A large surly looking man eyes you suspiciously.
He stands tall at 6ft 5 with his heavily muscled arms crossed and an expression of distrust. He is silent, except to bark orders to another man in the back.
According to a popular television show he is a Security Guard.
Television and film have a lot to answer for in terms of the skewed representations they have crafted of different professions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. And Security Guards are no exception.
If you believe the Hollywood hype, Security Guards are large burly men with a permanent scowl doing dodgy or dangerous jobs. Or they are pudgy, inept and lazy men who pass their days shirking their responsibilities.
In reality, nothing is further from the truth.
Security Guards have an important role to play in our everyday lives. They monitor situations and keep spaces safe and accessible. They help us when we are trying to find our way around and enforce the rules to ensure our workplaces and schools are safe and friendly environments for everyone.
They play an important role in keeping us safe and our property safe. As a society, we have come to rely on the security sector and entrust guards with some of our most valuable items and spaces.
Here we break down the five biggest myths about security guards perpetuated by Hollywood.
Security Guards look like body builders
One of the most harmful myths out there that has been perpetuated by the Hollywood machine is the idea that security guards are big, ripped muscle-bound men who can bench like the Rock.
Security Guards come in all shapes, sizes and genders; tall, small, young and old. Some of the best guards are older women, short and friendly young men. The industry has no standard look or size, being a good Security Guard is about helping people, doing your job well and maintaining order.
Security Guards are men
This sexist myth really needs to be dispelled and left in the past along with telling women to smile more and policing female bodies.
While in years past the security industry has been a male dominated industry, these days there is a huge demand for more women in the field to fill roles from the general guarding positions all the way to up management.
Some of the most successful Security Guards in the business are women. Women make exceptional guards. They have great attention to detail and they are generally better at diffusing situations and talking people down.
Security Guards are lazy
This harmful stereotype comes from depictions on screen such as Paul Blart Mall Cop and other incompetent characters. But the realities of the job couldn’t be further from the truth.
Security Guards often have to work long shifts and stay alert constantly monitoring the situation, assessing risk and making informed and quick decisions. They have to be constantly on their toes. When you see a security guard standing at a building entrance, they are not just standing there. They are monitoring the floor, keeping an eye out for trouble, taking mental notes of the surroundings, watching to ensure everyone is following the rules.
This is not the kind of job where you can coast. It’s all about constant vigilance.
You have to work nights and weekends
While there is a lot of work that you can do at night and on the weekends (and generally is some of the highest paid), there is also a lot of day work. You can be a Security Guard and still work the 9-5 grind if that’s what you want.
Working in government buildings, shopping centers, hotels and office buildings are some examples of security guard positions that offer day shifts. Most Cash In Transit roles are also day shift as this is when large retailers want their cash moved.
Not every job is from midnight until six in the morning in the security industry.
Security work is dangerous
Another huge misconception about the security industry is that work is dangerous and you’re at risk on the job. While there are some positions that come with more mitigated risk than others, such as being a Cash In Transit Guard or working private security detail for someone with a public profile, the majority of jobs are very safe.
There are some jobs which carry very little risk such as working in the control room monitoring cameras or working as a hotel concierge.
Security Guards are trained to assess and mitigate risk both to themselves and others in how they approach situations. Well trained security guards ensure that each unique situation is handled with caution and finesse, making it safer for everyone including them.
There are many other myths about the security industry out there but if you want to know what security is really about, have a chat with one of our friendly Course Advisors today!
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