Why are you looking for security guard jobs? Are you just looking to pay the bills or are you hoping to work your way up the ladder so that you can enjoy a lasting career opportunity?
Either way, it pays to understand how security jobs actually work. And there are 3 pervasive myths about the security industry that keep people from doing a good job once they are hired. We thought we’d take a moment to dispel those myths today.
1. You can do whatever you want.
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve come across blog posts and social media posts advocating security jobs because you can “do whatever you want.” People talk about getting on their laptops, listening to their iPods, reading books, studying, or writing the next great American novel.
However, very few security supervisors will allow this kind of behavior–and they shouldn’t! As a security guard you are there to observe, deter crime, and report what you see to the appropriate authorities. You can’t do any of these things if you are busy surfing the web. Awareness of your situation is paramount.
At best you may be allowed to listen to the radio, so long as you keep it low. Many seasoned security guards recommend listening to NPR or talk radio. It isn’t terribly distracting if it’s kept down low and it does a better job of keeping you awake than music might.
In addition, there are usually other regulations. You will need to make sure you are neat, clean, and in full uniform at all times, for example. There may be paperwork that you are responsible for, too.
2. The work is always easy.
The truth is, security guard work can be very challenging. You are coming face to face with members of the public, and some of the public is, well, crazy. It may well be your job to talk down a drunk intruder who wants, inappropriately, to sleep on the floor of your site. You might have to deal with that angry, belligerent ex-employee who wants to get inside the building whether it’s against the rules or not.
Some of the challenges are more physical. The reality of some sites is that you may asked to stand for hours at a time. You may be outdoors, in all kinds of weather conditions. Other security guards may be less responsible than you, meaning you have to extend your shift until the other guy shows up.
It’s up to you to have a good attitude about this, and to go in with some sense of where you want to take this career. Is it worth it you to stand in the cold or the rain now, knowing that in a few short years you could be making more money and enjoying a different work environment as a supervisor?
Many security guards do not have such a good attitude and they have a hard time lasting in this industry. It’s up to you to frame your experience in a positive light so that you can reap the benefits of that experience.
3. All security guard companies are the same.
Some states have extremely stringent requirements for anyone who wants to start a security company or agency. Others really don’t, which means security companies run the gamut.
Some are highly-regarded, established, trustworthy companies that may be tough but fair. But there are certainly horror stories out there about fly-by-night companies who can’t even meet payroll on a regular basis. Make sure you research each company before taking the job, even if you think you are desperate for a job. Bad companies will lose their contracts soon enough, so in general you’re better off sticking with a good agency, or with an established, direct employer.
In truth, there are always good security guard jobs available, especially for those who truly take pride in their work and understand what the job entails. Why not start your job hunt right now?