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  • Moving Up In The Field

    Hey guys, as some of ya know I am pretty new to this field of work, I have only been working security for about a month, but I find myself even more interested in the job now. I was just wondering what are some of the things one can do to get noticed for promotions?

    So far I have just been trying to fill out my reports as detailed as possible and have been trying to provide the best customer service I can with clients. I work for a contract company so I am constantly getting shipped around to different sites. However I have already had 2 clients call in "demanding more like him". I take great pride in what I do and want to move up as quick as possible but realize that the industry is based around low cost guards.

    I have also thought about getting licensed as a PI, does anyone on here have experience with that? I don't mean as a floor walker but as a hollywoodesque PI. Does such a thing really exist? Sadly I have realized already that the Hollywood version of the security guard does... some people just shouldn't work lol.

    But ya, what skills should I work on? What kind of materials should I be reading? How can I make myself more appealing for the raises or better sites?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cactus View Post
    So far I have just been trying to fill out my reports as detailed as possible and have been trying to provide the best customer service I can with clients. I work for a contract company so I am constantly getting shipped around to different sites. However I have already had 2 clients call in "demanding more like him". I take great pride in what I do and want to move up as quick as possible but realize that the industry is based around low cost guards.

    But ya, what skills should I work on? What kind of materials should I be reading? How can I make myself more appealing for the raises or better sites?
    As you're already learning, it's largely what you make it. There are many Hollywoodesque guards, but there are those of us who've chosen to make it a profession. It seems like you're already picking up many good habits. Keep making your reports detailed, you never know when you'll need them. The standard I was taught to write to is: With every report you write, do it in such a way that, ten years from now, when you've had three other jobs and changed industries, and the manager/supervisor has moved out of country, and you're subpoenaed (?sp?) to testify, you can accurately and confidently say what happened on that day based solely on your report. Or, if you're the one that can't be found, detailed enough that your boss can say what happened from your report.

    Equally important, and I learned this one the hard way at another job: Use the heirarchy!!! It's important to rely on co-workers and colleagues with more experience, but they are no substitute for talking to your boss. I'm a Site Manager, and I've been given a lot of freedom. I keep that freedom in part by calling my boss at least once or twice a week, whether anything's happening or not. If you think your boss is wrong, ask him/her the reason they do it the way they do. Don't go immediately over their heads (trust me on this).

    Also, no matter what, DO NOT LIE!! Whether it's falsifying a document or hiding something from your boss, don't do it. I tell all of my officers "If you make a mistake, tell me. If you forget to do something, tell me. There may well be consequences, but if you lie to me I cannot back you up in the future." I'll go to the mat for an employee that I know is doing a good job, even when mistakes are made. If you don't make a patrol, don't report that you did. Report "Patrol not made due to illness/incident/monitoring heavy activity....." You may or may not get in trouble, but if you lie on a report, it's illegal, and throws everything else you've written into question.

    Originally posted by Cactus View Post
    I have also thought about getting licensed as a PI, does anyone on here have experience with that? I don't mean as a floor walker but as a hollywoodesque PI. Does such a thing really exist? Sadly I have realized already that the Hollywood version of the security guard does... some people just shouldn't work lol.?
    I've had people mention the PI thing as something I should look into. I'd like to learn more about it as well.
    That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I went through my state's PI training and have helped some people I know by doing surveillance, gathering trash or doing public records research. Personally, I found it fascinating, but at the same time, it WAS NOT Hollywood-esque by any means.

      • Digging through week old TV dinners and soda cans to find out one bit of useful information was disgusting.
      • Sitting for hours on end to get 10 minutes of video footage of some guy lying about his workman's comp claim.
      • Dealing with records clerks......ugh, I let you figure out about that.


      Also, depending on the state, there's not too much money in it from what I understand. And from what I've heard it's pretty cutthroat on getting cases. In Oklahoma, there's a catch-22 to working as a PI. CLEET won't issue an individual license, unless you're working for a licensed investigator, yet at the same time, you can't work without the license. On top of that, most won't hire you without being licensed or having prior experience. But you can get an agency license with the proper bond. The interesting thing I learned was, to work as a bounty hunter in this state, all you need is a PI license (That may have changed though).
      ‎"If you can't tolerate humor directed at you, you do not deserve to be taken seriously"

      Comment


      • #4
        When it comes to PI, unless you're at the very top of your field, most of the well-paying jobs are in the insurance business, investigating things like insurance fraud. Before no-fault divorces came along, a lot of PI work involved trailing people to build adultery cases.

        As already mentioned, a lot of PI work can be quite routine, including things like sitting in your car for eight hours straight, and pissing in a bottle (you don't want to miss something because you went to go find a bathroom)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cactus View Post
          Hey guys, as some of ya know I am pretty new to this field of work, I have only been working security for about a month, but I find myself even more interested in the job now. I was just wondering what are some of the things one can do to get noticed for promotions?

          So far I have just been trying to fill out my reports as detailed as possible and have been trying to provide the best customer service I can with clients. I work for a contract company so I am constantly getting shipped around to different sites. However I have already had 2 clients call in "demanding more like him". I take great pride in what I do and want to move up as quick as possible but realize that the industry is based around low cost guards.

          I have also thought about getting licensed as a PI, does anyone on here have experience with that? I don't mean as a floor walker but as a hollywoodesque PI. Does such a thing really exist? Sadly I have realized already that the Hollywood version of the security guard does... some people just shouldn't work lol.

          But ya, what skills should I work on? What kind of materials should I be reading? How can I make myself more appealing for the raises or better sites?
          Express this same attitude and ask these same questions of your supervisors.

          General things-

          Look good and act professional all of the time. Be a good communicator. Make a contribution to the effectiveness of the operation wherever they put you. Be on time, every time. Follow procedure.

          When you deal with anyone up the chain of command, be as constructive as possible. If you see a way things could be improved, mention it in a productive and intelligent way. Make sure you are making the job of the people above you more effective, and make them look good as well as yourself. When you have to deal with the people who promote, make sure they have a pleasant and productive experience with you. Promoting someone means the promoter has to work closer with the people they promote. They have longer interactions together and must interact on a more frequent basis. NO ONE wants to be around a pain in the butt any more than they absolutely have to be.

          Might sound corny, but be a leader before you get the promotion. That means being so good at what you do that you set a strong example for those you work with. Promoting a sense of pride and working to eliminate or minimize any culture of complacency in the immediate operation.

          Also... be accountable for anything you are at all associated with on the job. Even when you don't absolutely have to be. If you even "touch" it, be accountable for it. Small example: if your doing access control and a visitor doesn't sign in properly (wrong date, whatever), don't say that you were so busy with the phone and everything else (even if you were) that you couldn't
          pay proper attention to the sign-in. Don't apologize for it either. Instead, explain (briefly) the proper procedure, and where you made the mistake, and that it won't happen again. Even if a co-worker is doing access control and you are in the same area, and the co-worker lets a visitor mess up the sign-in, take responsibility for it, "I should have been paying closer attention to the access control taking place while I was in the area." Pretty soon you'll find your co-workers asking you questions on procedure etc. expecting you to
          make decisions when the supervisor isn't there and you'll pretty much have a lock on the next promotion that opens up.

          Other than that, memorize your post orders, master them. Follow them. Be assertive.

          Beyond all of this...have an excellent performance and attendance record, get promoted. Stick with the same company a few years. Then you can go for your weapons certifications (etc) and with the right certifications and track record, get hired into a well paying armed job. In the meantime you can work on your criminal justice degree. If you can get into law enforcement, even if only a year or so, do it. At the end of a ten year period of all of that your looking at possibilities open up for director of corporate security for a company, public safety director for a college etc etc. Thats pretty good money.

          Good luck.
          formerly C&A

          Comment


          • #6
            As OfficerChick said "Also, no matter what, DO NOT LIE!! Whether it's falsifying a document or hiding something from your boss, don't do it."

            In summary, an old school slogan was:

            LOOK THE PART (make sure you are 150% presentable at all times)
            ACT THE PART (watch your behaviour and language around other)
            KNOW THE PART (know what you are supposed to be doing and do it)
            BE THE PART (be the role that you are being paid for).

            I have had some crappy jobs included being called out in the middle of winter for a static post in the rain to guard a client's emergency generator but I have also had some special ones like the Consulate Security job I did for 20 hours on triple $$$ and was technically o/seas in a different country whilst sworn in as a Consulate Constable.

            I forget the bad days after all this time and think of those memorable ones from my past. Promotion can happen fast but you need to show initiative and expect many cold and lonely shifts or hot and humid ones where things go wrong to sort yoruself out. Spend the $$$ on making yourself comfortable with the right gear and you will make it through those harder days without too much to worry about.

            Another old saying I was taught was: LOOK - LISTEN - LEARN.

            LOOK - to see what others are doing better than you (reports, phone calls, information reports, etc).
            LISTEN - listen to their experience and conversations when answering enquiries or dealing with customers.
            LEARN - be prepared to learn from others but also to do your own work and read - read - read everything over and over.

            But do follow OC's post - DON'T BLOODY LIE because you let the company down but you lose your ethics and integrity too.
            Last edited by NRM_Oz; 10-24-2007, 09:16 PM.
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

            Comment


            • #7
              My list of things to do to get "noticed" would be....

              1. Be on time (early if you can by 15 minutes)
              2. Have your uniformed dry-cleaned and "heavy" starched. This will make your uniform look sharp and very professional.
              3. Don't complain when told to do something by a supervisor. Just do it, and if you had a problem with it, discuss it at a later time with that supervisor.
              4. If you drive a "patrol" vehicle keep it clean and wash it often.
              5. Hand in all reports, logs, etc on time
              6. Don't call off for BS reasons, if you can don't call off at all (thats what vacation is for).
              7. Always refer to supervisors by their rank and last name, or solely their rank. Be "sir" or "ma'am" happy. Even if this supervisor is your closest friend, when you're in presence of others this should be used. However if you're just one-on-one you can be more 'laxed.
              8. Just have a good general atttitude and you should be fine.

              What everyone has mentioned about PI work is right on the money. I'm certified in Maryland as a PI. PI work can range from serving process papers (court documents) up to homicides (not very often, though). The main focus when it comes to PI work is insurance fraud, corporate fraud and the infamous infidelity cases. The atmosphere for PI's vary as well, from sitting in a nice comfy chair in a relaxed office to sweating your arse off in a car, van or truck. So if you live in a typically extremely hot/cold state, life is going to suck when doing surveillance. I once did a detail, and I shut the car off. The heat from the outside hit me within 2 minutes, it was a VERY hot day out. 10 hours later, I was able to ring sweat out of my shirt. As for pay it ranges anywhere from $18 - $40 an hour depending on your experience.
              "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

              Comment


              • #8
                In my place, it doesnt matter or how hard you work. They will pick who they want.

                Currently, we got a guy who draws all the time and has art degrees who really doesnt want his job nor does he take it seriously. The old boss made sure he got it though. Hopefully, the new boss will see through this and make a sound decision when time comes again and put in someone who wants it.

                My unforms are always professional, my work is completed timely and everything runs well. I have been passed up for promotion 3 times.
                "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

                Comment


                • #9
                  From my experience, the way to get noticed is to SHOW UP FOR WORK.
                  In the 3 years in contract security and 5 years in the Army I never missed a day of work. In the 1 1/2 years with my current company I have only requested 2 days off. I have never missed a scheduled shift and have worked every unscheduled shift that has been sent my way. I went from the lowest ranking new hire to the highest ranked uniformed officer with my company in 10 months.

                  In contract security, management's goal is to have every post staffed. If someone calls off they have to find someone to fill that post. Be the "Go To Guy". Management will notice that they never have to "cover" your shift and that you are there to "cover" someone else.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What everyone says about being a good employee above, ditto.

                    A variety of training and certification programs are available, ranging from free to moderate in cost. University-level degrees are also available in the specific area of security management...cost is obviously higher.

                    PI work is like most other fields...the pay is generally commensurate with your ability to specialize. Often, specialization means acquiring knowledge in some other field. For instance, if you were to specialize in nursing home investigations you would obviously command a higher salary if you were an RN, a paramedic or had some other formal medical-type training, or perhaps a certificate in gerontology (issues of aging). If you were to specialize in corporate investigations, you would do better if you had training in accounting, business law, etc. Computer forensics training might open many different doors.

                    Some kinds of specialization pay better because they enable the PI to handle cases more quickly...i.e., do more of them in the same amount of time as someone without the knowledge...or because they enable the PI to get business. For instance, if you develop real expertise in a particular geographic area such as a particular region such as the Northwest - making it your business to know everything you can about what's where, what's shaking, who is who, who's doing what, business resources, etc., etc., you're going to be a better PI and you're probably going to make more money. Such expertise is gained by such things as:

                    1. Attending city council meetings. Obviously, you won't be able to attend the meetings of every town or city in your area, but you can usually get access to the minutes of all of the meetings. These are now often available right over the Interweb. Ditto for county council meetings.

                    2. Talking with people in zoning/planning departments. Review building permits issued from time to time.

                    3. Getting to know local historians. These are the (often) odd ducks who run local museums, historical societies, etc. and can tell you what used to be where the <something> is now before the fire that burned down the <whatever>... Well, these are just good people to know because they keep up with contemporary history as well as ancient.

                    4. Reading every paper published in the area that you can (library!) - including the society columns, business sections and the special business newspapers. While you're at the library, chat with the reference librarian, tell her exactly what you're trying to do (learn everything you can about the area), and ask what materials would be helpful. You'll be amazed. When you're looking at resources of any kind...pay special attention to the NAMES of people, whether the subject of a story, a witness, or even the byline (author) of the story, article, book, etc.

                    5. Watching local TV news. Jot down names that seem to have value.

                    6. Listening to local talk radio.

                    7. Driving around the region while paying close attention to what you're seeing, whether it's construction sites, increasing numbers of vacant stores, strike picket lines, whatever.

                    8. Becoming a member of Rotary, other clubs...and actually attending the meetings. While at these meetings, LISTEN. Become an intelligence agent, in other words. IA's don't spout information - they gather it.

                    9. Visiting the websites of organizations, governments, and every other important entity in your area - and revisit them regularly. Create a database of "favorites" or "bookmarks" organized by type of resource so that if you suddenly needed to contact the town clerk of some hamlet in your area, you could go right to the relevant source. Much better than scrabbling through phone books or even using "information".

                    There are many ways to be alerted to changes in websites, incidentally.

                    10. Googling stuff - names, places, whatever - sometimes just to see what there is to see. Learn how to use advanced search features. I just Googled the name of the subdivision where I own a home for the heck of it, and found a civil court case I hadn't known about and I've lived here 12 years. You just never know what you might find.

                    11. Simply taking an interest in everything that's going on around you, all the time. In particular, there are no unimportant people. That waitress that no one was paying any attention to might have overheard...<whatever>.

                    12. Studying maps. There are always lots of different kinds of maps being created for any particular region. Some are not about physical features like streets, etc...some are projections of economic growth, population changes, business startups, etc. Try Googling "map of <region>", etc.

                    13. Go to the Census Bureau's website and discover the wealth of information about your area that is available there.

                    Don't try to guess in advance what information will be useful, or how. Just learn everything you can.

                    Incidentally, the range someone posted is wrong...PIs can make $100 or more per hour on some types of cases. You'll find corporations will pay that and more for an outside investigation of harassment cases, fraud, etc.

                    The more you know, the more dough!
                    Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-25-2007, 12:04 PM.
                    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Incidentally, the range someone posted is wrong...PIs can make $100 or more per hour on some types of cases. You'll find corporations will pay that and more for an outside investigation of harassment cases, fraud, etc.
                      My bad, that was a slight typo as I, meant to put $15 to $400, not $40.
                      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by officerchick View Post
                        As you're already learning, it's largely what you make it. There are many Hollywoodesque guards, but there are those of us who've chosen to make it a profession. It seems like you're already picking up many good habits. Keep making your reports detailed, you never know when you'll need them. The standard I was taught to write to is: With every report you write, do it in such a way that, ten years from now, when you've had three other jobs and changed industries, and the manager/supervisor has moved out of country, and you're subpoenaed (?sp?) to testify, you can accurately and confidently say what happened on that day based solely on your report. Or, if you're the one that can't be found, detailed enough that your boss can say what happened from your report.

                        Equally important, and I learned this one the hard way at another job: Use the heirarchy!!! It's important to rely on co-workers and colleagues with more experience, but they are no substitute for talking to your boss. I'm a Site Manager, and I've been given a lot of freedom. I keep that freedom in part by calling my boss at least once or twice a week, whether anything's happening or not. If you think your boss is wrong, ask him/her the reason they do it the way they do. Don't go immediately over their heads (trust me on this).

                        Also, no matter what, DO NOT LIE!! Whether it's falsifying a document or hiding something from your boss, don't do it. I tell all of my officers "If you make a mistake, tell me. If you forget to do something, tell me. There may well be consequences, but if you lie to me I cannot back you up in the future." I'll go to the mat for an employee that I know is doing a good job, even when mistakes are made. If you don't make a patrol, don't report that you did. Report "Patrol not made due to illness/incident/monitoring heavy activity....." You may or may not get in trouble, but if you lie on a report, it's illegal, and throws everything else you've written into question.



                        I've had people mention the PI thing as something I should look into. I'd like to learn more about it as well.
                        I had a PI license in Ohio. I worked for corporations, attorneys and insurance companies. I had contracts with GM and Ford to conduct their WC investigations. I did pre-investigations for attorneys on wrongful death cases and I did theft recovery on heavy construction equipment for insurance companies.

                        My first PI case was for an insurance company who had been looking for a heavy duty wrecker (for towing semi trucks) for 3 years. With-in 24 hours of them calling me I had located the wrecker in Rose, Michigan. Even had the license plate on it when it was stolen. For this type of recovery I charged my daily rate/expenses and 10% of the value at the time it was stolen. I recovered some very expensive construction equipment. I made alot of money doing this.
                        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                        Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Big business will pay anything for advise and management as well as for asset recovery of major items and exclusive one-off items. When I first began consulting, I realised I had been giving my services away basically in my positions for free. Where someone would charge $150 US an hour I was doing it all for free as part of my daily routine.

                          Regardless of your level or job, looking professional, acting professional, being profesional and good discipline goes a long way. But in saying so, YOU need to improve your employment opportunities. YOU need to consider what studies could I do or what could I read to be better at my job or more employable. Some of you can speak a second language which goes very well with some posts and others have other skills which will shine through.

                          Trust me there are some companies that require your lips to be affixed to the buttocks of the company manager to be promoted, but in the end I would consider your future (ie are you close to home or in a comfy post) so that when you do jump ship to a better position, you can walk out with your head held high.
                          "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
                            Trust me there are some companies that require your lips to be affixed to the buttocks of the company manager....
                            I never could understand a manager who would promote this dynamic of people sucking up to him. I have always done best as a manager when people challenged my beliefs and pointed out things I hadn't thought of.

                            In other words, a manager thrives best when the people he manages are always being encouraged to contribute new ideas and to think of better ways of doing things. The biggest asset people bring to their jobs is their brains...why would you EVER want to stifle that?
                            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1 company I worked for and hated the culture of has you as UP THERE and the staff way down the bottom. You were never to fraternise with the staff (ie you ate lunch elsewhere) and you never spoke to them outside of work issues. I broke all those rules as I worked closely with my crew and this worked out well for them if they had a family crisis and needed some time off. I had the butt kisser who attempted to get past me by sweet talking me through free lunches (no thanks) and gifts (no thank you again) when he was robbing us blind but again I have my ethics and integrity intact.
                              "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                              Comment

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