Many people think that working as a security guard means working in a bar and club and getting involved in fights every night. There is also a huge misconception that all security guards are pumped up meat heads who love aggression.
Yes, there are some who are attracted to the industry because they think it will give them the opportunity to dominate other people, however, this sort of person won’t last long in the security industry. They would not rise through the ranks of the profession or get to work for a good, professional company with all the benefits that come with it.
Professional security guards don’t just break up fights and throw people out onto the street. The work is actually varied and covers a wide range of duties that each require a particular skill. They have to be diplomats, first aiders, observers, listeners, helpers and referees. However, first and foremost they are there to keep you safe.
Being the Diplomat
Working for someone in the public eye, or in a building where members in the public eye gather, a security guard might hear or see things that can’t go any further, otherwise it’s an abuse of trust. Breaking up an argument between two people who both insist their not at fault also takes tact and diplomacy to sort out.
Being the First Aider
You might be the only person around when a person collapses or asks for your help. It could be something like a woman going into labour and needing an ambulance, an elderly person tripping over, a diabetic who needs insulin or someone who is having a heart attack. While you wait for the ambulance, it might be up to you to take the necessary action to keep that person from deteriorating
Being the listener
We talk you through these topics on the course because during the course of your employment you might come across situations that require delicate handling or you see things that you can’t talk about. It could be something like being a shoulder to cry on while you’re working at a festival or other event. Young people who have had an argument or split up with their partner, might look to you to give them support because they feel vulnerable and upset. That’s also part of your job, listening and being supportive. You might be working for someone in the public eye, who won’t want you telling everyone about what they do in their private lives. That’s why you need discretion.
Keeping someone safe – It doesn’t just mean breaking up a fight
If you’re working where alcohol is served you’re bound to come across a youngster who has drunk too much. They can’t stay on the premises, but you know they won’t be safe alone, so you find out where they live and put them in a taxi. You might also come across someone who is on their own because they have lost their friends, or help someone out who is receiving unwanted attention. You might also have to deal with the Paparazzi at an event, or apprehend a thief. There are many different aspects to a security guard’s job.
Being Aware – Getting a feel for people
If you work in a public place like a museum, a shopping centre or an airport you will be expected to have an instinct for people (you get better at this the longer you do the job) and to learn to trust your instinct. Our training courses cover anti-terrorism procedures, how to deal with people who need to be restrained and we also have a course on how to spot and deal with vulnerable people.
Being the Helper
Finding lost friends, ringing parents, sorting out taxis and contacting police over thefts are just a few of the things you’ll be expected to so as part of your job.
Being the Observer
Looking out for people who might start trouble, spotting pickpockets, watching girls who are getting unwanted attention and putting a stop to it and observing suspicious behaviour.
Being the Referee
When trouble does start or a fight breaks out, it is up to you to calm the situation down, or eject the troublemaker from the premises. This is when you will need to use your training in so as not to get angry yourself when you get insulted or even assaulted and knowing how you can legally handle a person in order to restrain or eject them from the premises.
As you can see it’s not all fighting and being abused. You do get to help people and see the good side of working with the public. It’s not a 9 to 5 job, you will have to work evenings and weekends, but it is varied and it can be very rewarding.