From NY — 11/28/2009
It seems alot of people have had a bad experience at Sears, but honestly, that likely reflects the location you are working at not the company as a whole. Let me break into some details:
Pay: I am currently a Lead (A non-Salary manager) and many of the Sales Associates make more money then I do. Which is understandable, due to the fact that they push Protection Agreements and Credit Aps much more then I. While I am not overly unhappy with the pay, they do expect you to work for it and you wont get good pay if you don't work hard. Pay is reflected by hours, work ethic, and quality of work. As a Lead, these don't factor into my pay unfortunately but I knew that when I went for a Lead position rather then a Sales one.
Starting Associates have it a little rough at minimum wage, but that is to be expected in most retail jobs. Non-Cashier/Sales will have to accept minimum wage, but when you are out there helping customers if the store either doesn't have the item in stock, or doesn't carry it offer to order it for them Store to Home (online). They get it quick, in most cases shipping is free, and its 2-3% in your pocket. I know a Clothing Stockperson who makes decent money ontop of hourly this way. Cashiers can often get at least 20 credit applications a month (Some of our Cashiers get 100+) giving 40$ at minimum and 80$ on the months where applications are paid double.
Here is a tip to all the people complaining about goals - The goals aren't THAT high, push your credit apps and PAs and you will make the goal. As a LEAD who doesn't have NEARLY as much product knowledge (Meaning selling points, not knowledge of what product we carry) I sell 60% PAs in Tools, Electronics, etc when I do make sales. While I don't get many credit apps as a lead, I do very well at PAs when I am forced to run a register due to Sales People being busy.
Respect: My store there is quite a bit of respect for the associates and among the management. I understand that might not be true in every store, but I work with a great group of people. There are bad days, and there are a few people that spread rumors and do other shady things, but for the most part respect is fairly good. I have seen nothing but respect and professionalism from my District Manager and several of the regional people who have visited the store. I had one of the proudest moments of my life when we were praised on a regional visit. Evaluate the store in your area if you are seeking a job. See how the Sales people act, call for a manager just to give comments on what you see, and see how you are treated by them if you want to work there. This is true with every company. I went into the store to look around before I applied for the job. I liked what I saw, so I applied.
Benefits: I will agree some of the health benefits and raises have been rough the last few years. Without going into much detail, there have been some issues here that I hope to see improve in the future.
Job Security: This Sears isn't going anywhere for a long time. We do alot of business, we have a good team, and overall we're in a very good district and at a great location for sales.
Work/Life Balance: Other then Black Friday, Christmas time, and regional visits, I manage a fairly good balance and despite medical issues over the last year, I have not had any negative feedback or fallout from having to call off when I am sick or injured.
Growth: I know alot of people say there is no where to go. They aren't looking very hard. Support Jobs can move up to Sales if you do good in your areas. Sears has a "Promoteable" list they are required to fill out and maintain and people do move up from this list. Sales can move up to Lead jobs, or move to Delivery if they don't feel they are getting enough Sales hours. If you do good in your job, there is room for improvement. To other posters from early 2009 and 2008, Sears has come a long way in this regard over the last year. Again, this is my thoughts for the Store and District I work in and as such, may not apply to all areas.
I have personally moved up twice, and am considering applying for the next level of management as it becomes available. The only reason I might not is because I enjoy the position that I am in currently.
Location: Mall store, as almost all sears are. Some of these reviews I have no doubt were Outlet stores and not part of the main Sears branch. While Outlets carry the Sears name, they are not subject to all the same rules as regular Sears stores. If you want to work for a Sears, go to a Full Line Store which can be found in the malls, or in the units known as "Sears Grand" (Basically a Sears store as big as Target or Wal-Mart)
Co-worker: Non-Staff associates this is one of the best group of people I have ever worked with. We have some bad apples, but in recent months many of them have moved on and the store as a whole is better for it.
Environment: Overall fairly good, aside from a few Safety issues. Non-Critical though.
In closing: My store, has had some great store managers over the years, many of whom were promoted up and currently has a store manager who has been with the company for decades and is one of the best leaders I have ever met in my life. While this may not hold true to every store, I am sure that is the case for any company. Please, go into the Sears store, talk with the associates, spend some time there and see if you like the floor environment before you apply cause you will spend 90% of your time on the floor. Like any company, Sears has some positives and negatives but overall I think its a great place to work and can be either a career, or a stepping stone to help you learn skills you can apply to your desired career in the long run.
Read these reviews, and listen to their advice, but remember that every store is different and it may be a matter of evaluating the store in your area before you decide if Sears is a good place for you.