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The “Keys” to Success: Working in Key West

Jazmyn M.

Jazmyn M.

Have you ever visited the Florida Keys? With over 113 miles of islands of open water and incredible landscape, there are plenty of options to vacation. But what if paradise was your place to call home? These islands are rich with fun activities, history, nature, and most all, job opportunities.

Take a trip with us to discover how working for one of our stores in the Keys could benefit you and your career. We’ll be highlighting stories from real associates who work for Publix and live where you vacation. Our first stop is in Key West!

Meet Ernesto, Meat Manager

Ernesto started his Keys blog Ernesto resizedcareer with Publix in 2009 as a seafood clerk in Homestead, Florida. After a few years of hard work in lunchmeat, cheese, and frozen foods, he was promoted to meat cutter in 2013. Shortly after, in 2014, he moved to Key West to become an assistant meat manager. Only three short years later, he was promoted to meat manager. Ernesto went from an entry-level role to a management position in just five years! After moving to the Keys, his window for opportunity grew even larger.

Ernesto credits his success at Publix to his desire, early-on, to stand out. He shared, “if you want to advance in Publix, you need to look for the most challenging places and situations and be the source of improvement. You have to be the change that will make an associate better, a department better, and a store better through your own perseverance and commitment.”

While moving to a new area can be intimidating, it has helped Ernesto become more well-rounded both personally and professionally. “Working in the Keys always reminds me of my own ability to learn and grow,” he explained, “it is a place with constant shifting needs and requires more than one management style to confront different business needs and unique situations.” These challenges have helped Ernesto become a better leader, and have helped him form strong, one of a kind bonds with fellow managers who are navigating similar waters.


Why Key West

Aside from living in a tropical paradise, with an average high temperature of 77 degrees, there are plenty of reasons Ernesto loves living and working in Key West. He shared that there are so many ways to spend your free time. When he’s not at work, he enjoys partaking in community events, and going fishing. There are plenty of options for water related sports and activities. He takes advantage of living in this oasis by spending time on the water every chance he gets.

Ernesto also said that living in the Keys has given him a great sense of community. “People come together for all different types of causes and are always looking out for one another. Everyone is friendly, and inviting, and while Key West is a big area, it has a small-town feel. Key West has always felt like home.”

Ernesto is thankful he made the move and encourages others to do the same. He advises current and future associates looking to work with us in the Keys: “Demand a lot of yourself. Come here with an open mind and know that you will have to be malleable and driven to succeed. The challenges you will face won’t be easy, but the growth you will experience is invaluable.”

Ready to dive in to your future career in the Florida Keys? You can apply online today! Check out our critical openings to see which of our stores in the Keys are looking to make immediate hires.

If you are a current associate, and are interested in making a move, talk to your store manager about transferring. As an associate, you are eligible to register your interest for one of 17 positions that lead to management in any of our departments.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hear from more associates like Ernesto. Don’t forget to join us next month when we travel to Key Largo!


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