In my 15 years of Loss Prevention I have learned many things but none are more important than having a passion for Loss Prevention.  Passion separates extraordinary people from normal people.  This is true for any field or work or expertise.  Many professionals could easily make their own characteristics of a successful Loss Prevention career and you would be hard pressed not to find passion in their top five.

1. Passion

2. Certifications

3. Think like a thief

4. Be patient

5. Do it all

1.  Passion-Passion is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.  You should attempt to love Loss Prevention as much as you love your family and friends.  Loss Prevention should be in your daily vocabulary.  Amongst your family and friends, your profession should not be a mystery.

2.  Certifications-There are numerous certifications for the Loss Prevention field. (LPQ, LPC, CFI) Certainly any Loss Prevention professional can do his or her job without certifications.  This does not make it a waste of time.  Certifications are a clear sign of going above and beyond.  It helps your superiors realize that you are serious about your job and want to continue learning.  These certifications can be researched by going to the Loss Prevention Foundation website.  I will leave you with these words that I once wrote in an article.  “A certification may be just a piece of paper but it is a piece of paper that everyone in Loss Prevention wishes they had.”

3.  Think like a thief-Most great Loss Prevention professionals would make great thieves.  We tend to think out of the box and anticipate a thieves’ next move.  Once a shoplifter steals a piece of merchandise, you must think how that person is going to benefits from that theft.  Is he going to the flee market? Is he going to sell it to his neighbor? Is he going to return that item at another store in your area? A hunter must know the behavior of the animal he is hunting or his trips to the forest will not be fruitful.  

4.  Be Patient-Patience is a virtue.  Promotions will come in time.  We cannot jump from job to job hoping to slide up the corporate ladder.  I once became impatient at my first Loss Prevention job and left the company to make only one dollar more an hour with another retailer.  That company that I went to filed chapter 11 and went out of business 1 year later.  I so regret leaving my first company.  That was over 10 years ago and my sincere regrets have yet to leave my brain.  I later learned that my major issue with the first company was resolved less than one year later.  Had I stayed and outlasted the issue, I would be making much more money today.  Just keep in mind that you are able to outlast temporary setbacks. 

5.  Do it all-Do not be a one trick pony.  Be concerned about all theft. (Internal and external) Once in my career, I was known for only catching shoplifters.  I expanded my horizons and later became known for conducting successful phone interviews and have since published and article on this topic.  Later, I became known for having a knack for building rapport with store employees.  This was achieved by asking my peers for help.  People are not afraid to share their talents.  It is very flattering in most cases.  It is okay for you to love one aspect of your job but it is a career killer to continue to focus and build on that on aspect that you love so dearly.

There are many other secrets to having a successful Loss Prevention career and as I discussed earlier, any great Loss Prevention professional could easily make their own list.  What is absolutely true is that not having goals and secrets to enhance your career can hinder your success in Loss Prevention.

The article was written by Herman O. Laskey Jr. Herman is a leading expert on on employee theft prevention and shoplifting prevention. For more information, please visit laskcoinc.com.