I grew up on the South Coast and after leaving school with one A-level, I joined a sports retail company as a weekend sales assistant. I worked there for a few years, eventually becoming a branch manager at different locations in Southern England.
But I soon began to realise that retail management wasn’t really for me. That was when I found out that SIS were looking for a security officer. It was something completely different from what I’d been doing before and offered the prospect of a life and a job that I could enjoy in London.
I learned a lot of skills working in retail that have been useful here, such as adaptability, teamwork and people management. The main one that’s helped me is teamwork, working closely with my own team on a regular basis. You get to know each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, which enables us to achieve our daily objectives.
I’ve been on a lot of training courses in my first year, from general training in being a security officer to more specific skills such as operating CCTV, search procedures and physical intervention. They’ve all been really useful in helping me to perform my job confidently and competently.
There’s been a lot to learn and I think the most difficult aspect of the job has been trying to remember so much important information about different situations that could occur. We work shifts, so the different things you have to think about vary depending on what shift you’re working. Something that may happen regularly for one guard may not have happened to you.
I’ve met a great bunch of people and get to work with most of them regularly. And although I haven’t had a chance to work abroad yet, that’s something I’m looking forward to.