“Love the Work You Do and Enjoy the Ride!”


Nicole Lockyer-Hillier looks back on her first 30 years with Walmart Canada.

Nicole Lockyer holding up her 30 year associate badge with a Walmart super center store front background

After moving from Newfoundland to Ontario, Nicole Lockyer-Hillier didn’t know what her future held. Her weekly shopping trip to Woolco in April 1993 would change that.

“A big poster with ‘Hiring Immediately’ caught my attention. Next thing I knew, I was speaking to a lady at customer service and called in for an interview by the HR manager. Before I left that day, I was hired!”

Nicole started working overnight reno crew for Woolco within the week. Within the year, Walmart acquired Woolco. Nicole embraced the opportunity and found satisfaction in her work.

“Choosing a career that you love is an important part of living a fulfilling life,” she shares. “As I look back over the last 30 years, I have a strong feeling of fulfillment.”

Nicole has worked in four stores in various roles — including overnight stocker, price change team, accounting office, customer service, cashier, backup personnel manager, office support associate and her current role as personnel manager at Store 1211 in Mississauga, Ontario.

“Many things have changed over the past 30 years,” she says. “But Sam Walton’s four core values keep me grounded and on the right path: respect, service, excellence and integrity.”

We asked Nicole to answer a few questions about her career at Walmart Canada.

When you look back at 30 years, is there a moment or an achievement that you’re most proud of?

While there are many milestones and moments that come to mind, I have a few that stand out. At the very start of my time with Walmart, I traveled to downtown Toronto to model Wal-Mart clothing in Walmart flyers. I believe I was in my early 20s and was super excited to be part of such an amazing experience.

In 2001 I was voted by Store 3031 to represent at the Annual Shareholders Meeting and again in 2019 where I was honored to receive Shining Star of the year at Store 1211.

photo collage of Nicole

What do you love most about working at Walmart? 

To love your work means to enjoy what you do, take pride in your results and find inspiration and motivation in your duties. I love working with people, and for the past 30 years I have gotten the chance to enjoy my associates each and every day.

It can be, at times, the most fulfilling, draining, inspiring, challenging or awesome career path you could choose. But at the end of the day, if you leave work with the feeling of accomplishment that you made someone’s day a little better, then that’s reward enough.

What advice would you give an associate who’s starting today?

Wow, many things come to mind. So many changes have happened over the years. Walmart has definitely marked their territory in Canada as a retail leader. The sky is the limit! Take advantage of all the benefits that Walmart has to offer. Take chances, push yourself and inhale all the knowledge you can from your co-workers, managers and your mentors. Nothing is impossible!

If you could go back in time 30 years, what would you tell yourself on your first day of work? 

Easy, buy lots of Walmart stock! But seriously, reflecting on 30 years, so many things have changed but the work ethic and mentality have pretty much stayed the same.

Always put your best potential forward to do your job at its best. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn all areas of the Walmart business. Learn from your mistakes. Always ask questions. If you have an opportunity and you don't know how to do it, say yes and figure a way to work it out.

But most importantly, love the work you do, ensure you find fulfillment and enjoy the ride!

What excites you about your career right now?

I am excited to see where the next chapter of my Walmart journey will take me. Walmart has always given me the work-life balance that I needed during each stage of my personal life.

Raising a family while working full time can be challenging, you have to know what is the right balance and make it work.

My youngest son will complete high school in 2025. I am keeping my options open as Walmart has so many more opportunities and challenges in my future. I have just completed my first certificate toward my HR management diploma.

Thank you, Walmart Canada, for allowing me to follow my passion, giving me the flexibility to raise my family while fulfilling my career at Walmart, working with associates and always ensuring we as a company do what is best for our people.

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