The CPP Market is a small sector within the broader Private Security Industry and globally. While it may be one of the most glorified and attractive sectors of the market, it is also one of the smallest.
CPP Tasks can range from one-hour supported airport transfers that Security Drivers undertake to multiple layers that larger teams perform. They comprise Residential Security, Corporate Security, and Mobile CPP Teams, etc.
Alternatively, CPP Tasks can be single operations carried out over intense periods of global travel.
All Shades of the CPP Market
From the outside looking in, those intending to break into CPP may see the limousine rides, the trips in private jets, and the passport-filling tours. Also, they may notice the glamorous photos in mass media and the fancy hotels and restaurants.
The higher average salary may attract the newbies, compared with the smaller monetary gain in the larger part of the Private Security Industry. They may think it’s a natural transition after a career in government service.
Don’t get me wrong: I have had some amazing and unique experiences resulting from my chosen profession. While this impression of the role of a Protection Agent will make many seasoned professionals roll their eyes or smirk knowingly, it leads to a flooded market.
Sometimes, when scrolling social media groups dedicated to the industry, it seems every single person from every single defense force in the world has suddenly become a CPP Operator. Apart from that, it looks like every Security Officer that has been in the same postcode as a celebrity is suddenly in Celebrity Protection.
So, with the floodgates open and competition for limited spots growing by the day, how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you ensure that you get the interview, that networking meeting, or that first opportunity to impress?
If you are coming from government service, the chances are that you already have connections to the industry. Almost certainly, one of your previous colleagues will be on the circuit and can point you in the right direction. This will, of course, be pending your performance in your last role(s) and the respect you gained in service.
How the CPP Market Is Different
If you’re in this category, you must remember that the Private CPP World is not the military or the police force. As such, while you will likely have many transferrable skills, you are not instantly an expert. In fact, no one in the market owes you a job.
Let’s say you are coming from the Private Security Industry. Having worked in entertainment venues, corporate buildings, or major events, you may have insight into CPP Operations.
You may have assisted a CP Team with a VIP Movement. Perhaps you provided crowd management at an event that a high-profile individual attended. You may have assisted a CP Agent with an Advance in your area of operations, or you may have provided security at a hotel that high-profile guests frequent.
Alternatively, you may never have interacted with this market sector at all. If you are in this category, you must remember that the Private CPP World is related to but not the same as other market sectors.
Suppose you are coming from outside the industry or a directly relatable industry. In that case, the chances are that to be successful, you will have to work your way through other areas of the security industry before undertaking a serious role with CPP.
A Few Traits of Professional Candidates
As an employer in the CPP Market, my primary focus when considering candidates for employment is whether they will deliver the required service.
The service needs to be in line with company standards. The candidates also need to contribute to a positive working and commercial environment.
As the co-owner or a registered veteran-owned business and as someone with a law-enforcement background, I certainly understand and appreciate the value of those who have been through government systems.
There are so many reasons to consider hiring veterans. Some of them include their levels of training, work ethic, leadership ability, and operational experience. As a security industry advocate in my region, I positively understand and appreciate that many who have come through the private sector have gained valuable skills and experience to see them succeed in the CPP space.
Career Planning and Execution
The first step to commencing a successful career in the CPP Space is to ensure that you genuinely understand the space you are entering. What are the priorities for employers, clients, and principals? The second is to identify the licensing and qualification requirements you will need in your jurisdiction to ensure that you are compliantly hirable.
The third step is to identify what training you will need coming into the industry and with what ongoing training you will have to keep up. This may differ in expectation from one jurisdiction to another. Lastly, once you have ticked all these boxes, start networking.
Networking these days is much easier than it once was. There are so many social media groups dedicated to the industry. Fantastic resources are available via podcasts and YouTube channels that focus mainly on this topic. In a nutshell:
- Follow content leaders and listen to what they have to say,
- Identify those that appear on content as expert voices, and follow credible groups wherever you can find them,
- Join reliable industry associations and make sure you go to their events in person,
- Attend conferences, seminars, and training programs, and make sure you leave knowing the names and roles of everyone there,
- Begin to engage with these people via LinkedIn, via association groups, or ethically obtained contact details.
Once you have identified those you want to connect and engage with, begin by speaking about their content or an industry-related topic. Introduce yourself and be honest and humble. Ask questions, tap their brains, engage in meaningful and mutual conversation, and build rapport.
More Helpful Advice
The process may seem frustratingly slow. However, by completing all the steps above, you put yourself on the correct radars in the CPP Market. Thereby, you can find ways to demonstrate your attitude, aptitude, and industry knowledge without having to push yourself in a short and formal interview.
This approach limits the need for you to have to enter the realm of shameless self-promotion. When you have built the connections, you can begin to turn them into opportunity. Either one of them is advertising, and you will have a leg up as they are already familiar with you. Or you can directly ask if any opportunities may suit your skills and experience.
Remember that if they don’t hire you immediately, you must not burn the bridge. Actually, they may come back to you at any time if you have left a good impression. When you identify someone you really want to work for or with, take offers as they come.
In Conclusion on the CPP Market
It’s important to remember that your first opportunity may not be precisely the one you wanted. No matter your experience, you can expect new team members to commence support tasks such as Hotel Security, Driver of a Secondary or Tertiary Vehicle, Admin/Logistical Support, etc.
The worst thing you can do if you haven’t got a firm name in the market is to suggest that you are too good for the position they are offering. Particularly, if it is a short-term task.
It is common and essential for employers to see how you integrate into a team with a low-risk role. Moreover, it is also imperative that you are honest about your experience, capabilities, and confidence in each position.
Ask for any support you need on a task but don’t oversell something you cannot deliver. Remember that entry to the private CPP Market is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you secure a role you cannot excel at, you may make money off that one task, but it may significantly limit your future opportunities and earning capacity. The CPP World is exceedingly small – globally! And everyone talks.
The reputation you establish will follow you either positively or negatively.