The executive protection business is tough to get into, and tougher to stay in, don’t make it any harder on yourself. As you can see the list of things to do is pretty short and simple. The list of things not to do is much longer, those are just some glaring examples of things I have seen done on jobs by people claiming to be professional.

I would like to offer some friendly advice from an employer or supervisor perspective to those of you out there who are about to get your first assignment. I have run into a few people who have been in the workforce a while who could use this advice as well. If you are not lucky enough to be on a full-time job and are working for a number of security companies part-time, these simple tips just might help you land more work. Failure to heed the “DON’T” ones will pretty much guarantee that your phone won’t ring very often.

If you can’t take simple directions and just do a simple job then there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be asked to return. I can assure you that will be the case when working for us.

So you finally get the call for a job, and for this example we’ll discuss a security related job, it might simply be a lower level security job to get your foot in the door or an entry-level Executive Protection job, but it can also apply to those who have been doing this for a while. Let me start off with the things not to do since they seem to happen far too often.

The Don’t List in Executive Protection

  • DON’T show up drunk, my advice is don’t drink at all during the job. I put this first because I’ve been on far too many jobs where this has happened. Not only will you be fired but your reputation will follow you, and unfortunately I’ve seen everyone get sent home as a result of that. Your actions can affect everyone around you, don’t be known as that guy!
  • So you are on the phone with your potential employer and they are asking if you are interested in working a simple job. It’s probably not going to look good when you start telling them how tactical you are and that you are going to bring all kinds of unnecessary gear to the job to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Trust me, you DON’T need to bring an armored truck loaded with SWAT gear on a simple security assignment. If you are told that’s really not necessary, take the hint and leave that gear at home or in your car until which time it is needed.
  • DON’T hound the employer with all kinds of unnecessary questions that are none of your business, you are being hired to do a simple job, not run it. There’s a pretty good chance the employer has a handle on what the client needs and wants, so don’t tell your boss what to do (unless there’s a valid reason, safety being one of them).
  • DON’T tell the employer that something is stupid (or worse), that doesn’t go over well.
  • If you are told there is a certain dress code for this job, understand it and follow it. DON’T take it upon yourself to wear something that the employer specifically said not to wear. If in doubt because you are working in an area where it may make sense to have different dress you could ask, or better yet, suggest it in a professional way. If the employer says no then follow the employers guidelines.
  • If you ask a question about why the employer is doing something and are told not to worry about it, then DON’T! It is none of your business, continuing to hound the employer about it is not going to win you any points and will most likely irritate them.
  • DON’T be rude to the customer or their guests.
  • DON’T just be a warm body, if you see something that is wrong try fixing it, whatever it may be, or tell a supervisor there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If that issue is not corrected in a timely manner a simple courteous reminder to your supervisor is all that is needed.
  • DON’T create an issue and then continue to constantly complain about it and mysteriously solve that issue a couple of days later.
  • DON’T call others at the company and complain that the boss is screwed up and should be doing things your way. There’s a pretty good chance in the Executive Protection business that the boss will get a phone call about how unhappy you are.
  • DON’T complain to your coworkers about your employer, they just might be friends with the boss.
  • DON’T tell the client what they should do, or be rude to them, the client is paying you to be there and do your simple security assignment. They are NOT paying you for your advice nor are they interested in it, they are probably paying the employer for that.
  • DON’T regale your coworkers with all kinds of stories on how you are so much better than they are because of all the training you have taken, you never know who your coworkers are and they just might have more experience than you do. There is a time and place for that, on the job is not it.

Now for some of the DO’s while on your new job. While on this job keep in mind that you are a representative of your employer, how you perform and interact especially with the client, but also their guests reflects on your employer. This really isn’t rocket science.

The DO List

  • Do the job you are being paid to do, and do it to the best of your abilities.
  • Know when it is appropriate to speak up. If you are in doubt ask a coworker.
  • Stay in your lane. That means worry about your job, not someone else’s job.
  • Use initiative without overstepping your bounds.
  • Tell the truth, but do it in a professional manner.
  • Be professional at all times, you never know who is watching.

This past summer I worked a job where I was hired by another company. Even though I was one of the senior people in terms of experience, I was the new guy on that job. I kept my mouth shut and did what was expected of me. When someone asked about my experience I kept it short and to the point. When the company owner asked my opinion I knew he wanted a truthful answer, I did not tell him I thought something was stupid, I gave it to him in a professional manner and if possible gave him what I thought might be a solution. At the end of this job I was quite pleased when one of my team mates told me the employer thought I had done a great job and they had no complaints.

These are just a few suggestions on getting your next executive protection or security job, feel free to take the advice or not.