Aren't You A Little Short For A Security Guard

Aren't You A Little Short For A Security Guard

Hey Dan! I'm only 5 feet tall. Would I make a good security guard?

Being 5 foot tall doesn't mean that you couldn't excel at your job as a security guard. There are so many things that go into the job, the vast majority of which are not physical, that just about anyone can do it, if they go into it with the right attitude.

A big part of being a security guard is being there for deterrence, if you aren't blind, you can definitely do that. Before I got my first security job I worked customer service in a retail environment, part of my job would be to just go around and walk the aisles with my vest on. There was a lot of downtime during the day and we weren't really supposed to just stand around. My manager told us that just by being seen, we are both available quickly for customers who might need help, and deterring shoplifters who might otherwise try to steal our merchandise.

We didn't have security guards stationed at the front of the store, but we usually had one who would come out of the loss prevention room for about half of the day and just chat with the managers on duty. The store I worked in was about average for the number of people we stopped for shoplifting per day, and they assumed they might have only caught maybe half of the people doing it.

Another store with roughly the same amount of sales per year started cutting back on their staff to the point where there wasn't really any downtime for them, they were always carrying something, or were in the back, or the warehouse, anywhere but out on the floor. They saw a massive increase in attempted shoplifting over the span of 3 months. Once corporate got wind of it, they sent someone to the store to investigate and found the problem right away: the general manager was cutting labor to the point where shoplifters figured nobody was around to see them.

It ended up getting the manager of the store demoted and he left the company soon after.

Just having the presence of a security guard, and not just a regular employee walking around, does even more to eliminate people stealing. It is the uniform. You could be 6'4 and built like a weightlifter, or 5'0 and relatively frail, and it would still have the desired effect for the store owners. They see your uniform and they know you have your eye on them.

Another big part of being a security guard is just being aware of what is going on. If you're like me chances are, you probably aren't going to have to intervene physically with people very often unless you are bouncing at a bar. What you will have to do is make sure that people don't get the idea that they have free reign of the place where you work and try something they shouldn't. It things turn physical you've pretty much lost control of the situation at that point.

Anyone can learn a few self-defense techniques and choke holds, but it doesn't matter how big you are, if someone catches you off guard, they are either going to be getting away with stolen goods, committing a crime against someone else, or incapacitating you physically. This makes being vigilant more important than just about anything else when employers look for qualities in a security guard. Someone who can spot a troublemaker and move to stop them before they cause major problems will be valued much more than the big guy who looks intimidating but has his eyes on his cellphone constantly instead of being on the lookout for issues.

Sure, being 5 feet tall will keep you out of a few security guard positions where you would have to handle dangerous people constantly. A security guard at a department store rarely has to fight someone, and even if they did, the police are called and arrive within minutes. When was the last night you saw a security guard tackling anyone in Best Buy or restraining someone at Nordstrom? Pretty much never. How you handle yourself is far more important than how you handle your fists more often than not.

The main thing to take away from this is that your height certainly isn't going to stop you from being a security guard if it is really what you want to do. I'm a short woman myself and I feel relatively comfortable working in most security guard positions though most of my day these days is dealing with paperwork. On the loss prevention side of the job iit is all about keeping your eye on the TV monitors.

Apply to as many security guard positions that you can if you want to break into the field. Interviewers are always going to size you up while they talk to you, and while they may see that you are small in stature, if you demonstrate the fact that you can do the job well, and that you are willing to learn, someone is going to give you a chance. Speaking confidently in an interview is key if you are short, since it will inspire confidence in the person doing the hiring that you would be a great fit for the job.

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