Let’s start with the perception
There several preconceived notions or beliefs regarding the productivity or utility of a security officer, and these notions have been escalated in the minds of those seeking to become security guards, fearing that the “security Guard” job title is somehow something to be ashamed of.
The movies have also played a big role in shaping this perceptions as well as expectation of a security officer.
Chances are when you are thinking of a security guard/officer you’re conjuring up an image of someone leaning back in a chair, maybe reading a magazine or watching sports on a small TV screen or even taking a nap while images of thieves breaking in flash through the monitors without them noticing.
These are the kind of images that have been planted in our minds because it makes for good television… It’s not just about Security Guards, think about the police. Do you have a picture of the cops sitting in their car eating donuts all day?
In reality security officers play a key role in a majority of today’s businesses. For example, what would your perception of security officers be like if they saved the life of your little kid? or coming to the aid of a choking victim, or if they helped people escape from a burning building because they were able to spot the fire early before it spread.
Heroic acts like these are performed by security guards all the time. We should remember that security guards act as first responders who make the difference between life and death as such becoming a security guard is something anyone should be proud of.
What do people think these days?
In 2012 The U.S. Contract Security Industry, released a white paper where Robert Perry commented on the changing of public opinion regarding the industry:
“The contract security industry has been striving for many years to elevate how it’s perceived in the public opinion marketplace and it has made great progress in this endeavor, in spite of Hollywood making movies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “Night at the Museum” that painted unflattering, demeaning pictures of security officers. The contract security officer of today tends to be better educated, better trained, and in several areas, more qualified to handle the security functions demanded by the company’s customers. This didn’t happen overnight – it’s the result of efforts on the part of the owners that want their company to be a truly professional security organization; and national security organizations such as NASCO, ASIS International, and NCISS as well as the many state agencies and organizations working together to create legislation and best practices procedures for the industry. The general public also demanded this change, but there are still serious improvements that need to be, and are being, made in the industry.”
What are employers looking for?
Security guards should approach their job as any professional approaches their work, upholding the primary objective of the job and striving to provide the best possible service to their employer.
It’s not just about the employer, it is about you, and what role you decide to play in your career growth and the impact you have on others lives.
No matter the profession, no one should willfully conform to the negative stereotype of the security guard that sits there and does nothing. Yes, part of the job is just that, but the other part is maintaining a professional image. Putting effort above the bare minimum not only keeps you safe, it also builds character. The kind of job reference you want in this field is one that says “This person went above and beyond what was expected of him”, not “I don’t know what he did but he never did anything wrong.”
There are several key attributes that can make the difference between a quality security company and a stereotypical one.
- A good security guard is always on time.
- A good security guard is honest and inclined to do the right thing
- A good security guard has the necessary skills, experience and training to accomplish his or her tasks.
- A good security guard is self motivated to do the best at their job, keeping premises safe and protecting lives
- A good security guard knows how to effectively communicate with employees, management, customers and outside law enforcement.
- A good security guard notices when their their environment changes.
- A good security guard can de-escalate any tense situation.
- A good security is always neat and looks sharp.
- A good security guard can get people to do what they want without touching them
- A good security guard is able to quickly and effectively gauge the nature of the actions and people surrounding him and identify possible threats
- A good security guard receives up to date training on the latest security techniques, policies and procedures in accordance with best practices.
- A good security guard knows how to write a professional report.
- A good security guard represents the company and client to the same standard of quality they represent them self.
- A good security guard is courteous and respectful of others.
- A good security guard is a team player and must be willing to work to represent the company with excellence in all his dealings
- A good security guard has the ability to know when to give and when to take orders
- A good security guard is flexible enough to take diverse roles like standing at a post, act as a rover, patrol, supervise and work in a variety environments.