The Money Question: Considering Compensation in a Loss Prevention Career

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There are many factors that help guide us along a successful loss prevention career path, and salary is often one of the key motivators. Beyond the fundamental needs of providing food, clothing, and shelter, our financial compensation also fulfills other needs such as safety and security, which are critically important as well—especially when supporting a family. Higher order needs such as our sense of self-worth and accomplishment are often tied to salary as well. While there are many essential factors that can and should come into play when making career decisions, financial compensation will always be an important aspect of the decision-making process. But when should money be discussed during the interview process? How should it be discussed?

The primary objective during the first stages of the job interview process is to be seen as someone whom the company wants to hire; someone they need to hire. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how much a particular job will pay if you can’t get to the point where the company wants to hire you and an offer is made. First and foremost, be seen as an outstanding candidate. Focus your interests on the opportunity and making a winning impression.

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During the interview process, it’s important to be seen for the value that you bring rather than the price you will cost. You want to be perceived as an asset and not just an expense. You do not simply want to be seen as a dollar sign. As a general rule, don’t ask about money during the interview unless the interviewer brings it up first. That would include talk regarding benefits, or any other discussions regarding money and compensation. If the interview is successful, these questions will follow.

When Asked About Money

Retail organizations like all businesses have a budgetary plan that drives employee compensation decisions. Generally speaking, they will have established general guidelines for salary decisions, and those guidelines are often made known during the job posting or the general search process. As a rule of thumb, when determining the salary that will be offered to a chosen candidate, decisions are typically based on:

• What you’re currently making
• What they’re capable of paying
• Industry standards for the position
• The experience, skills, and accomplishments that you bring to the position
• How well that you interview

Naturally, our goal here is to do the best we can, but we also must show maturity and common sense. Keep in mind that candidates won’t get mega-raises in pay just because they think that they deserve it, and such occurrences are extremely rare. Unrealistic salary requests simply make us look unreasonable, and can undo all of the hard work that got us to that point. A wise course of action is often to review what you’re currently making to include the full compensation package—vehicle, bonuses, and so forth—and then state that you’re open to further discussion. This leaves the door open for further opportunities and negotiation. If pressed beyond that initial reply, be smart and flexible with your response.

During the job interview process, the “money question” is one of the most important for both parties. There is a time and a place for those discussions; and a way to approach the negotiation—especially if you hope to get the answers that you want to hear.

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