5 Steps needed to start your Executive Protection Career

By Doc Rogers

1. Get properly trained. Some people attempting to break into an executive protection (EP) career believe they can do so without the proper skills and specific training. Sure, you may have some common transferable skills from your pervious career, but there is no substitute for an intense EP training program.

2. Be a leader. Work on your leadership skills because a lot of EP work involves taking the lead on tasks and managing people and/or things.

3. Technical skills and equipment proficiency. Work on both your EP technical skills and the specific tools of the trade. This means mastering the basics in EP (advance and operational work) as well as firearms, Microsoft Office, GPS, automated external defibrillator (AED), etc.

4. Intestinal fortitude. You can have all the EP training in the world, but without the personal courage and determination; toughness of character you will still be unsuccessful. Therefore, get into great physical shape, maintain high mental discipline, teamwork, character, be mature in judgment and a have a burning desire to be a professional EP agent. Intestinal fortitude separates those who man-up and those who don’t.

5. Realize EP is Non-Glamorous. Learn the non-glamorous parts of the job to include the ever important advance work, route assessments and how to manage a halls and walls team, etc. Sure you will be protecting the principal in luxurious locations, travelling in high-end vehicles and wearing expensive clothing. But in contrast to the Hollywood-hype, EP work is done according to a systematic and established form of procedures, conducted by a controlled form of behavior and way of working that is systematic and practical, done according to a plan to keep the principal and the EP team safe. Good luck and God speed.

 

Need Help Moving Your EP Career Forward?

Check Out The Book Principal Protection; Lessons Learn By Rick Colliver

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Am I too old to be a bodyguard?

Old BodyguardQuestion of the week: An individual recently asked me at 52 was he too old  for Bodyguard work? Here was my response.

Too old is a relative concept. Too old for what? It’s all about the individual and the condition he’s in. I’m 50 and fat thanks to the poor choices I like to blame on my environment. Am I too old for protection work ? – NO. Am I too fat? -YES. I don’t think a fit guy can be too old for protection work as long as all his body parts are working and he’s maintained the edge over the years. Me … well I better step away from the refrigerator really soon.

Research and preparation aimed at identifying potential threats and contingency plans supersedes age. Overall, what’s expected is everything it takes to make the life of your client safer. Anticipating needs is a big one— being able to look at a situation and determine what can go wrong and make sure it doesn’t; or knowing how to fix a problem once it occurs.

 Have a great weekend

 Hucky

Want to be a Bodyguard? First, Nail the Interview!

One of several Female Executive Protection candidatesBy Ed Hinman

As the Director of Recruitment and Selection for an international private security firm, I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates — and I’ve hired hundreds of them for a career in private security and executive protection.  What matters most to me in hiring a candidate is not their experience (though that matters), what matters most is their behavior.

“Invisible Qualities” Though a resume alone can sometimes earn a candidate an interview, their behavior during the interview is what actually earns them the job.  After all, a resume just indicates your qualifications, i.e. What you are.  The interview, on the other hand, reveals your behavior, i.e. Who you are.  At the private security firm where I work, we call these “who you are” attributes a person’s Invisible Qualities (or “IQs”) – and they mean everything to us.  IQs include a person’s Positivism, Energy, Preparation, Readiness, Willingness, Curiosity, and Integrity.

Just like an actor, a candidate is auditioning for a part — a part that could be a twenty-plus year career.  So like an actor, candidates interested in private security must nail the audition!   Thus, the interview room becomes the stage where all eyes are on the candidate, trying to discover “Who is this person,” and “Are they a good fit for our organization?”

Focus on the Little Things So how can candidates reveal these IQs?  After all, almost every candidate recites those old interviewing clichés like “I’m honest,” “I’m a hard worker,” and “I’ve got a great attitude.”  To separate yourself from the pack, don’t tell the interviewer about your IQs, show them by focusing on the small stuff — as the tiniest details will reveal “Who You Are.”

As an interviewer, my time is limited and I know the candidate is on his best behavior, so I focus on the little things.  If he’s one minute late for the interview, I assume he’ll be twenty minutes late for work.  If his suit is ill-fitting for the interview, I assume he’s sloppy and unprofessional.  The way a candidate does anything, I assume, is the way that candidate does everything.

In determining “who” a candidate is, and if he or she is a good fit for our firm, I seek to answer these questions:

• Does he greet the receptionist? (Positivism, Communication, Manners)

• How does he dress? (Preparation, Attention to Detail, Maturity)

• Is he physically fit? (Energy, Work Ethic)

• Is he fifteen minutes early for the interview? (Readiness, Professionalism)

• Did he read our CEO’s book? (Curiosity)

• Did he research our firm’s mission and culture? (Willingness, Preparation, Grateful for the Opportunity to Interview) • Does he answer our background questions directly, consistently, and without contradiction? (Integrity)

For your next job interview with a private security or bodyguard company, I recommend you focus on these questions and address all the little things (i.e. your actions) that turn your invisible qualities into visible attributes that result in career opportunities as a bodyguard and protection specialist.  In short, don’t tell the security firm you’re professional and responsible — Show them!

Ed Hinman is the Director of Recruitment, Selection, and Training at Gavin de Becker & Associates, a private security firm that advises and protects the nation’s most at-risk public figures and organizations. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mr. Hinman served eight years in the United States Marine Corps before beginning his private security career in Los Angeles, CA.

 

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Monday Morning Job Tip: Solicit Help from Friends

Solicit Help from Friends

• Let all of your friends, neighbors, people at church, family and old coworkers know that you are looking for a job and tell them to keep their ears open for opportunities.

• Tell them your looking for work in the Executive Protection industry.

• Share with them your skills.

• Let them know what type of client you want to work for.

• Give them a way to contact you (LinkedIn, website or email address)

I look forward to sharing in your success–I know you will find, as I have, that you are on a career path that is both interesting and profitable.

Happy hunting.

Hucky

 

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What Wikipedia can’t tell you about Executive Protection?

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Learn how to be a bodyguard

Executive Protection

I hate to be the barrier of bad news, but there are no extravagant schemes or methods for earning more money in executive protection; it really comes down to a single thing.  Never cut your rates.  As simple as this one thing sounds, anyone who has been in the executive protection business at all will know there always seem to be compelling reasons to cut your rates but when you do so, you create a landslide of difficulties barring access to increased future earnings.

Most of us have experienced the disappointment of purchasing an item or service at full price only to find the same item from the same provider days later for substantially less money.

When this happens it doesn’t take much to figure out that the seller was offering the item far above market value in the first place.  Whenever this happens you immediately feel taken advantage of.  This is the same thing that occurs in the mind of your client when they realize your rates were always open to a downward adjustment.

This is true when your client is the one who manages to negotiate a better rate with you and when they hear of another client getting a better rate for the same service.

The second problem with cutting your rates is that it sends a signal to your client that you really are not worth the money you charge.  Again, think of this as a consumer.  People who are selling a superior product or service do not have to drop their prices, they know their product is worth the money, and they know their customers will pay a fair price.

This is not arrogance; this is confidence.  Clients may not always enjoy paying for services rendered but they do enjoy knowing they are getting good value for the money they spend on personal protection.  When you stick to your guns you are sending a message to your client that your services are worth every penny of what you are charging.

Another reason for standing firm is that when you agree to accept less for your services you are telling your client you are desperate.  The problem with being desperate is that it indicates no one else would want to hire you.

This is a bad message to send to a client who is counting on you to keep them safe.  It’s a little bit like shopping for a bullet resistant vest and the shop keeper is uncompromising on his price for the first three you look at, but on the fourth vest he is more than willing to bargain.

Anyone who values their life would not pay for the fourth vest, and you would probably not wear it even if the shop keeper was giving it away for free.

The way to fix this problem is to do a good market analysis and price your services accurately for the market you are in.  Write up a solid business plan that explains why you are worth the rates you charge and include honest appraisals of your services compared with the competition within your market.

Bring value to your client and be prepared to explain why you have priced your services as they are.  Try not to be offended when they ask you to justify your fees, this is your chance to shine and let them know what they are getting for their money.

List your certifications and the executive protection schools you have attended.  Explain how your EMT certifications, language skills, marksmanship training, and other acumen benefit them.  Once you determined the fair price for your services stand firm and show your client that you are worth the investment.