Civvy Street twelve months on is now two months late as things are still moving at 100mph! So, what has changed? What have I identified which could help?
A wise old vet said to me as I started out on my new adventure “There’s no security in security” he also told me not to place all me eggs into one basket, don’t you hate it when someone is ALWAYS right! With hindsight he is a very successful seasoned vet within the security arena who is managing some very high profile clients, so he knows what he’s talking about. Lesson one: listen to advice from everyone, you don’t have to take it but its lodged in the subconscious.
Placing all your eggs onto one basket within the arena really is a bad move for several reasons. Surveillance is my passion, which I enjoy and still, gives me a buzz, if, I had the chance I would be on the ground everyday of that there is no doubt. Unfortunately there are dry spells, and it seems to be seasonal!
So you need a fall back plan to cover these dry periods, surveillance & close protection for example comes hand in hand that’s a fact, I have been on many surveillance jobs and been asked “Any one CP trained?” and of course vise versa so to cover the dry spells I have ended up conducting loads of CP work which has a great education and great for the bank balance!
Sadly I am meeting more and more guys and girls who have been let down by their chosen training provider. Guys have been taught surveillance on powerpoint and not left the class room! CP and not driven in convoy, however in the eyes of the SIA they have not done anything wrong as training objectives have been covered! Don’t get me wrong there are some excellent providers out there going way beyond the SIA TO’s all that is great but if no after support is offered you could end up as a Facebook warrior! Ask before you part with your cash “how will your company help me get work once I have completed the course” if the answer is we are here to train you not find you a job, go somewhere else and there attitudes will soon change. Don’t forget, these training providers are in the business for one thing and that’s to make money NOT for fun! You must, must, must do your research! enough said!
I have recently been introduced to the social media facebook warrior as they like to be referred to. Beware there are thousands of nutters out there dishing out some serious nonsense on line. If they have all the time in the world to sit on facebook then they clearly aren’t out on the ground! However there are some cracking forum groups where you will find some excellent advice but these are generally closed groups and thank god not open to the Walter types.
Business development has been hard work, juggling administration, tax, VAT, advertising, PD the list is endless. Consider whether that 6hrs conducting admin could be left to an administrator who wouldn’t charge the earth and could probably smash it in half the time costing you a lot less than you have lost in potential work on the ground. Get up to speed with the basics of business administration if going down the self-employed route before you leave!
(Contract) PAYE or (Self employed) Freelance? Regardless of your intentions, if entering the security arena you must consider becoming self-employed. Fact there is loads of work out there on short-term contracts. If your not self employed you can’t be paid it’s as simple as that! Don’t even consider asking for “Cash in hand” it can seriously offend and is illegal.
I may have mentioned this in an earlier blog however it keeps springing up at the most awkward times. Leave your rank at the gates, comments such as “what the *uck does he know he was only a corporal” is guaranteed to make that shift your last. Getting to the top or close to it in the services does not mean it’s going to happen in civvy street! In fact some might say that the corporal who is now an ops manager or company director had more guts leaving after six years? Regardless, think hard before entering the arena, as there are lots of very successful ex corporals who will probably be interviewing you.
The security industry has worked for me so far, granted its not for everyone there are some excellent contractors but there are also some awful ones, excellent and dreadful payers but for me it’s a nice easy break into civvy street, I can still say roger in a phone call and people understand me. Could I of jumped straight into the deep end at Tesco’s… who knows. I’m glad I didn’t of that I am certain and I take my hat off to anyone who does.
My final point: Unless its on paper don’t believe it! The UK security sector is paying some EXCELLENT wages however there is lots of hot air in the industry so don’t spend your money until you have it in your hand!
Thanks for reading Civvy Street Twelve Months
See our blog on Resettlement Realities below.