Training in any security field is obviously critical – but, it is a combination of Training, Experience and Networking that get you jobs!
Making in the private sector depends on what you classify as “making it”. You need to decide which skill sets you need to develop.
1) the entrepreneurial skill sets;
2) the worker skill sets;
If you are looking to be financially successful, you need to develop the entrepreneurial skill sets. If you wish to pursue a “living”, then pursue # 2.
The skill sets are at different ends of the spectrum. However, you will need #2 to be successful at #1.
Prior military or L/E experience the private sector is NOT the ‘Be ALL’ and ‘End All’ as some think it is.
If you’ve attained quality experience in a prior Law Enforcement or Military career, then the that background and experience becomes somewhat significant. However, keep in mind what those two experiences really provide. They are law enforcement or possibly criminal investigative experiences or aggressive and tactical, strategic offensive ‘killing’ experience. There is no doubt some really good E.P training available in the LE or military world, BUT, not all former LEO’s or military have it. There are too many charlatans out here who claim to be good at what we do, but they’re NOT! So many people in our business, get the necessary state licensing and then, they claim they have the requisite background and experience and then, presto – they are out there doing E.P. and claiming they are the E.P agent extraordinaire.
The agent that impressed me the most since I retired from the Secret Service in 1996, did not have a L/E background. He did have a former military background, but he had no E.P experience. It was all combat experience in the first Gulf War.
He was trained by Pinkerton Investigations and Consulting. He was good at all of the below points and understood them well!
I say all this, because what so many EP operatives do not understand or will not accept or understand, is they need to be Security Consultants’ as well as ‘Agents’ in our field, in order to really understand and know how to deal with various EP and protective situations and how and when to apply countermeasures (both human and electronic). They also need to know what our real limitations are in the private sector and really need to understand there are some situations we should absolutely stay away from, because we do not have the resources in the private sector to adequately fight the ‘real jackal’. And, above all they need to understand how to conduct a ‘Threat Assessment’ (and , I said a ‘Threat Assessment’, not a Security or Risk Assessment; not a ‘Lifestyle Assessment’), I am referring to a Assessment of a real and bona fide or imminent threat against a Protectee, site or a venue – that is current and ongoing). That skill requires the proper training and the investigative skills and that has to be learned. Unfortunately, not too many of the EP operatives working out there understand or know the differences between the ‘Threat Assessment and the Security or Risk Assessment or the ‘Lifestyle Assessment’. They claim they do, but so many of them really do not.
This having been said, “Security Consulting, Investigations and Security/Protection” is our ‘world’. If you are to succeed in this field in any capacity, you need to attain the following skill sets:
1) security consulting (get a good book on the subject, perhaps through ASIS or call me and then, study it);
2) investigations as conducted in the private sector (especially corporate type investigations);
3) the civil and criminal implications and limitations on both of the above in the private sector;
4) executive protection concepts and procedures (get training);
5) suggest you join A.S.I.S. (American Society for Industrial Security) and consider pursuing the CPP certification. Go to their website (http://www.asisonline.org/) and find out what they’re about and what the CPP designation is all about. In my opinion, if you can eventually pass the CPP exam, you will be fairly qualified to become a entry level security consultant.
Before I retired from the Secret Service, I joined a study group and we worked diligently for four months, and then we took the CPP exam. We passed, but, we would not have passed if we had not studied the Asset Protection manuals and other resources, to prepare for this exam, which covered the above first four points and more! Keep in mind, as a USSS agent, I had exposure to protective and physical security issues which most former L/E’s DO NOT – and, I would not have passed this exam w/o studying hard!
You will need to learn about “risk mitigation” and how, everything we do in this field, touches on this ‘concept’! It is critical to learn.
Then, there’s the other side of this field. Running your own business. This is a horse of a different color! Even if you free-lance, you are essentially running a business!
You will probably need to learn the following: small business start up, local licensing requirements, marketing and advertising and up selling from one aspect of the business to the other.
In addition to marketing and advertising, you will need to become proficient at pricing and selling your services; at NOT compromising your rates and to learn allow some prospective customers become someone else’s customer, because you realize they are not customer at your level. This is all assuming you are running a “real” business and not just going through the motions and “trying to survive”. Too many PI’s and security firms have the mentality that they should accept what the client wishes to pay, because ‘something’ is better than ‘nothing’. Wrong!!!! You need to learn to work ‘smarter and not harder’.
Joseph A. LaSorsa, CPP