On the Clock: one year later
The “On the Clock” video series, which was launched a year ago, focuses on getting to know security professionals through brief yet informative conversations. Over the past year, our guests have shared stories and insights from their careers and dispensed advice for career development and growth.
One of the most common questions they answered is: “What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?”
Terri Govang, Director of Strategic Security & Technology (National Capital Region), WSP
In my 20-plus working career history, 15 of those have been dedicated in this industry. And since that time, every position I’ve held has either been new to the organization, or never held by a woman before. To be a woman in any male-dominated industry where you’re making those strides and driving change, that can be a challenge in itself. You really have two jobs. One is to do your job and work your craft and be the best that you can be. And the other job is to drive change and help people embrace that in quality and diversity in the organization. We’re still overcoming them every day, and you just continue to show up and help people make important decisions and by clarity and education and support so that we can make it easier and more enjoyable for women, and everyone who works with us.
Matt Cameron, corporate security advisor, City of Airdrie, Alta.
Corporate security is almost seen as a bit of a run through the letter type, because it’s an expensive department. It’s a double edged sword because if nothing’s happening, they’re saying, ‘we don’t need you,’ or if a lot of bad things are happening, they’re saying, ‘you’re not doing anything.’ I really try to sell corporate security as a service and as a force multiplier. I really like to open the curtain on corporate security. I found too often that it’s a very closed off, mysterious department. I like to demolish that down, open the doors and explain what we do and how we can help and why we’re there and show them hard facts.
Andrew Kirsch, founder, Kirsch Consulting Group
The biggest change was actually going from being an extremely private person, who was potentially avoiding social media, trying to keep a low profile, because where I was working [at CSIS], we’re not running around telling people we are what we do. All of a sudden, I started a business and I have got to have profile and develop business and put yourself out there. It’s hard to tell people where I used to work and it’s a knot at the pit of my stomach where I’m thinking, ‘I’ve done something wrong or said too much,’ and it was really getting comfortable being public, getting comfortable talking about it, and having that sales aspect when you’re out on your own and hustling. That’s a much different experience than working for the government, especially where I was, where we are trying to be discreet and be under the radar to now where I can be public and have my face and my name all attached in the world is a big change.
Tom McKay, former police officer and principal instructor, CPTED Professional Training Centre
There’s always going to be barriers and challenges when you begin your career. You have to establish your credibility. You can’t command respect — you have to earn it. And you have to, as well, recognize that sometimes it’s not your rank that will define you — it is what you know and how you present yourself.
Marti Katsiaras, global manager, public safety and physical security, ADP
Personally, I’ve been very lucky and blessed. Opportunity would always come knocking right at the perfect time for me, so I’m very thankful and grateful for that. I worked hard and was always proud of what I did. I was one of few people that I can say I always enjoyed my job. So many people don’t have the opportunity to say that, which is sad, but I’ve loved all my jobs all the roles I’ve had. And I was fortunate enough to have three good employers including this one that I’m at right now with ADP. I progressed within each role. I kept my head down and worked hard, and built those relationships because in security, you’re relying on a lot of other people outside of the security world to help you do your job and be a success. I believe that when you work hard and really want something, the universe has a funny way of making that happen.