable, yet probably non-fulfilling job at Walmart, (The Devil in my opinion, but that is just my opinion), and on the other, you have a possibility of something that may turn out to be more fulfilling to you in the long run, but you are not sure.
    A big part of all this that you may want to take into account is the fact that you are obviously seriously thinking of doing something a little more stretching for you, that may lead to a more interesting job in the future (web), which fact leads me to believe that you are perhaps a little more imaginative than yer average Walmart employee, (no disrespect intended to them).
    I believe that if you take the Walmart job, it will become exponentially more difficult to move away from it as you progress, and you may well find yourself so deep into it that it becomes close to impossible to get out at that point without some serious life changes. If you are going to try and do something that is somewhat more 'risky', I feel now might be the time to go for that, otherwise you may wake up one morning in the future, and think to yourself "Why the F**k didn't I listen to those guys back in the OC?!?"

    I of course take no responsibility for whatever happens to you! We all make mistakes, we just have to own them and move on where we can...

    I totally get what your saying, and I don't have family so now is the time for risks I think. And I don't want to sound cocky but yes I do feel that I'm a little more imaginative than most my co workers. I've felt like a genious on many occasions by suggesting pretty simple alternatives to a problem but again it's like a medal from special Olympics. Again, no offense to anyone that works in retail, this has just been what I've observed so far. I also feel that with the speed I've moved up from a part time janitor to department manager in one year, I'm wasting my talents when I could be advancing in something more valuable. And I'm definitely holding you accountable for anything that happens in my future.


    An AA in business management is definitely in my future but that will probably take me another two years at the pace I has been going. About half way there now but have only done mostly filler classes like English and public speaking.

    Stephen, not to be intrusive but how much about do assistants make now adays? It's impossible to get an answer as they aren't allowed to discus salary at all, I'm just guessing they start around 45k but no idea what kind of raises they get yearly or what bonuses are on average.

    The biggest turn off for me also is working over nights as a manager. I've done over night a few times for a week or two at a time and I hate it so much, cant imagine it for a year. But 4 days on and 4 days off makes it seem a bit less dreadful.

  31. #31
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    Re: Need some opinions on Job choice.

    Use Wal-Mart as a means to justify an end. It's not a career. With that said, working at corporate would be a different story. They have the same batch of accountants, hr, IT, etc people that every company has. There is no money to be made working in a Wal-Mart store.

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