Canadian Security Magazine

Top 10 Under 40: Melissa Plourde, Security services manager, Red Deer Polytechnic

By Canadian Security Staff   

News top 10 under 40

What do you enjoy most about security?

I love that it is a dynamic industry and that it is constantly changing and evolving in a positive manner. The diverse environment helps me thrive and the work keeps me engaged as there are no two days alike. I am extremely curious and I find that there is no limit to what you can learn within the security industry. Having the opportunity to grow, adapt and change constantly keeps my work interesting. I also enjoy connecting with people in a meaningful way, which I get to do as part of my role. Knowing that you are trusted to keep people safe is rewarding.

Is there one piece of advice you have received that has helped you engage with your security role more effectively?

One thing comes to mind that has help me grow as a security professional is to keep venturing outside of my comfort zone and to keep questioning what I see. This has allowed me to grow and develop new skills I never thought I would be able to possess starting out in the business. It taught me resiliency and the ability to adapt to any kind of situation. Being able to effectively question what I see has allowed me to develop critical thinking skills that have helped me use a creative approach in the work I do. Security is often rigid and bound by policies and procedures, but the solutions are not always within those parameters.


What do you do outside of your job that helps you manage stress or gain perspective on your work?

I am a mom of two teenagers who are extremely busy and take most of my time outside of work. Connecting with them helps keep me grounded and present which in turns helps keeps the stress away. In the last few years I started practicing meditation and mindfulness daily. Those practices have also helped immensely in learning how to manage stress and be more present and engaged at work. I gain perspective on my work by being a lifelong learner and keeping an open mind on the world around me. I find connecting with people from various walks of life is beneficial to broadening my mind which helps with perspective at work as well.

Do you have any advice for budding security professionals who are interested in launching a career?

I think it is important for anyone launching a career in the security industry to lead by example, be the change they seek to see, ask questions, be yourself, be curious and keep learning every day. Networking is important — do not underestimate the benefits of connecting with industry experts and learning from their experience.

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