Jason Carpenter has been in retail for 30 years, starting right after high school. He started with Wal-Mart, at age 20, as an hourly employee and worked his way up to supervisor. Then went on to be a salaried member of management and an assistant manager, before being manager of his own store. He stayed with Wal-Mart for 11 years. Jason also believes that retail is one area that no matter your background or skill set, the opportunity for growth is there, for anyone.
For the next several years, Jason was involved in retail management in different locations and ended up in California. Three years ago, he was ready for a change and went into construction in Tennessee. He has always had some properties and was interested in the construction side of things and the hands-on creation of beautiful properties.
Jason enjoys spending time with his family, especially his 7-year-old great nephew. He also likes running and tries to do 2 marathons a year.
Have you always wanted to do what you’re doing right now?
I have always thought about construction. To be honest though, after these last three years, I really believe my true passion is retail. I miss the interaction with people that I had.
What do you do to stay motivated?
I enjoy my off-time and spending some of it with my family and friends. It’s nice to be able to take nice vacations at times also.
What is your secret to staying productive and on top of tasks?
I think you have to have a goal. To be able to retire with dignity and being secure and happy with my career so far is my goal. I’ve done a good job to this point, I think. I just make sure to stay focused and in line with what I want down the line, and that’s simply to be happy.
What aspects of your job do you actually find the most fulfilling?
I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and being outside most of the time is really nice. Here in Tennessee, we can have some volatile weather, but there’s a good 9 to 10 months that it’s pleasant. It’s nice to be outside and not confined inside a building all the time.
What are the aspects of your job that you’re finding the most challenging?
I would say it’s probably just dealing with the same few people over and over. I get along with all of them, but I’d like to see some new faces. I like dealing with new people and new opportunities and I think that helps us grow as good people.
What are your passions?
My family. Love being able to spend time with them. I think finding that peace that everybody wants and is looking for in just being happy and content with life and the way things are going.
What inspires you every day?
Reaching for that goal of being content and happy. Just knowing that I have the ability to get up and pick and do whatever it is I’d like to do in being happy.
What career choice would you recommend for somebody that was just starting out in retail?
Education is so very important, even if it isn’t a formal college degree. I would say to go to a trade school, depending on what you want to do. Get all the education you can under your belt. You’ve got to stay focused on that, it doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s really important to get that education.
If you could begin again, would you still choose the same career path? Why or why not?
You know, I think I would, yeah. I can’t say I don’t have regrets; I think regrets in life make us who we are. We all make certain choices in life and a lot of times lessons are learned by those. Some are good, some not so good. If we use the lessons to our advantage, I think it helps us develop our moral and ethical characteristics.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I’m just really looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I’d like to find a company that I can stay with for the next 20 to 25 years and finish out my career. I’m just going to see where that takes me.