Most people can’t handle high-pressure environments and having to be continually on their toes. But then those people certainly dont have “executive protection agent” as their job title. Similarly, when you think of agents, you likely have an image of a James Bond-like figure on your mind.
Not intending to crush your deeply held beliefs, executive protection agents are so much more diverse and versatile than that. Apart from constantly being calm – or at least pretending to be, and showing they have everything under control, these guys need to be able to convince everybody that they don’t look kindly upon any disruption or disturbance.
Always perfectly dressed, with black sunglasses and a sleek look, and stunningly well-trained in tactical mobility, EP might seem like the dream job you have been looking for since you were a kid watching thrillers on Netflix. Or whatever platform was around back then.
Rarely mentioned, still, are the unfortunate downsides, which we’ll also dig into in this short article.
Whether you believe that this is something for you or not, here are a few of the principal steps to becoming an executive protection agent.
Get the Proper Training First
Like any other job, this one requires you to possess some soft and hard skills to be successful at it. Frequently referred to as the best and worst job on the planet, EP implies that you need to specialize in specific fields.
These may include:
- Hand-to-hand combat
- Fluency in Microsoft Office applications
- Perimeter security
- Ground transportation security
- CCTV services
- Journey management
- Risk assessment
- Corporate security
There is a whole bunch of state-of-the-art courses out there, both online and offline. So, if you’re looking to become an executive protection agent, you don’t have too many excuses: the knowledge is out there. You just need to grab it.
Of course, having common transferable skills from your previous career is advantageous. But there is no substitute for an intense EP training program.
Aside from that, you need to get a license to stand out and master the basics of EP – advance and operational work, to be even considered for an entry-level position in the industry.
Courage and Determination
Being tough and a genuine badass is oftentimes the norm in people’s heads when they think about this type of employment. Yet, the crucial factor for anyone wanting to get a job in the sector indicates that you must be courageous, determined, and in excellent physical and mental shape to complete all your work-related tasks.
Therefore, maintain high mental discipline, character, teamwork, be mature in judgment, and have a burning desire to perform. These are the qualities of a professional executive protection agent. Its also what separates those who roll up their sleeves and act from those who don’t.
Manifest Leadership Skills
When we think of leaders, we usually imagine politicians or military commanders, but this is taking a narrow view of the vast spectrum of leadership. Close or executive protection agents are also leaders because they tend to operate in groups and have subordinates and colleagues they always work with nearby.
Usually, clients don’t hire a single bodyguard, but they onboard between 3 and 10 people tasked with protecting them. And handling the sheer size of such teams takes many hours of training and steadfast work.
Simultaneously managing people and work tasks, while proving you are a devout head of the team make up only the tip of the iceberg of this on-demand job opportunity.
So, prepare to lead others and yourself, where self-leadership is defined as the practice of individual accountability.
Technical and Equipment Know-How
Executive protection agents are kings in the realm of general knowledge because they have a broad range of skills and expertise.
Exploring the job’s nitty-gritty can be a daunting task since it involves knowing about stuff. You have to know about things like software, cameras, emergency breath systems, drones, survival toolboxes, and a ton of other elements.
Essentially, everything from a needle to an anchor, and it’s all important.
Acknowledge that EP is Not for Everyone
You don’t have to be a mastermind to realize that EP is not for everybody.
Contrary to the Hollywood-hype, EP work is done under a systematic and established procedure mode, conducted by a controlled form of behavior.
It’s done using practical methods aligned with a plan to keep the client and EP team safe.
You Don’t Matter, Your Clients Matter
One of the more prominent characteristics of the job is that you stop incessantly thinking about yourself. You exclusively ponder the client’s concerns, like their minute-to-minute physical safety and getting them safely where they are going.
Everyone has their own personal issues and problems, and EP agents should keep those to themselves.
Therefore, remember to keep the relationship professional, and not personal. Even in case you get a baby or something terrible happens to you personally.
Your Normal vs. Professional Life
Nothing is ordinary in the experience of an EP agent.
Living an affluently alongside a client can be quite a devastating thing once you get back home. As soon as you return, there is no more fine dining, fancy cars, and you can forget about the opulent lifestyle altogether.
It’s apparent by now that it takes a distinct mindset and a very particular skill set to master the art of becoming a close protection agent.
Hopefully, you haven’t been intimidated by the downsides or overtly encouraged by the job’s positive aspects mentioned above.
Remember that the people who never succeed in anything all share a single distinguishing trait: they know all the reasons for failure. Whatever the ultimate truth may be, if you are looking to thrive as an executive protection agent, simply try to:
- Get the proper training (and licensing)
- Be a dependable, courageous, and determined leader, and
- Never compare your personal to your professional life
Every single day of EP work is unique. Naturally, there are recurring tasks. But every new day brings new problems to be solved, making up your mind as you go, and improvising in the heat of the moment.
Oh, and don’t forget that there are many more pros and cons to the job, but we fished out the ones you will likely find most enticing and useful.