Exclusive: Security from around the world – Part 1

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In the first of a new series, Matthew Porcelli, CPP speaks with members of the ASIS International Lagos, Nigeria Chapter #206 who share their personal, regional insights and expertise for success for young security professionals in the Nigerian private sector:

  • Peter Okoloh, CPP – ASIS Lagos Chapter Chair
  • Jegede Famous, APP – Strategic Intelligence Analyst

What obstacles have you faced as a young security professional in Nigeria? (Peter)

One of the obstacles I faced as a young security professional in Nigeria was building my self-esteem and seeing the security job as a profession not just a meal ticket, as people consistently look down on security guards as nonentities. I had to personally develop myself to stand out to demystify that perception. This has helped to push the profile of the private security industry in Nigeria to some level of professionalism, though a lot still needs to be done to make it better.  

What are your recommendations for young security professionals to overcome these obstacles? (Peter)

Surround yourself with people who will add value to you. I really believe this helped me a great deal. At periods when I second-guessed myself, I had champions on my side of the field.

  • Never feel bad for that employer/boss who does not know your worth. Or who intentionally tries to dim your shine. Just do what you need to do and do it well.
  • Do not limit yourself. Nothing is impossible. Just put in that little effort. 1% daily improvement will always count at the end of the day
  • When looking for a job, always ask what they think about self-development. It goes a long way.
  • Never allow people to frustrate your dreams. It’s called “your dreams” not “their dreams”.
  • It’s called “Sacrifice” for a reason. Be ready to sacrifice a few things. I definitely did.

What obstacles have you faced as a young security professional in Nigeria? (Jegede)

·         Exposure to the security industry is relatively low because most people feel you must be ex-military or a retired law enforcement officer before one can operate within the security industry.

·         It’s also hard to get job opportunities because most companies hardly recruit young security professionals with little or no experience.

·         There is no mentorship or volunteering program to help nurture young security professionals.

·         Most young security professionals are not exposed to specific open-source intelligence tools and geo-risk analytics tools that can help them with their job, especially during intelligence gathering and analytics.

What are your recommendations for young security professionals to overcome these obstacles? (Jegede)

·         Young security professionals should identify their mentors in the industry very early and reach out to them.

·         To identify opportunities early, young security professionals should follow up and engage in conversations within the security space.

·         They should also join security communities like ASIS and other organisations. These communities help nurture and give ideas on trends within the space.

·         Young security professionals should not forget that there are countless opportunities within the private security space and that technology and data science have opened new frontiers to explore.

·         They should be open-minded and try as much as possible to fight unconscious bias when writing a security brief/report.

You can connect with Matthew on LinkedIn here

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