What do you expect?
Some helpful hints to getting your foot in the door.
By Jason Collins
CPS, Security Consultant, CP Instructor
You have taken the time to go through one of the many Executive Protection schools around the world. You’ve sacrificed time and money for this training. You’ve learned the core fundamentals to becoming a bodyguard. Now you are ready to break out and start working in the industry.
How do I do this? First off, begin marketing yourself…..from this point on, YOU make or break YOUR future.
- Network, network, network…..get to know potential clients, fellow operators, job opportunities. The internet and today’s technologies, brings everything you need to begin, right to your fingertips. So utilize it…… your instructors, fellow students and former graduates are always a great place to start.
- Due diligence and following instructions- if you are on a job board site and see a job that interests you, DO NOT just apply for it….thoroughly read the post….if it says “in need of a Spanish speaking operator with 2 years experience in south America”, do not apply if this is your first attempt at finding work, you only speak your native language and you have never left your country. Find out all the facts before jumping into something you have no idea about. Know beforehand, what it is you’re getting into.
- Be professional…..again, you make or break your future. You will most certainly be overlooked if you respond to a job bid or post with poor grammar and an obvious lack of professionalism. Sell yourself.
- Know what you’re looking for … whether you want to go the celebrity, corporate, local or corporate warrior route, due your research. Utilize the resources out there for finding work in that specific niche. Start small. Make yourself known to local LEO agencies, state and municipal government agencies. Your local mayor, political campaigns, domestic abuse centers and currier services and strike work details are all good starting points.
- KEEP TRAINING. I cannot emphasize this enough. Just because you’ve gone through a “bodyguard” school does not mean you’re ready to take on the world…..It is just the beginning….train often. Keep your skill set fresh and evolving. The more you train, the better you become.
- And finally……apply with multiple agencies, multiple positions and multiple jobs. Always be on “a list” . more often than not, things don’t “just happen”. Things (jobs/contracts) take time. Logistics and regulations have to be met and followed through. So be on the list so when and if it does happen, you’re there. If you bank everything on one job, you’re going to get discouraged regularly when that job fails to take place.
Hopefully, this can get you on the right track to finding work….always ask questions, be professional, have integrity and don’t burn bridges.
A professional close protection team isn’t limited to the close protection operator observed standing next to the VIP. There are often personal protection operators working and contributing to the VIP’s safety from a distance and who are never seen by either members of the public or the media. Their job is as equally important to the close protection mission as the team members who stand next to the VIP. They have to observe anything that appears suspicious, then investigate it, report it and take action on it.
Imagine this scenario: Your principal is going to take part in a charity event. As it is a high profile event, the guest list and other information have been released to the media in advance of the event. Since only a little information is needed in order to harm someone, (WHO they are, WHERE they are going to be and WHEN they will be there) any potential enemies of your client now have the time and information they need in order to make their plan and act against you. Given this scenario, what can you do to limit or eliminate any possibility of the threat against your client from being made a reality?
Your advance/protective intelligence team can investigate and gather information on the venue, the venue’s regular staff and any additional staff hired for the event, the other guests, allowing for the preparation of a contingency plan in case of any problems. They should also travel the client’s primary proposed route a short time before the client and observe for surveillance or anything that could prove problematic. It may also prove necessary to conduct a low profile security sweep of the premises prior to giving the OK to the close protection team to bring their principal in. It is unprofessional and dangerous to allow your principal’s entrance into a place that hasn’t been subjected to an advance security detail – the more thorough the advance the better however, if time doesn’t permit this then at least a cursory security sweep should be carried out first. Placement of undercover close protection operators inside the venue can prove extremely advantageous. Having them mingle with other guests is better still since a great deal of valuable information which could prove instrumental in ensuring the client’s safety can be obtained. Additionally, if anyone planning to harm your client is present at the venue, then they are unlikely to have accounted for the undercover operators, giving the undercover operators a distinct advantage. A female close protection operator can work very well in these circumstances, since most people will think she is just another guest. Being a part of the advance security/protective intelligence team isn’t easy, it requires patience, keen observation skills, the ability to blend in any social setting and the ability to move unobtrusively while being acutely aware of one’s surrounding environment. You have to be able to constantly scan and evaluate your surroundings and be able to observe anyone who could be a threat against your client. Persons ideally suited for this task would be military intelligence operators, police detectives, private investigators or others who have been trained and employed in an investigative role.
Athena Academy Founder