LPF Can Help | Wayne Getz, LPC
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Wayne Getz entered active duty military in 1983 after High School. Selected for the 1st Ranger Bn after AIT, he went on to be an instructor at Ft. Ord with the Lightfighter Cadre. Wayne is currently serving as an Area Loss Prevention Manager for Best Buy, Inc.
QUOTE: "I just happened to have someone approach me on the job about a career in Loss Prevention because of my work ethics, attention to detail, and ability to communicate well."
Wayne Getz, LPC, Discusses Loss Prevention.
I entered active duty military in 1983 after High School. I completed Basic training, AIT, and Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA. I spent the next 3 years in the 1st Ranger Bn. I was then selected to be an instructor at Ft. Ord with the Lightfighter Cadre. I spent my last year of active duty there. I spent the next 5 years in the 91st Division Training as a Drill Instructor in the Reserves. While in the reserves, I attended College with the hopes of pursuing a career in Law Enforcement.
Were there a lot of trials and tribulations during your transition?
Prior to the military, I had an opportunity to attend a very academic school in the east, but I had the foresight to know that I was not ready and decided to enter the military. When I did get out of active duty in 1992 and attended college, I realized how important of a decision this was. I had the discipline and dedication needed to fulfill the academic requirements, while all around me I saw students barely attending class. I did discover that I appeared to others as being rigid, not flexible, and very serious.
Did you go to a hiring conference?
I did not attend any hiring conferences, I just happened to have someone approach me on the job about a career in Loss Prevention because of my work ethics, attention to detail, and ability to communicate well. These things were expected in the military and were a part of me. These traits, I discovered, were not necessarily the norm.
What adjustments did you have to make compared to work environment and lifestyle in the military?
A typical day for me, if there is one, is traveling to stores training and coaching about shrink reduction, good safety protocol, and overall profitability for the company. I will conduct audits, and when applicable conduct investigations. Continuing my education is of importance to me as well to stay current in my field.
What’s a typical day like working loss prevention for a large retail company?
As in any big organization a typical day is all planned out and then you get the phone call about a situation that has come to light and then everything changes. In a job like this you need to be very skilled in time management as well as very flexible. For the most part, you will have store visits set up with some audits, but as in any visit, you need to use your wide angle lens. We hardly ever go into a location with a narrow focus. We look at shrink issues, safety standards, and yes business as a whole. We might throw a few investigations in there as well.
Are there particular skills you learned in the military that have helped you at this job?
In this job it is critical that you pay attention to detail and that you are very specific about what you say or do. This is no different than the military. Your team members are counting on you to do your job to a specific standard. Failure to do so could be costly. I have also found that the ability to handle stressful situations and deal with them logically and rationally is very important in both the military and Loss Prevention.
Any new skills you had to pick up along the way?
In this business, the ability to communicate well is important. There are times when you will need to speak in front of large groups. A communications class would help with that. Also in this line of work, where you will need to get people to open up to you in both interviews and interrogations, it would be critical to take as many classes on these subjects as possible. I have gone through the W-Z basic and advanced courses. I have taken the LSI SCAN course. These are necessities to do the job well. On the other side, we are in a retail business with a focus on limiting liabilities. The LPQ and LPC courses do a fine job in educating on the retail loss prevention business acumen. I never stop learning.
Do you have any advice for transitioning service members?
My advice for transitioning military service members would be this. Stay true to who you are and who you have become. Embrace the positive traits that you have acquired in the military. Continue your education because everything evolves and you need to keep up with it. Your leadership, dedication, and discipline will help and set you apart from some of the others pursuing the same. Be patient and don’t let frustration get the best of you. Stay the course.