3 Tips to Advance Your Career from a Just-Promoted ASM

El Amine B. shares the lessons he’s learned that have helped him rise from part time to assistant manager.

El Amine B. had lived around the world in places like Morocco and France. But it wasn’t until he started at Store 3364 in St. Paul, Minn., that he truly felt at home. A fast learner with a can-do attitude, he quickly rose from a part-time position in Fresh to assistant manager.

He points out three things he believes can help anyone accelerate their career just like he has.

1. Find the issue before it’s an issue. 
In his home country of Morocco, El Amine was a biology professor. That experience taught him that:

“You have to figure out what the issue is before it comes up. You have to fix it before it gets worse.”

He’s brought that perspective to his store and encourages it in his team. “When my associates see that a spot on the shelf is empty, they don’t need to be told to fill it,” he says. “If they see it is empty, they go grab it. If it needs to be ordered, then they tell the manager to order it because we need to keep it in stock.”

El Amine admits that being able to predict issues before they arise is a skill that comes with experience—but actively being aware of your department’s needs can help develop it quickly.

2. Pursue every opportunity to learn.
El Amine started out in Fresh, but when he had mastered that department, he didn’t stop trying to learn. Instead, he went to his store manager to start learning about General Merchandise. “If I want to learn how to do something, then I ask, ‘Can you teach me how to use this? Can you teach me how to do this? How about this one?’” he says. “I would check every single department to see when they are struggling so I can jump in to help.”

3. Find a mentor. Become a mentor.
Part of what helped El Amine connect to Walmart from the very beginning was the respect he felt, even in his first interview. When he started out, his assistant manager made him feel like a part of the team and helped him find his skills to succeed.

Leadership took the time to answer all of his questions without hesitation. “If I had a question, they said yes every time, they didn’t say no. If they didn’t know the answer, they just asked for time to get the answer and get back to me. And always with a smile,” he says.

Now El Amine tries to provide the same guidance to his team.

“When you find your voice, you can then help others find their voice too and they realize they have something special,” he says.

“We have a good team here. We don’t have bosses, we have managers. We have leaders. We have the opportunity to go up.”

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