Across my social media pages and website I get a real spread of messages and requests. I like getting the messages and questions and I’m happy to help where I can. Sometimes I can’t help and I’m the first to admit that this industry is far from perfect. There’s exploitation, unsafe practices, poor standards and little support. There are cases that are just plain wrong and some that are even illegal. On the other side there are lots and lots of people in this industry who genuinely care about and want to do the best that they can for it. I want to use this article to implore you to become one of these people.
I can understand why people get angry and disillusioned at the security industry. I’ve often found my self shaking my head in dismay at things I’ve seen and heard. I can absolutely understand the feelings of resentment that build up when people don’t feel supported or feel exploited at work. I get numerous messages and emails every week complaining about employers (some with more merit than others) and I completely agree that there are some terrible employers out there. There are also a fair share of terrible employees. I still don’t think it’s a terrible industry though. I still believe in it and the people in it.
On the flip side there are some great companies and great employers out there. There are some clients who value security as a real asset. Not as many as there should be but they are out there. The number of brilliant employees out there also gives me hope. They are sometimes with good employers and really happy in their job but more often they might not have a great employer but they shine nonetheless. They are the future of this industry.
I worked a large event recently. Lots of security companies working together. Some good and some bad. I worked closely with one small security company who were subcontracted to a larger provider. Some of the staff working at that event were pretty bad. There was a lack of awareness and a lack of care in a lot of places. These guys from this provider were excellent though. A tiny company with limited budget and getting paid the same as the other companies. But they stood out. Their managers were on the ground directing and helping staff. Their supervisors were interacting with staff and communicating constantly. They were well fed and well looked after and it showed. They wore the vest of the larger contractor but you knew instantly they were different. That type of company gives me hope.
On the other side of that there were some superstars who despite not being treated well or not having the best staff around them performed amazingly. They drove others around them and cajoled performances from newer staff. For me these guys were even better professionals. It’s easy to do well when all of the supports are in place, it’s a lot harder against the odds.
Be a hero
I said at the start that I wanted to use this article to implore you to become part of a better future for the industry. Do a few things:
1. You are your own person. Your employer, supervisor or colleagues are not you. It doesn’t matter how good or bad a job they do you never let them effect your performance or your outlook.
2. Accept that you can’t change everything and work to change what you can. There will always be poor companies and poor individuals. Letting them get you down won’t stop that. Change and influence where you can.
3. Be the best security professional you can be every day. Regardless of the contract, employer, customers or weather just be the best you can be. That shows the public the real security industry.
4. Whether your 4 weeks or 4 years in the job you should always teach others. Teach, encourage, mentor and assist. Make other people better.
If even a handful of you do those four things then there is even more hope. I genuinely believe we can make it a better industry. Our job is to do our little bit every day to make it a better place.