It is true that working in the private security industry can be a tough job. Working conditions are really bad in some areas. However, the situation also varies significantly from company to company. It is not uncommon for a change to offer better career opportunities, the chance to gain new experience and a more comfortable working environment.
Step 1: Analyse the situation carefully!
It is important to know what the causes of their own dissatisfaction are and know your own motivators. Analyse the reasons for dissatisfaction: Identify exactly what makes you unhappy. Is it the working environment, the tasks, the team, the remuneration or the corporate culture? The better you understand the causes, the easier it will be to find a solution.
Often the private environment also plays a role or a change in personal needs. Therefore, also consider these aspects in your analysis!
Step 2: Think through your options and weigh them up!
A next step would be a Brainstorming and research regarding the options available:
What are my chances? How high are the risks? What happens if…? etc.
Many of the following options cost No money, only overcoming. However, some options are quite time-consuming and cost-intensive or even lengthy.
- Find out about your rights: Make sure you are aware of your rights as an employee in the private security industry. This includes things like minimum wage, working time laws, holiday entitlements and overtime rules. If you know your rights, you can ensure that your employer respects them.
- Talk to your employer: If you are dissatisfied with your pay or working conditions, you should tell your employer. Perhaps an open discussion can help bring about improvements. Perhaps your employer can also offer you opportunities to train or specialise to improve your career prospects and opportunities.
- Change the field of activity (within the company): The private security industry is multifaceted. Many private security providers offer different services. Maybe another field is better suited for you. Talk to your supervisor about it, apply internally for another job. Sometimes an internal transfer to another area of responsibility helps.
- Join the union: In Germany, there are trade unions that stand up for the rights of workers — for the guarding service, this is the Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di). If you become a member, you can benefit from their collective bargaining power and fight together with other workers for better working conditions and higher wages.
- Search for further training opportunities: If you continue your education or specialise, you can improve your career prospects and often earn significantly higher wages. Think about what additional qualifications could be helpful for your job and look for appropriate training opportunities. You will have more options for action afterwards and be more in demand.
- Network with othersMany job opportunities come about through recommendations and personal contacts. In addition, contact with others offers the opportunity to exchange experiences. If you have a strong network, this can help one gain new perspectives. In addition to personal exchange, online platforms such as Xing or Linkedin are recommended.
- Look for another employer: If all the above steps do not lead to improvements, it may be wise to look for another employer. There are certainly companies in the private security industry that offer better working conditions and higher wages.
- Last but not least: Do it better and start your own business! Of course, this step should be very well thought out. It is often an option to become self-employed on the side and thus start gradually with less risk. However, remember that your previous employer must play along. One possibility could be, for example, freelance work as a lecturer in the security industry.
Step 3: Set your personal goals!
Only if you know as precisely as possible what you want to achieve can you work towards it in a concrete way. In order to motivate oneself, it is very sensible to Write down and visualise your own goals. It can also be helpful to use the so-called SMART rule to set one’s own goals.
The SMART rule is an acronym used as a guide for the Formulation of clear and well-defined goals serves. It helps to formulate goals in such a way that they are realistic and achievable. The SMART rule stands for the following criteria:
- Specific (Specific): The goal should be clearly and precisely formulated so that there is little room for interpretation and one is fully aware of one’s goal.
- Measurable (Measurable): The goal should be measurable so that progress can be monitored and success objectively assessed. It can be defined by quantitative or qualitative indicators.
- Executable (Achievable): The goal should be achievable. It should be challenging but achievable by you with the means available.
- Realistic (Realistic): The goal should be realistic, i.e. it should be possible to implement it as intended under the actual given framework conditions.
- Terminated (Time-bound): The goal should have a clear time frame by when it should be achieved. A clear deadline promotes motivation and focus on achieving the goal.
Here is an example of a goal formulated according to the SMART rule:
Non-SMART goal: I want to earn more money.
SMART goal: I would like to increase my monthly income by 20% by completing a further training course to become a certified protection and security worker in the next six months and then being employed by my employer directly.
By applying the SMART rule, the goal becomes concrete, measurable, achievable, relevant and has a clear timeframe. This increases the likelihood that you will successfully achieve your goal.
Step 4: Make a “battle plan” to achieve your goals!
Now it’s time for implementation planning. Plan the measures that contribute to your goals, e.g.:
- When do I talk to my boss about better pay? Ask for a talk, send appointment suggestions!
- What do other companies offer? Research job offers!
- What do I earn after further training? Check the collective agreement that applies to you!
- How much time can I set aside to further my education? Talk to your partner about your plans!
- Does my idea for self-employment work? Work out a business plan!
- How much will upgrading training cost me? Find out about costs and state subsidies!
- How have other colleagues done it? Network and exchange ideas!
It often makes sense to approach different approaches in parallel and also to have a plan B (and plan C).
Prioritise your goals! Link the different actions to your goals. Make calendar entries and work in a focused way to achieve intermediate goals and milestones!
Don’t let setbacks throw you off track! Stay persistent, focused and positive!
I hope that these tips will help you to improve your individual situation.