Becoming part of a Security family can be almost like a rite of passage.
Just like anything else there is the awkward introduction – the nerves. While some people do great with on the spot questions and interviews, it definitely does not apply to all of us. And applying for a job in security where you are looking to gain employment in a field where it is your job – your responsibility – to ensure the safety of others, is certainly no exception.
You make it past the introduction stage and the interview and you work your first shift.
You first shift in security.
In an ideal world, your first detail is relaxed and uneventful (in an ideal world all shifts are like that!) However regardless of how low key things may be, remaining vigilant is imperative. Sometimes the more relaxed we are the less vigilant we get. Things can slip by and mistakes can be made.
Remaining vigilant in even the most relaxed of situations can be exhausting.
Always being ‘on’ is tiring. It requires a lot of strength mentally, emotionally and physically. A five hour stint of heightened awareness can potentially feel like a long day.
Being mentally and physically prepared to keep a watchful eye and have feet and hands always at the ready is definitely helpful.
Knowing what you’re getting yourself into – being prepared – is not just a good idea, its mandatory. When others are relying on you to feel secure, you need to know everything that is going on and any of the potential risks. You also need to know where and when to go for almost anything and anything. Exits, washrooms, medical aid, information. Security is security – but – its also customer service.
Having a friendly demeanour is not going to make you appear weak. It will make you more approachable and help people feel more at ease.
While there are instances and places where the towering, door filling menacing security guard definitely has a purpose, it doesn’t mean that inside that tough exterior is an unapproachable human with no customer service skills.
When we get past the nerves, the preparedness, and the demeanour, there are still a few other details that people in this industry really need to embrace to outlast the others.
Things that should be common sense and apply in all aspects of life but are hugely important when it comes to security.
Dependability. This is huge.
When it comes to security and services like this, often when a company is approached and prior to being higher or contracted for a detail, availability is ensured.
You wouldn’t book your wedding at. a church when it wasn’t available.
You wouldn’t go to the airport without booking a seat on a plane knowing one was available (this is perhaps not the best example but I digress)
Security is booked based on availability. If a client asks to cover their security needs, they are ensuring availability. And a security company won’t accept a client or request if they don’t have the team to cover.
When you accept a role in the public service sector – working weekends, holidays, nights and sometimes the prime time we may want to spend relaxing with family and friends – these are the bread and butter of the industry.
When you make yourself available to work, short of an emergency or a health matter that truly renders you incapable of working, you need to understand that you have committed. And you committing, has ensured your company has committed to the work being offered.
Tapping out without just cause is letting your Security family down.
Not only that, you’re potentially letting a client down and thus potentially putting someones security needs in jeopardy.
While these occasions ideally are few and far between, having to let a client down at the last minute is a blow to your team, your company, and ultimately yourself.
Taking all necessary precautions to prepare yourself as much as possible so that you can be as fit as possible are vital.
Ensuring adequate rest and exercise are integral parts of the Security industry.
You don’t need to work out like The Rock, but ensuring a level of fitness is maintained is not just good for your job, its good for your health.
It will help to ensure you can last that little bit longer on your feet. It will even help with mental preparedness. Looking after your health and wellbeing shouldn’t just be a part of your job, it should be a part of your life.
Embracing the Security culture and all the details that go along with it can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.
Using your common sense and teamwork skills you’re more then halfway there. The rest is up to you.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.