You often hear about the huge Protective Details and the Jet-Setting lifestyle that comes with it. The reality of this is actually very uncommon. Getting on a full time detail is one of the most competitive things you will ever attempt to accomplish. The market is saturated with an incredibly large talent pool that even a small work-place violence detail becomes competitive.
Some of the things you can do to stand out are as follows.
1. "Keep your resume alive"- I have wrote about this before, and can't stress it enough. You always have to be continuing your training or moving forward in your career development. There are a LOT of great EP Schools out there, but don't confine yourself to just one. Most will have some sort of Alumni Association, which means more contacts and more opportunities for you. The reality is they can be very expensive. Employers realize this, so one way to make yourself stand out, and "Keep that Resume Alive" is FEMA courses. You can sign up for them online at no charge and at least it shows, you are trying to stay current in the Industry and improve on yourself and skill-set personally.
2. Social Networking- If you are not on board, then you need to be. There are a number of Social Networking Groups out there in which active discussions are underway. I know plenty of professionals in the industry who stay clear of Facebook. They are obviously smarter than me, because I can not count the times on how many people have been suspended or fired because of Facebook (Myself included). But there is nothing wrong with creating a work profile in which you can utilize to access the Social Media Groups. I love LinkedIn, however I d0 not get involved with any of the forums on the site. I will write my post and immediately share it to FB. So much easier and a lot more followers. If you do engage in a topic, then read over anything you are posting, then read it again. Then have someone smarter than you read it. Once you hit post, everyone is going to see it and will then start pointing out every grammatical error you put out. I can't tell you how many times, I have read a post about someone looking to get into the Industry and the first response is a smart-ass post stating, "take some English lessons". Remember, your face is everything, so look at your profile picture, privacy settings, because any future employer is going to check. If you are the guy bragging about snorting Coke off a dead hookers ass, your probably NOT going to get the job or ever taken seriously. (I check out everyone's FB Page) And do not get into arguments in a forum. Make sure you stay professional and if you are not sure, throw that... IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) annotation out there.
3. If you are serious about being in the Industry, start an LLC or a Corporation. Get an Accountant and he will assist you with what is best for you. Bottom line is, 90% of the jobs in this Industry, you will be a Contractor or Sub-Contractor and will be 1099'd out at the end of the year. Nothing worse than coming to the realization that you owe taxes and Social Security on earned income because your employer didn't take anything out. Otherwise, plan on putting 20% aside on all income that comes in. You gotta pay the man!
4. Stay Professional. There are a number of Professionals out there that have their own companies, but do "Sub-Work". You may even have your own website with a personalized email address. When someone decides to throw you some work, they are counting on you to represent them in the most professional way possible. This is NOT an opportunity for you to start networking on site for future business. This in NOT your client. This is the Vendors client in which he put faith in you to deliver a competent product to his client. Keep a gmail account if you need to email your Principal before he arrives into town. I have done this many of times in which I email the Principal to confirm a flight itinerary, always cc'ing the vendor, and switch over to my Professional email when contacting the Hotel's Manager and Director of Security to confirm everything is on track for our arrival; and then of course a "Thank you" note at the end of the detail for all of their assistance on making the detail a success. Please do not ever email anyone in the Industry with a private email account such as "Deatht2Haji69@hotmail.com" or anything else like that. Remember in today's day and age, and email being such a popular contact tool, it will be scrutinized.... heavily and it will be a direct reflection as to how the vendor perceives you to be.
5. New to the Industry, then decide your worth. Do not put yourself too high, because the reality is that a lot of guys get into this business and NEVER get a Protective assignment. They turn away the little work, thinking it is beneath them, and in the end... Everyone needs to start somewhere. Depending on your location, you may want to apply with a local security company. Complete your due diligence, and make sure they also advertise for Executive Protection. Go to your interview, make sure they know your goal is to work EP, but be ready to accept what ever position they offer. A lot of companies use low level assignments to vet their potential EP guys. And when you are working that uniformed position at the local grocery store, make sure you are constantly thinking about your end game... A Position working Executive Protection!
6. NDA's and Non-Competes..... READ THEM!!! I recently received a Non-Compete that stated by signing, I could never work EP Work, Perform Private Investigations, Security Consulting, Training, basically all the things I specialize in. I contacted the Vendor and simply stated, I can not sign that. I am a sub-contractor and should this N/C be enforced it could put me out of business. Come to find out, the N/C was for their internal use for employees and it was simply sent to me by mistake. I have sent contracts and N/C's back a few times to have them revised. Each time, it was always met with a "No Problem", we will adjust it and all was good. Do not ever be afraid to challenge something that is in writing that will effect your livelihood.
To all that are thinking about getting into the Industry, I hope this post is insightful and for those already in it..... Stay Safe, and always watch your 6. The EP Industry can be the most cut throat, back stabbing entity of the Industry.