Private Investigations and Personal Security/Professional Development

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Question
Hello Mr. Draper,

By your stats, you seem to be the person I would shadow to help further develop my career. I am currently working on a BA in Homeland Security and majoring in Security Management. I am locatd in Virginia. I am researching my career map and would be honored if you could answer a few questions for me. This will get me going in the right direction once I go back to Texas.
1. How did you begin your career?
2. What are the rewards/challenges/frustrations of your work?
3. What kinds of decisions do you make?
4. What steps would you recommend that I take to prepare to enter this field?
5. Are you a family man and how does your job affect your family?
6. What are the higher paying jobs in Security Management?

Any help or advice that could help me out would be greatly appreciated. I am a family man and I want to protect my family the best I can and I want to be a great leader in my future field. Thank you for your time in advance.
         Very Respectfully,
         Carlos

Answer
Hi Carlos,
I am based in Australia, but have project experience in a number of countries, so you should take this into account with my answers below.

1. I came to security through an initial career in electronics.  It was an evolution, rather than a chosen path.  After about 10 years in the industry I actually realised I knew a reasonable amount about security technology, but wasn't seeing the big picture and I actually regard that as the decision point where I sought a career in security management.

2. The biggest rewards are from the variety of projects and people you get to meet. It's cliché, but seeing that things can change to make a difference.  The challenges relate to having clients understand the difference between what we do and someone just spotting vulnerabilities.  Frustrations come mainly from seeing corners cut by others and clients not being well enough informed to understand... and of course through fees being undercut.

3.  The decisions I make are many and varied - the main ones relate to what recommendations to make after completing a review.  There are commercial decisions, but by and large the project related ones are the ones that need to be highly defensible, and can even change government policy.

4.  Study - find a mentor that you can work with - practice your skills.  If you can demonstrate that you truly understand how to apply the theory in different contexts, you will be highly valuable.  I don't know what is in your course, but become proficient at report writing.

5.  Yes, I have a family and this is the tough part.  I travel over 200 days a year and work on projects where I cannot say what I am doing.  There is no direct risk to my family through what I do, other than as a result of my death.  Risk management is the business, so we must manage our own risks first.

6.  I don't know the answer to this in the USA. My guess would be in areas such as pharmaceuticals, mining, bio-research.   

I hope this helps - good luck!

Very best regards,


Rick

Private Investigations and Personal Security

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Rick Draper

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I can answer questions about Security Risk Analysis and Physical Security Reviews; Security Risk Management Planning; Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design; Forensic Security Analysis and “Expert Witness” Reports; Security Systems Design and Review (CCTV, Detection Systems, Information Security, Access Control, Security and Architectural Hardware); Security Awareness Programs; Security Risk Management Training, and Professional Development.

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Clients include cash handling facilities, financial institutions, parliament buildings, schools, offices, universities, health care facilities, railway stations, heritage buildings, health insurer, transport interchanges, pharmaceuticals manufacturer, warehousing facilities, libraries, critical sites, and government buildings.

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