What makes a good security guard? Is it brute strength? Do you need to be able to think quickly on the spot? The latter is certainly true, but perhaps the most important attribute for any security guard is the experience. Our goal is to let you know that experience matters for security guards.
If you’re reading this without any experience but you have experience in another field that’s great! We are going to explain later why this is just as important. If you’re reading this with no experience at all, don’t be upset. Instead, feel encouraged! The security field is an industry willing to train those with no experience at all! With all of this in mind, we want to discuss the value of experience in this guide today.
We will tell you why experience is so important? After this, we’ll look into the value of transferable skills. Furthermore, we will cover why experience in another field is never wasted. Again, our goal is to let you know that experience matters for security guards. But, also, it matters in many other areas of our lives!
Reasons Why Experience Matters for Security Guards
Whether offering security for a hospital, store, or any other location, one of the priorities is the safety of all visitors. Essentially, you’re looking after the whole premises. With experience, you’ll know the main dangers and hazards. Even if a dangerous situation does arise, your experience will allow you to handle the situation quickly (and without putting anybody in danger!)
Security Guard Safety
Often, we see people focus on the safety of everybody but the security team itself. If security guards can’t keep themselves safe, how will they help anybody else? With experience, a security guard will know how to handle certain situations while also remaining safe.
More and more, businesses are requesting that security guards communicate with customers and visitors. If you’re looking after a store, it’s no longer a case of sitting behind a window all day. Instead, employers expect security guards to have social skills.
Quick Reactions and Confidence
In the early days of being a security guard, there was often a fight or flight response. When a situation arises, how will a guard react? In the beginning, it was normal to be hesitant. For this reason alone, a more experienced guard may react more assertively. Thus, another reason why experience matters for security guards. This experience comes because of past guard training, up-to-date skills, confidence and a real sense of know-how because of those previous experiences.
Earlier, we spoke about the safety of everyone who visits the building. This is much easier to achieve when security guards look professional, act professionally and show confidence. Security guards instill a feeling of safety for everybody who enters a building when they are cool, calm and collected!
Understanding of Protocol
Experience matters for security guards because the protocols are more easily understood and followed. Of course, security guards do have one important job to do after incidents: reporting. However you look at it, reporting is not the most attractive part of the job! However, reporting is essential. Furthermore, not only is it important to document events, but it could also prove pivotal should a legal case come up. As a result, correct reporting and evidence provide the business with everything it needs to defend itself against claims. If the guard understands the protocols in place, there should not be any kind of a problem.
While on the topic of protocol, businesses also want a positive reputation. Again, experience matters for security guards and often, businesses keep this in mind when making hiring decisions. At all times, they think about how the guards’ actions will reflect on the business itself. Experienced security guards will know this!
Previously, we spoke about why experience matters for security guards and how it affects their professionalism. We aren’t saying that beginners in the industry don’t have professionalism, but it’s something that definitely grows with age and time. Subsequently, with experience, security guards know how to act at all times. They’ll deal with situations correctly and understand that some cases will need a “damage limitation” approach.
Additional Reasons Why Experience Matters for Security Guards -Transferable Skills
As promised, what about those who have experience in a different industry? Oftentimes, people believe when they are changing careers, they are starting from scratch. That is not necessarily true! Here are some additional reasons why experience matters. Here are some transferable skills that you may have acquired regardless of your experience history!
Let’s face it, this is a skill that will ALWAYS serve you well. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you’re going, employers will love communication skills. In the security field, communication is important across a number of levels:
- Between colleagues
- With management
- Your subordinates
- With customers/visitors
With most industries becoming more competitive, businesses are looking for efficiency improvements wherever they can find it. More recently, communication has become a must-have skill. If you can communicate effectively, you will become an asset in any team.
For example, let’s say an incident occurs on the other side of the premises: swift and effective communication might just prevent a small argument from growing into a brawl. Even on an average working day, communication is something that will always be useful for preventing accidents and keeping everything moving smoothly.
If you’re in law enforcement (or have been in the past), you’ll know that the move to security is almost a natural progression. With many similarities between the two, this is a great job to have on your resume. The more experience in the field, the more likely you are to slide across to security seamlessly.
Again, this is one of the most valuable transferable skills in the world of employment. When it comes to security, you need to get along with your co-workers. Night shift duty can be a challenge and you may need to spend many hours alongside your co-worker. Do you even want to imagine what could go wrong if the two of you don’t work together as a team?
If you’ve worked in any business where the team pulled together, this experience is essential. Also, there’s a sense of camaraderie in the world of security. Considering that some dangerous incidents can occur, you need to have your co-worker’s back (and vice versa).
We’ve spoken about the growing trend of customer service in security, so this is something else to consider. Even if you’ve worked in a store behind the counter, your history of dealing with customers on a daily basis is something that won’t go unnoticed. In fact, you’re instantly a more attractive prospect because you’re more likely to greet people with a smile.
Attention to Detail
Back to the report writing, any experience where attention to detail was required will be appreciated in security. With this skill, your employers will enjoy the fact that you keep workspaces organized. Elsewhere, your ability to follow rules/codes of conduct and file away reports as expected will impress.
Even before excelling as a security guard, attention to detail is the kind of skill that can be a reason to consider you for a promotion! Your attention to detail is always a welcomed strength in the higher levels of business.
Finally, and although this isn’t strictly a skill, we want to mention those who are slightly older. O, come on, who am I kidding. It’s ok if you are a lot older! At Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center, we have older people contact us worrying that it’s “too late” to start a career in security. In short, this is nonsense.
If you’re older, the security industry is just waiting to welcome you. With work experience in other industries, we’re almost certain that this is invaluable. In fact, we urge you to look back over this list and think about how you can offer these skills in a role. In previous jobs, have you required:
- Attention to detail
- Customer service
We’re sure you’re nodding your head yes because they’re extremely common. Rather than worrying about degrees and things you might be lacking, think about what you CAN offer. Even after these skills, we can almost guarantee that you’ve mastered:
- Work ethic
- Ability to listen to (and even provide) feedback
Don’t discount yourself from anything in life until you have sat down and explored all of your skills, abilities and transferable skills. Once you have done that, you will come to this conclusion: those younger folks don’t have anything on you! You’d be a great fit for that security guard job!
No Experience as a Security Guard
We’ve looked at why experience is important for security guards. We’ve seen why experience in other fields is also valuable in the security field. Now, what about those who have no working experience and who want to get into security?
What To Do To Get Experience
- Firstly, we recommend looking at the vacancies currently available on our website. Just because most companies will value experience, this doesn’t make it a rule that applies to everybody. While some companies want experience, others want a blank canvas they can mold to their own needs. Therefore, they will pay to have you go through the appropriate training and qualifications.
- Lastly, over time, you’ll gain experience and pick up all the skills discussed in this guide. The only difference between somebody with experience and somebody without is an opportunity. The most experienced security guards started somewhere, so use this as motivation. Some didn’t even have their GEDs. Even if you work in a similar field but not quite security, we’ve shown you the parallel that exists between many industries. As long as you’re picking up experience in the skills mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily matter that it’s not in the security field.
Now, do you understand why experience matters for security guards (and why experience in other industries is valuable)? Regardless of age, there’s nothing stopping you from entering the world of security. Go through the training, get your license, and start building that experience. The more you build, the more desirable you become to potential employers!
As always, remember to sign up to be put on our email list. In addition to signing up for our emails, read all of the other informational articles and blogs on our website. Also, don’t forget to take the time to listen to the videos and audios, too. We have everything you need to become a security guard. Won’t you let us know what it is that you need?