They’re not that different from the traits of a president, a five-star general, or someone else in authority. That’s why being a security guard is one of the greatest steps you can take in life, whether you want to remain in the industry—and it’s a good one, take it from me—or move on. Your time as a guard will never be a waste. It’s true that you will have something to fall back on; there always has been and always will be a need for security guards, so the industry isn’t going anywhere. But the real reason why a job as a security guard is so wonderful is that the traits you learn will become ingrained inside of you and if you let them, if you grow them, they will carry you throughout your entire life.
Diligence. Being a security guard is a bit like being the goaltender for a top hockey or soccer team; you may not be called into action regularly, but that’s exactly why you need to keep your concentration throughout your entire shift of work. It only takes one mistake, one little thing missed, to make the difference between success and disaster.
Alertness. Much like diligence, you need to have your “spidey-senses” turned on throughout your shift. Being slow to react, or missing something altogether, is the absolute antithesis of what a security guard is hired to do. As the saying goes, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – your job is to help provide that freedom, by being reliable and alert at all times.
Proper Deportment. This is where some security guards have seen too much television, or mistake their job as needing to have the public be scared of them. The way in which you hold yourself is critical. Projecting strength, altertness and diligence can be a key deterrent to observers with malintent. However you are also still a representative of the business you are protecting, so respectful treatment of everyone around you is still part of the job. There’s no use protecting something valuable if you are concurrently scaring off customers by being rude.
Helpfulness + Customer Service. Your job is not simply to be a deterrent, nor is it to “just be the hero” when the day needs to be saved. At most locations you work at, you will be seen as an authority figure. This means that you will often be asked or even required to do more than simply be present; you need to be ready, willing and able to assist in whatever manner the location needs from you.
Whether you’re monitoring an event, patrolling a shopping center or government building, the uniform you wear will act like a beacon. If people encounter difficulty, if they feel threatened, you will be the first one they turn to. You don’t have to act on what everyone says; ultimately, the judgement call is yours to make, but when others come to you for advice or help, you should listen, respectfully and graciously. Why? Because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You are capable, you are aware, you are patient and in control. The people in your care should know they are in good hands.