I am often being approached by people who want to start a career as a security guard. Let me share some experience with you that I have gained over the years and also some from my friends. I sincerely hope this will help clarify some of the responsibilities and commitments a security guard has.
Your primary responsibility as a security guard is to secure the place you are guarding, make observation and report any abnormal patterns. You may have to be a backup for someone who cannot make it to their shift; this could mean back to back shifts or staying in till a replacement is found. A post cannot be left unmanned. This is an expectation for almost all security guards. You may also have to work on weekends, in evenings, or on night shifts, sometimes even on holidays. Check with your security company about the policy of placing guards on holidays and your time off from duty.
As a security guard you should be tough, confident and polite. A requirement for many security jobs. When someone approaches you, you should greet them and ask them if you can be of any help, at the same time you must make sure that you are not compromising the security of the place. A security guard cannot leave sight of the entrance and exit points to assist people without calling for a replacement. You should also display temperament as you cannot get irritated when people approach you for help.
You must deal tricky situation in a tactful manner. There will be times when you are suspicious of an item being carried in to or out of a premise and you may want to inspect the item. It is your duty to keep the premises safe, so you should check the items that go in or out but you will have to do this being respectful of other people. Be polite when you ask someone to show the items they are carrying. Often a please will work. Also be sure to thank them when you have finished inspection. Thanking people after you may have bothered them is a key to maintaining your professionalism.
It can get boring and tedious, especially if you are guarding a site where there are few people coming in and out. It can help to get a coffee or tea or standing up and stretching. While stretching or taking a walk do not leave site of your post.
You may have to go for additional training from time to time. Many states require you to complete 8-hour training sessions every year in order to maintain your license. At times, you may have to pay out of pocket for these expenses.
You should be capable to draw a distinction between opinion and facts when you write incident reports. Your report can be used as evidence in court if anything happens. Be sure to document any suspicious or unusual activities around you. Now down what happened, who did it and when it happened.
Following these tips will help you become successful in the field of security. Remember security is not about force, it about making people feel safe and secure.