In the classic Game of Life board game, one of a player’s earliest decisions, after deciding the color of her free car with room for six, is to decide whether to go to college, or to take a job and begin a vocation right after high school. Valid arguments for each pathway exist, but whether you have chosen the trade or college route, you still have to decide on a career that will fulfill your dreams.
Part of this decision involves choosing an industry or field. For many graduates it’s a difficult choice, as there are many options available. So how do you pick the right path? That’s clearly a very personal decision. But we’d like to offer a few things to think about as well as an option you may, or may not, have yet discovered or even considered—a career in the private security industry. Here are some factors you should contemplate as you evaluate career opportunities, including those in the security field:
Industry Growth: In both the board game and real life, the journey may be unpredictable. Start your career search by investigating the future of the industry to ensure its viability. The security industry has grown consistently since the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001. And it’s on track for continual growth. According to a 2017 Freedonia Group report*, revenues for U.S. private security services are forecast to increase 3.2% annually through 2021 to $70 billion. With the uptick in terrorism and other security issues, it’s almost certain to continue this trend.
Challenge: The greater the variety of challenges you face early in your career, the more prepared you will be for whatever direction you follow. The security industry will offer you a wide variety of exciting challenges. Entry level security professional positions such as a foot, vehicle or bike patroller, lobby ambassador or dispatcher require a high school diploma plus little to no experience. Those who have a college degree might seek out a managerial role such as an operations manager who oversees staff scheduling. Still, you might learn the latest in access control systems, security robotics or remote video monitoring as a security intervention specialist. Or, you might be charged with managing a security contract as a client manager. Managing a security contract will build your relationship skills as you work with clients, employees, contractors, residents and visitors. In addition, you may have fiscal responsibility leading to the development of financial acumen. As you develop skills and experience in different areas like technology, relationships and finance, you will become better prepared for greater opportunities in the future.
Leadership Opportunity: While this certainly fits in the prior category, Challenge, it deserves a special callout. The security industry is a people industry. In almost any security position available to a recent college graduate, people management will be one of the first opportunities available. Leading people comes more naturally to some, but everyone experiences learning opportunities along the way. Mistakes will be made, but when lessons are learned from the mistakes, the trajectory to leadership success progresses quickly and positively. The security industry offers a tremendous opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.
Advancement: This final thought is the outcome of the three previous points. When an industry is rapidly growing, labor needs often expand to support businesses. This may trigger earlier internal opportunities to build new skills and assume greater responsibilities that can lead to faster career progression. Progression, of course, assumes individual effort, positive attitude and phenomenal performance. The good news is that the security industry is forecasted to continue its strong growth and will offer motivated employees incredible career possibilities. For example, many Allied Universal employees have risen through the ranks to management and other leadership roles.
Unlike the board game, real life does offer a career choice in security at the rank and file or management levels. Why not take a look at your options within the industry and within Allied Universal? We are the leading provider of private security in North America, and are still growing. Our opportunities are listed at www.aus.com/careers.If you are an employee seeking advancement, visit https://internalcareers-aus.icims.com, and enter ‘manager’ to view openings.
*Freedonia Group, Private Security Services in the U.S. Report, April 2017, page 32
About the Author
Brent O'Bryan, the Vice President of Training and Development for Allied Universal, has delivered seminar presentations on various topics including Workplace Violence Awareness, Safety, HR Best Practices, Coaching, Developing Culture and The Learning Organization.