7 Tips to Make 2024 a Success
In previous blog posts we’ve covered how to succeed through Christmas and the New Year, but in this article, we’re making some suggestions that look ahead to 2024 and how you can improve the likelihood that it is a successful year for you. They’re not life-changing tips in and of themselves, but combined and implemented consistently, it’s likely that they will improve your chances of a better commercial and financial future in the years to come.
1. Stay Informed
The security industry is a dynamic one, covered by various legislation, and operatives like you need to stay compliant with a variety of measures – which can change quite often. A comprehensive understanding of legislative changes, evolving technologies and industry trends is key to staying compliant – as well as positioning yourself for career success.
With the SIA changing guidance often on the requirements for different levels of licence holders, you need to keep abreast of the latest updates to make sure you stay compliant and retain your licence. Furthermore, if you have a specialist role within the industry, such as in events management, for instance, you may have further considerations from new legislation, such as the new Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, more commonly referred to as Martyn’s Law.
Staying aware in this way will not only bolster operational effectiveness, but also elevate your credibility as a security operative within the industry, making you more employable and helping to secure career progression. Someone who is proactive in gaining knowledge is always likely to progress further and faster than someone who does not…
2. Maintain Fitness
Staying fit is important for security operatives, as physical fitness directly correlates with your operational effectiveness and ability to respond swiftly and successfully to dynamic security challenges. In a demanding field like security, maintaining good physical condition ensures endurance, agility and strength – essential attributes for quick and decisive action in critical situations. Physical fitness will not only enhance your ability to handle the rigours of the job, but it also contributes to mental resilience, enabling clear thinking under intense pressure.
This can be tougher over the Christmas period. Lots of minced pies and alcohol for those who drink can be hard to avoid without missing out on valuable time with friends, colleagues and family – but can also leave you feeling sluggish when the New Year begins. Our advice on this is straightforward. While the above temptations will add to the waistline and perhaps leave you feeling a little lethargic, this is nothing too difficult to resolve. The more important thing is to stay physically active through the holiday period. Getting out on walks, playing sports or going to the gym where possible will keep you in pretty decent condition at the end of the festivities, and then you just need to up your work rate and reduce your calorie intake for the next couple of weeks and you will be as good as new.
A fit security operative can eject customers from hospitality venues, set up barriers at events or execute emergency response protocols with heightened efficiency. Beyond the practical advantages, a commitment to fitness sets a professional standard, projecting an image of discipline and dedication to the role. Ultimately, the importance of staying fit extends to personal wellbeing as well as effectiveness at your job. Improved mental health and confidence will also have you thanking yourself for keeping fit.
Remember – it’s not just about exercise. You also need to think about nutrition and hydration – and that means good food and plenty of water, avoiding ultra processed products as much as possible. And then on top of that, it’s about getting good sleep too, including cat naps throughout the day if you can find the time. Walking is also remarkably good for you too.
3. Get Networking
Networking is essential for success in the UK security industry, offering security operatives a host of benefits. Establishing and nurturing professional connections within the industry creates information exchange, providing valuable insights into emerging threats, best practices and evolving technologies. Through networking, security operatives get to access a collective pool of knowledge, enabling them to stay ahead of challenges and adapt to dynamic security landscapes.
Also, a robust professional network opens doors to career and collaboration opportunities, facilitating joint efforts in addressing security concerns. All of this will improve your operational effectiveness, as well as building your reputation within the sector and generating career opportunities. In London, you could look at joining the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals. Membership (and participation!) will do wonders for your professional prospects.
4. Continuous Training
There are the obvious training courses that need to be completed as a minimum to maintain your licensed status. But we advocate that you look beyond those and investigate advanced courses, so that you remain highly employable and improve your chances to progress. Some options include:
– Certified Security Management Professional (CSMP)
– Advanced Close Protection Operative (ACPO) Course
– Advanced First Aid
Advanced training equips operatives with specialised knowledge, allowing them to undertake more complex tasks and responsibilities with greater confidence. You are more likely to be hired and paid more through a marketplace platform like Surely if you do so.
These courses typically result in certifications or qualifications that validate an operative’s expertise, enhancing their professional credibility and opening doors to career advancement. Employers value continuous learners who stay abreast of industry developments, making operatives with advanced training more likely to secure promotions and leadership roles. Additionally, advanced training enhances problem-solving abilities and critical thinking, crucial attributes in the fast-paced and dynamic field of security.
Ultimately, a commitment to advanced training not only refines individual competencies, but also showcases a proactive approach to professional growth, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of the industry and poised for sustained success in your career.
5. Embrace Technology
Technology serves as a force multiplier, enhancing operational efficiency and response capabilities. Technological advancements provide operatives with tools for more accurate threat assessments, real-time monitoring and data-driven decision-making. Surveillance systems, biometric identification and access control technologies are integral in fortifying security protocols.
Staying on top of these will make you better in your role but will also position you as being a specialist within your company and/or security sector. Having advanced practical knowhow with the latest technology makes you a preferred choice for an employer looking to fill a position, be it freelance, contract or full time.
6. Professional Image
Maintaining a professional image is a must do for UK security professionals, and leveraging platforms like LinkedIn can significantly impact positively on your career success. Research indicates that profiles with a professional photo receive 14 times more views, highlighting the importance of a polished image in establishing credibility (LinkedIn, 2023). Security operatives can showcase their expertise, qualifications and accomplishments, creating a positive perception among peers and potential employers. Again, a platform like Surely, dedicated to professionalising the security operative marketplace, is a must-have solution for anyone wishing to stand out from the crowd. Of the 400,000 security operatives in the UK, we estimate that 25% fit into the category of being highly professional, with a further 200,000 being able to significantly improve their income and skills. Which category do you feel most closely reflects your skills, experience and passion?
A well-crafted profile on LinkedIn and Surely not only expands your professional networks, it also increases your visibility within the industry, enhancing opportunities for career advancement, extra pay and collaboration. Actively participating in relevant discussions and sharing insights will position a security professional as a thought leader, adding further value to their credentials. In an era where digital presence is integral to career growth, maintaining a professional image on platforms like LinkedIn and Surely is a strategic and commercial investment for UK security operatives.
7. Self-Care Investment
Self-care is very important for everyone, particularly those who work in the high pressure and stressful world of the security industry. Its importance is substantiated by overwhelming data sources showing good self-care correlating highly with significant improvement in satisfaction and performance.
Research indicates that individuals regularly practising self-care activities report higher levels of job satisfaction and engagement, leading to improved performance (HBR, 2023). Adequate self-care – including sufficient rest, exercise and downtime – contributes to reduced stress and improved mood, enhancing an operative’s ability to make sound decisions in high-pressure situations.
Moreover, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine links self-care practices to increased job enjoyment and reduced burnout among security professionals (JOEM, 2023) . Recognising the impact of self-care on mental and emotional wellbeing, organisations are increasingly incorporating wellness programs for security personnel.
For UK security operatives, prioritising self-care is not just a personal benefit but a strategic investment in sustaining a fulfilling, resilient and high-performing career.
If you’ve been feeling a little burnt out this year, perhaps your #1 New Year’s resolution should be to practise giving yourself a little more love and care. Food for thought…?
Implementing even a few of these tips consistently will, over time, deliver huge improvements. Make sure to give yourself a break when trying to make positive progress in your career, as things are never a linear path upwards. There are bound to be setbacks and challenges along the way, but with a positive mindset, determination and practicality, anything is possible and your career will flourish as a natural consequence.