From Scratch to Security Supervisor in One Year
Student Success Story: Zillah Blair
ASSET graduate Zillah Blair started her journey towards her security career last year after the lockdowns forced her to close the doors on her home nail and beauty business. In just one year Zillah has gone from security career curious to full-time security supervisor.
Prior to studying security Zillah ran a successful home nails and beauty salon.
The COVID lockdowns were a rough time for businesses everywhere but small ‘non-essential’ businesses such as Zillah’s were among the worst hit.
“Unfortunately, I had to shut my salon down last year due to an extensive lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic. I needed to earn a living, and this was the opportunity to launch myself into a new career.”
Zillah tells ASSET this career path had always intrigued her.
“I’ve always had an interest in border security but discovered the course was quite lengthy and due to the urgency of needing an income and a qualification that could see me working sooner rather than later, I chose security; completing both my Cert ll Security Operations and Cert ll Transport Security Protection.”
Once she had a goal in mind it was a case of doing her research and finding the right training organisation for her needs. Zillah says ASSET came highly recommended.
“I spoke at length with a family friend who was working in airport security and had also trained at ASSET. He highly recommended the training provided and the assistance given by ASSET to it’s graduates to find employment.”
Zillah wasn’t shy with her praise for the processes and the trainers at Asset College.
“The training was exceptional. I was a primary school teacher in a previous life and I had the pleasure of having Lynn Meecham as my trainer for both of my courses. She provided us with detailed, explicit and pertinent training with her trademark enthusiasm and gusto, demonstrating a great passion for the industry, regularly citing real-life experiences and examples to further enhance the training. I have already recommended ASSET to many as THE place to train for a career in security.”
Zillah had the training, the licence, and the drive. Now it was a case of finding the right role for her, and our business development team had a little something to do with that.
“I was fortunate enough to be given my first security job soon after graduating from ASSET. In fact, it was the team at ASSET who recommended me for the position being advertised.”
The new position gave her the flexibility to continue running her salon in the daytime while building up her experience and reputation in the security industry.
“I joined a fabulous security company as a casual employee at first. I worked across 2 sites as a static guard, one of the positions entailed working in a gatehouse for a major client. Within 2 months, I was working a regular 38-hour week doing the nightshift roster at the gatehouse. This was fantastic for me as it allowed me to also continue to work in my home salon during the day.”
And soon it was more than just a casual position.
“At the beginning of July this year, I became a full-time permanent staff member and only last week was promoted to Site Security Supervisor at the gatehouse. Having owned my business and having had staff myself, it was so lovely to be recognised and appreciated for my diligence and commitment to the job not only by my employer but also by the client.”
Zillah kept in touch with her ASSET trainer Lynn as many graduates do and Lynn was so excited to hear the news.
“I remember Lynn telling me during my training that one day; I’d make a great supervisor! She was excited when I told her of my promotion.”
Zillah’s story is an inspiration to anyone wanting to move into the security industry. We asked Zillah for some tips for aspiring security guards, and she delivered.
Zillah’s tips for anyone wanting to embark on studies for a security career:
- Be on time – for classes/interviews/roster.
- Be prompt – in responding to calls/emails/messages.
- Demonstrate a high level of professionalism – appearance/diligence/show an interest/ask questions/own your mistakes.
- Good organisational ability – time management/readiness for the job at hand/furthering education and skill base.
- Listen actively and attentively – in class/on the job/to your colleagues, employer, and client.
- Communicate clearly (both verbally and non-verbally) – when speaking or writing/during handovers/dealing with the public, client, colleagues.
- Accuracy and detail – when observing/note taking/ report writing/speaking.
- Pride – be proud of your abilities and experiences and take pride in your chosen career to aim high and continue to achieve and learn, get out of the comfort zone.
- ENJOY & EMBRACE – every opportunity offered/experienced.