Unhap­py in your job: What opti­ons do you have as a secu­ri­ty guard?

Unhappy in your job: What options do you have as a security guard?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Exe­cu­ta­ble (Achie­va­ble): The goal should be achie­va­ble. It should be chal­len­ging but achie­va­ble by you with the means available.
  4. Rea­li­stic (Rea­li­stic): The goal should be rea­li­stic, i.e. it should be pos­si­ble to imple­ment it as inten­ded under the actu­al given frame­work conditions.
  5. 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.:

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.