By Hucky Austin
A large number of people contact me daily about getting into the Executive Protection (Bodyguard) business. At the risk of bursting bubbles, I must tell you this: There are no short-cuts when you are protecting lives.
Think first about protecting yourself and your money when selecting a training program. This is your first assignment on this career path: Do the research and conduct due diligence in assessing schools and “employment opportunities.” Go beyond believing online hype and guarantees of employment. No program can promise you work upon completing coursework. If the school advertising or facilitators are telling you this–IT IS NOT TRUE!
There are countless unscrupulous and dishonest people out there who are taking advantage of people eager to get into this field. Do not be fooled.
First, understand that there are no shortcuts and that even with all the training in the world, without experience you will not land a $60K/year job straight out of the chute. It will not happen. Here are some points to consider:
If it sounds too good to be true–it’s a scam
Ask for contact info and speak with individuals who have completed the program, ask about both the positive and the negative aspects of the training
Understand that the most preliminary and very basic EPS training will consist of at least 1 week of course work–that’s just scratching the surface
Go to online industry forums and read what people have to say about
Use professional resources/individuals to ask questions or for referrals
Training is ongoing and continuous–there are SO MANY aspects to
this career, as well as licensing, learning new technologies and procedures– you never really stop enhancing your skills and broadening your base of knowledge
Training programs can be a great first step in developing a network, make the most of your time in training, and develop friendships
Remember, be patient! In this “get rich/get famous quick” world, it seems young people especially want everything to happen quickly with virtually no effort. That is not realistic. Starting out in this field (as in any career) involves a certain amount of “paying dues.” You don’t move to the top–and the top-paying jobs–without putting in the time doing some less-than-glamorous tasks. Expect to work for less in the beginning, with the goal of garnering real-world experience.
I will be truthful with you, it will take a few years before you start to build a reputation (as well as a resume) worthy of the big-dollar assignments. This work is like any other career–get into it first because it is something you have a real passion for and are willing to work at–and the money will follow.
Lastly, never pay a fee to an employment agency. That is not a reputable business, it is someone taking your money and taking advantage of you. A placement firm usually works out a rate with the employer in advance. You do not pay a fee for a background check. If you are a candidate who is really being considered for the job, the company hiring you handles the background check.
To learn more about getting started in the EP business, consider attending the “Introduction to Executive Protection Seminar.” The first seminar will be held February 15th, in Bloomington, Minnesota.