14 Pros and Cons of Working at Target

Target

Of all the retail stores, the one that is the most popular with the strongest following is Target.

Founded in 1902, this supercenter has spread across the US with almost 2,000 locations.

The famous red shirts are a part of the culture as the $1 spot.

In a store that has that kind of recognition, one might wonder what it is like to work there.

That is what we’re here to explore.

Let’s get you checked out!

Pros of Working at Target

1. Above Average Pay

For many years, the federal minimum wage was $5.15 an hour.

Retail jobs at the mall were paying not much more than this, often around $6 an hour.

Years before the minimum wage increased to $7.25, Target was paying that and more.

Always an advocate for a better work environment and an overall better quality working experience, Target wanted to not only bring people in but retain them.

This also includes seasonal help, which is hired at the same higher rate as regular employees.

It is also not uncommon to become a regular employee after the holidays.

2. Scheduled Breaks

If you have ever worked in retail or fast food, you know that breaks can be a pain to come by.

Oftentimes, companies will inform you of your breaks but they do not take it seriously.

You might be working all day and never catch a break, figuratively.

At Target, they schedule your breaks and are mostly pretty cognizant of making the effort to relieve you if you are unable to just walk away from the station.

Of course, some front-end managers are better than others, but more consistently than not, they don’t want you to burn out.

For an eight-hour shift, you get one 30-minute lunch break with two 15-minute breaks on either side of the lunch.

Between six and eight hours gets you a 30-minute lunch and a 15-minute break.

Even a 4-hour day results in a 15-minute break.

3. Store Discount

If you are interested in working at Target, it is likely that it’s also a place you would like to, or already do, shop.

There are some Targets that are mainly clothing and home goods, but there are also Super Targets that double as grocery stores.

Working at either would be helpful when it comes to your own home.

Each Target employee is entitled to 10% off on their regular purchases.

Additionally, a wellness discount was introduced that comes with 20% off fruits and vegetables that are fresh or frozen as well as select activewear.   

4. Life Discounts

One thing it seems Target is determined to do is lead the industry in not only caring for their store but the people who run it.

Part of the hiring package is discounts on things in your personal life that will make your situation more manageable or enjoyable.

The retail giant partners with a plethora of companies to help offer resources to the employees.

Things such as gym memberships, childcare, and even vacation packages. 

5. Education

Not only does Target want you to be healthy, but they also want you to be educated.

With the amount of student loan debt in the country, it is meaningful when companies go the extra step of alleviating that strain.

Target provides education assistance to get you through school debt-free.

This is also helpful for retention.

A company that pays you to learn more is a company many would want to stay with.

However, employees are not beholding to Target. 

6. Health Insurance

Many service industry insurance plans are the absolute bare minimum.

In fact, many retail workers only make enough to pay for their insurance but cannot afford to take a day off from work to actually use the benefit.

It is hard to see it as such when you cannot really use it.

At Target, they have a whole set of health insurance that does not stop at the employee but includes their spouse and family.

Included areas are:

  • Medical
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Critical illness
  • Hospital care

7. Employee Support

In addition to discounts, education, and insurance, Target wants you to know that when you are at work, you are supported.

The goal for any hiring manager is that the person they bring on is someone that will want to be around for a while.

Someone who can grow their career from within the company.

Target makes the resources available to do just that.

They offer several programs, such as leadership development and mentoring.

Cons of Working at Target

1. Rude Customers

The infamous rude customer, Karen, is a stereotype that is sadly pretty spot on. 

It does not seem to matter what time of year it is, what time of day, or who the customer is with.

There is always someone out there who is willing to go off on an unsuspecting employee.

Unfortunately, this type of store guest is most likely to start an argument with an employee at the lowest level.

2. Holiday Hours

For many years, Target opened the morning after Thanksgiving at 6 am.

As time crept on, the store started opening earlier and earlier to accommodate shoppers eager for deals.

Eventually, they pretty much stopped closing on Thanksgiving altogether.

So on Black Friday, standing in the cold outside the store as a tradition went away.

As of the past couple of years, though, the company was one of a handful of retailers that pulled back on that policy.

Regardless of how early, those weeks have extended store hours, and it is nearly impossible to take time off.

3. Selling the Target Card

Part of the responsibility of those on the floor, especially cashiers, is to push the Target Red Card.

There are goals the front-end management wants you to hit.

You are expected to mention the card to every guest and push the benefits in the hopes that they will sign up for the credit card.

It is awkward to push a credit card on people when you know the interest rate is high.

4. Lack of Extra Hours

After the holiday season is over, you might need a financial boost going into the new year.

Well, perhaps even all year.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of doing that while employed at Target is unlikely unless you are in higher management.

They really do not like to pay for overtime.

Most new hires are part-time, which means they are technically supposed to be under 36 hours a week.

Management tries to adhere to that pretty strictly. 

5. Poorly Planned Hours

Getting extra hours is difficult but not as challenging as getting a regular schedule.

That is one massive negative when it comes to working in retail anywhere. 

The hours are all over the place.

In a store that opens as early as 8 am and doesn’t close until as late as 11 pm, your hours can vary wildly.

Ever heard of a clopen?

It is a term used way more than it should be.

It means when you have a closing shift one night and an opening shift the next morning.

Because you are in retail, they expect you to be flexible.

That is a fancy word for being able to put you wherever they want on the schedule.

6. Responsibility Overload

This is a peak issue during the holidays, but it does not stop there.

The weekends are particularly brutal, as well as summers in general.

Rude customers often have a part to play here.

The thing is, the work piles on not only when the floor is short-staffed, but also when customers do things like leave clothes on the floor of the fitting rooms.

You do not leave at night until your section has been properly closed, which can be more than an hour after closing.

7. Management Favoritism

One common complaint amongst floor associates is the amount of favoritism between select team members and management.

The team member that is willing to bend over backward is the one who gets the best schedule and the most perks.

If you are not a favorite, you might have more of a challenge being appropriately heard.

Pros and Cons of Working at Target – Summary Table

Pros of Working at TargetCons of Working at Target
1. Above Average Pay1. Rude Customers
2. Scheduled Breaks2. Holiday Hours
3. Store Discount3. Selling the Target Card
4. Life Discounts4. Lack of Extra Hours
5. Education5. Poorly Planned Hours
6. Health Insurance6. Responsibility Overload
7. Employee Support7. Management Favoritism

Should You Work at Target?

All in all, once you go back and forth through both the positives and the negatives of Target, is it good to take a job there?

First, it is good to remember that no matter how amazing a company or job is, there are always aspects of any profession that those who do it do not particularly enjoy.

That does not mean every job’s negatives are outweighed by the benefits, but it is important to make that distinction.

With that being said, Target is a good place to work.

No company is perfect, but with all the resources they provide, benefits, and focus on developing both the employee and the person, it seems worth the experience.

Jamie Willis