Advancing Your Career

LPM’s senior writer, Garett Seivold, recently posted an article on our website titled
“11 Recommendations from Experts to Advance Your LP Career.” We’ve published quite a number of articles over the years about ways to help loss prevention professionals climb the proverbial career ladder. I thought this particular article was worth promoting to our readers.

The article begins with excerpts from Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at the global investment firm Morgan Stanley and President Obama’s appointee to chair the National Women’s Business Council in 2013.

Carla Harris

She opened her remarks at the National Retail Federation’s Protect 2019 loss prevention conference saying that what helps one get noticed at the beginning of one’s career won’t help nearly as much as the career progresses. She talked about how “performance currency”—exceeding expectations early in one’s career—must evolve to “relationship currency” as you move into management and executive positions.

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Ms. Harris also spoke about the value of mentors who can offer you advice throughout your career but, more importantly, sponsors who will actively stand up inside your organization to put forth your name as opportunities become available.

Finally, she recommended that success depends on one being comfortable with taking risks. “It’s always worth taking a risk,” she said. “Fear has no place in your success equation.”

Seivold also interviewed several executives at security-focused recruitment firms about career advancement, which resulted in additional recommendations for advancing one’s career in loss prevention. Here is a summary of their advice:

  • A multifaceted track record and skill set are essential.
  • Deliver excellent customer service and build key relationships.
  • Demonstrating a broad understanding of areas outside of security increases your value to the overall organization.
  • Adaptability is key in mastering today’s dynamic, global retail environment.
  • A “checklist mentality” inhibits career progression because too many intangibles influence success.
  • Becoming a strategic partner with management and peers outside your department is extremely important to showing value to the organization.
  • Never become complacent with yourself and continually seek ways for continuing education both formal and informal.

That final recommendation about continuous education throughout one’s career is certainly true early in one’s profession, but possibly even more important later in your career, especially in today’s rapidly evolving, technology-driven world. In the twentieth century, one perhaps could have enjoyed a long, successful career being a subject-matter expert in retail security alone, for example. But that is certainly no longer true in today’s world.

Diversity & Inclusion
We launched a new column in our September-October edition on the important subject of diversity and inclusion (D&I). While diversity has been a topic discussed in our industry for decades, retailers have recently taken a major step toward making inclusion a top corporate priority by adding executives focused internally on D&I. The Retail Industry Leaders Association launched a Retail Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in 2018. RILA’s Brian Dodge describes the goals in this first column.

In future columns we hope to hear from vice presidents of D&I and loss prevention executives involved in these initiatives to understand the challenges and successes with building diverse organizations. If your company has such an initiative, please contact us, so we can include your team in this new column.

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