The duties of a security guard require constant vigilance. Individuals need to stay focused on an ongoing basis, sometimes over the course of long hours. During that time, people may need direction. Incidents can occur that leave the security guard feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. More so, the security guard can find themselves needing to deal with the everyday stress of enforcing rules and protecting property. Security companies in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia often service clients who are very demanding in environments that can be challenging. Whether you are a security company supervisor managing a force of security guards or you are an individual security guard trying to protect the security company that you work for and its clients, one thing is for sure. You will need to find a way to beat the occasional stress of the job. We recently had an officer working a security detail in Baltimore,MD that requested assistance dealing with stress. We were glad that he was brave enough to ask. With that in mind, here are some tips for managing stress as a security guard.
Learn to Spot Stress
Many security guards go about their job on a day-to-day basis without thinking about the pressure they face. In fact, some don’t realize there is a problem until it becomes intense. Learning to spot the buildup of pressure is important. To do so consider these tips:
- Notice when your moods change. Stop and consider why. A sure sign of stress occurs when an individual is faced with the feeling of agitation without being able to pinpoint why.
- Notice the way you talk to people. Are you willing to stop and listen or do you become annoyed quickly? This can be an indication of stress building up. Speaking in a calm manner makes both you and the person that you are addressing calmer.
- Do you find yourself dreading the same types of activities that you have been managing before? If all of a sudden you hate your job or dread going to work, that can be an indication of stress.
Once you recognize that stress is there, you should do something about it before it has an adverse impact on you or someone else. Everyone’s tolerance level is different, but everyone faces stress from time to time.
Steps to Managing Stress
What do you do when you find that things are getting intense? Don’t ignore what’s happening. Instead, take the action to do something about it.
- Communicate the way you are feeling to your supervisor or human resources manager. Ask for recommendations on how to reduce or better manage the stress of the job.
- Take a break. Get away from the scenario that’s causing the stress. In the meantime, consider why it is happening and take the time to refocus on your career and its benefits. Learning why you are doing the job and focusing on the good it does can make all of the difference.
- Sometimes it is best to request to be transferred to a different position or location. There can be times when the stress of your current location or position are difficult for you to manage to the point the best option for you is to make a change. In those cases, a change of location or job duties may be the best choice. In other situations, you may need to switch to work for security companies that service the area that is a better fit for your stress management ability.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Everyone deals with stress, job fatigue and even a lack of confidence. Time, support, and communication can often help to reduce these risks.
- Consider traumatic stress. Though rare, in some cases security guards have life-threatening experiences when engaging suspects. These experiences can result in high stress. When stress levels are so high that you cannot seem to focus, and it’s impacting your family and life outside of work, you need to do something about it right away. Ask for help.
Everyone faces occasional stress when incidents occur while working as a security guard. By staying aware of how you are feeling and asking for help, security guards can stay effective in the face of stressful situations.