“I’m looking for a career in retail loss prevention.”
That particular comment hasn’t appeared on too many surveys received by the typical high school guidance counselor’s office. Frankly speaking, there are very few currently serving in the loss prevention industry at any level that could make that claim, or started their professional agenda with this career path in mind. When we first looked into the job, most of us were looking to do something else, and saw this as a transient opportunity that would allow us to gain some experience, and pick up a few dollars in the process. It was a part time job that we took while we were in college, or a position that could hold us over until we found the job that we wanted. Maybe we had a friend in the field, and thought it would be fun. Maybe we held some other position in the store, and someone suggested that we give it a try…Whatever the reason, retail loss prevention typically wasn’t our first choice, and we were introduced to the profession as a product of “chance.”
Somewhere along the way, however, we learned that loss prevention can build the foundation for a great career. Today’s loss prevention professional is expected to be multi-dimensional, open-minded, global-thinking, enterprising and intelligent. There is a lot to offer those with ambition, energy and intelligence. And while our high school guidance counselor might not have pointed this out to us years ago, it doesn’t mean that this field isn’t exactly where we were destined to be today. “Chance” may have provided us with the exact compass that we needed.
A career is traditionally defined as the path of successive opportunities that make up our work life; a pursuit of progressive achievement that we build throughout the course of our adult lives. Personal choices and self direction, aided by technological advances, the diversity of job opportunities and the growing power of the Internet continue to mold the ever-changing model of a career; and we are learning to be more flexible with every aspect of our lives while still holding clear objectives for our personal and professional success.
Loss prevention offers an exciting career path, emerging as a profession stocked with quality professionals and diverse opportunities. The landscape of the profession is undergoing a significant transformation as the evolution of the retail industry moves forward at a tremendous pace. The face of retail has changed, and all of the different aspects of the business—including loss prevention, have had to change with it. There are mountains of new challenges and landslides of opportunities for those with the right motivations and skill sets
What we then have to determine is—how do we bring the best possible talent into the profession? How do we guide those ambitious individuals just beginning their careers to look at loss prevention as a professional option? This week’s LP Magazine Instant Poll asks,
What is the most important step that the LP industry can take to encourage more interest among young people who are looking for a career?
- Additional involvement in career fairs at colleges and universities
- Additional emphasis in internship programs within our departments
- Internal emphasis on recruiting individuals from other company departments
- Additional support of industry certifications and scholarship opportunities
- Greater emphasis on loss prevention as part of college curriculums