It’s International Security Officer’s Day. At Bidvest Noonan, we want to take this special occasion to share the experiences of some of our colleagues in the industry to show what amazing people they truly are. Here, we’re sharing a few stories from some exemplary people in the business about what an average day in their life can be like. We take a little glimpse into the journeys of people to understand what inspired them to dedicate their careers to protecting others.
Marzena Jakubowicz :
Many people think that a security job is just sitting in a chair and looking at a monitor, but it is much more interesting than that. Every day is different, you never know what awaits you. I am very happy that I get to work with people, I can help them and take care of their safety. They are always so grateful for it. Sometimes, it can be dangerous. But the most important thing is teamwork, so the kind of people you have around you really makes all the difference.
I have been working in security for about 4 years. At first, I would only work at clubs on the weekends, but as time went on, I realised that I really enjoyed it and decided to work full time. This wasn’t out of character for me. Back in Poland, I attended a military school, so when I moved to the UK, working in security was something that I wanted to try.
This job has taught me patience, empathy, resilience, and problem-solving. Regardless of how small the matter is, you must always look for the most suitable solution for everyone involved.
Bidvest Noonan offers a lot of courses for people who want to get even better at being an officer. This is incredibly valuable because the company actively invests in their staff, prioritising our personal and professional development. It means that we always have room to grow.
About 2 months ago, I had the pleasure of taking part in the FPOSi advanced medic course with the aim of joining the Quick Response Team. It is a new position in our company, and I am very happy and grateful that I was offered this course. During this, I learned many useful things about first aid, which I can use not only on the job but in everyday life. I’m so pleased to say that I’m part of the QRT team and Bidvest Noonan.
As the day begins, I know that it’s going to be full of surprises because no two days are alike in this role. Having started as a security officer, I have really enjoyed my progression at Bidvest Noonan.
Arriving early gives me the opportunity to discuss the previous shifts and plan ahead. I always enjoy the handovers as they give me the opportunity to meet my colleagues who work other shifts and it gives us the time to discuss and share ideas.
After the handover, I prepare the daily rotation schedule before briefing my team. I am always ready when my officers turn up for their shifts, so I can welcome them and issue them with the equipment they need for the day.
After the briefing, I visit the estate management and the trades on-site, as it is always good to keep a good relationship with the client and the retail businesses.
I visit all positions and make sure that my officers are well prepared for their posts. I like to be friendly and approachable, so they are open to sharing any of their concerns. This is important, as I can provide support and deal with problems before they get escalated.
Usually, the security life in Battersea is busy considering the 25,000 footfall visitors, 30+ retail spaces, 2,300 parking facilities, and 3,000 residents living on the estate. Dealing with a day-to-day security operation of a large-scale estate can sometimes be challenging.
During the day, I get the opportunity to meet familiar faces and stop for a nice, quick chat with the residents. I know most of the people since they moved in 2017. I have never known any celebrities before but now, they are a part of my Battersea life. The estate feels like a big family, you cannot pass by without someone greeting you with a smile on their face.
Furthermore, I deal with different tasks from the client – accidents, and alarm activations on the estate. The most complicated incidents are easy to deal with, as the whole team works together to achieve the same goal.
Time goes by quickly. I close the day after completing paperwork and handing it over to the duty manager on the next shift.
Driving out of the estate, the team says goodbye. You look back on this the majestic power station on this beautiful estate, reminding you of the beautiful day that you leave behind.
My journey into security began in 1996 and it caught me by surprise. I was about 29 years old, and although I was working with the local council for about 10 years, I really wasn’t fulfilled in what I was doing.
I happened to see that people were wanted to cover a Golf Championship and I went for a job interview. This was my first security role and I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t a clue what to expect but with the training and experience I got, I grew to love what I do on a daily basis.
What I enjoy most in security is that no one day is the same as another, it’s forever changing and this keeps me motivated. I don’t like to be inactive, I like meeting and helping the client I work for and the public who shop in the store I’m in. Giving good customer service is key to any role for the client you work for, it’s also important to be approachable and listen to what the client needs from you.
On a typical day, I begin by finding out who the manager is for the day. I find out if there have been any incidents before I start as the store is open at 9 am and I start at 10 am. I have a quick catch-up for any security issues I need to know about before patrolling the back areas and stock room to log any health and safety issues.
I check that the CCTV is in working order and station myself in front of the store and watch for anything suspicious. Every hour, I do a patrol of all 3 floors. The biggest challenge of my role is how busy the store can actually get and you’re constantly looking for suspicious activities.
To be good at this job, you need to be approachable, vigilant, and have pride in your appearance. But most of all, it is important to love what you do. It’s not just about standing at a door, the job is what you make of it. The security industry is forever changing and you need to keep rolling with it to excel at what you do.
I’ve started my career in the security industry 22 years ago, and my first job in Security was to patrol a warehouse complex. I then ended up at font of house in the corporate world. After a few years, I was asked to be part of a supervisory team and became a security supervisor in a bank. I stepped down due to family commitments and went back to front-of-house duties. Now I work as part of the retail team assisting the client being involved in unit/tenant inspections, first aid, and anti-social behaviour incidents, assisting visitors and contractors, and public safety.
What I enjoy most about my career is the people I have met and the trust I have earned from colleagues and clients in keeping people and places safe. I have also very thankful for the responsibility and knowledge I’ve gained in those years in the security industry.
My job centres around relationships and customer service. I try and build a good relationship with all the tenants, clients, contractors, and the public and fulfill their needs in the best way I can. I believe that using the learnings of different trainings and experience gained are the most important things to build up a good rapport and go above and beyond to provide the best service to clients and the general public.
My shift involves a lot of organising and planning. Being experienced in the security industry, I need to make sure I stick to a routine and plan my day methodically. I have a lot of interaction with the client, public, and unit tenants. I survey units and carry out fire checks for the client. I assist with contractors in shop refits and vacant unit inspections, plus any day-to-day queries raised by tenants.
I am proud that I have helped implement a structured auditable system in place, with the client relying on the work I do, the tenants are very happy with my interaction with them and find me approachable.
I believe that any candidate for a security officer role would need to be able to plan and execute a tried and tested system, keep up with innovation, provide excellent customer service, be able to interact with people, show empathy, and work with them to achieve their goals.
My day starts early in the morning on a Monday. That’s when I put my work face on. Since I’ve not been on site all weekend, I check reports, make sure all the phones, radios and tablets have been charged, check for any missing keys and make sure that the CCTV and other systems are working.
We get the office ready for any visitors. If you are in the area, you’ll overhear me howling a ‘good morning’ to the half-asleep tenants arriving or to the regular shoppers and dog walkers that pass by. It is great to have contact with different walks of life with different stories to tell. A majority of the visitors who come in first thing in the morning to our site love to stop and have a chat, it’s a big part of the job because sometimes people just need someone to talk to.
With the computer fired up, I catch up on emails and start managing the contractors and visitors that turn up at the beginning of the day. During my walkarounds, I check for any faults or incidents. You hit your 10,000 steps well before lunchtime!
Back at the office, I have a cup of tea with the site cleaner and make sure he’s happy. The local Police team usually pops in at this time and we catch up and report any issues.
During the day you never know what awaits you. I usually deal with different incidents from shoplifting to first aid emergencies and missing persons. In the last few hours, I take one last walk and make sure all the reported issues are under control. Eventually, I head back to the office and pack up to leave.
I’ve been doing this for 17 years and I wouldn’t change it for the world.