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How I got into Security... by Egle Zemeckaite https://quickclicksecurity.com/news/How+I+got+into+Security++++by+Egle+Zemeckaite/MzZfbmV3cw https://quickclicksecurity.com/news-images/1200/1573128308-12473.png As part of our Day in the Life of series the team at Quick Click Security managed to get some time with the lovely Egle Zemeckaite who currently works in a security role at LinkedIn, London. Hi Egle, thank you very much for your time today we

How I got into Security... by Egle Zemeckaite

November 07, 2019

As part of our Day in the Life of series the team at Quick Click Security managed to get some time with the lovely Egle Zemeckaite who currently works in a security role at LinkedIn, London.

Hi Egle, thank you very much for your time today we are really keen to find out a bit more about you and what it’s like working for LinkedIn?! So I suppose to start with, how did you get into security?

I joined the security industry about 4 years ago as a security officer - simply because I was tired of the hospitality industry work and I wanted to try something different. I had no idea what prospects were or where I could take it but it seemed like it would be an interesting job.  Not long after making the move I joined Securitas and their STARS programme (Security Trained Assistance and Reception Services.
 

Securitas are big on training, and I had to attend a 3-day training course held at one of their offices. The training was so in depth, at first I thought 3 days to learn about customer service? Really? But honestly I realised there really is so much to know and understand in order to really provide end clients and their customers with a 1st class service – it was eye opening.
 

After my STARS training, I went to various client sites for on the job training. I Loved working as a STAR – not only did I learn so many new things, I got to meet great new people and actually it helped me overcome some of my confidence issues.

Being the front of house and face for the client site, it was very important we always had a ‘Can Do’ attitude and it was drilled into us from the beginning that we must practise Securitas’ key core values of ‘Integrity, Vigilance & Helpfulness’. I found this ethos helped me maintain an excellent standard at all times. I would really recommend STARS to anyone starting out.
 

So as a STAR you are basically a receptionist and security officer all rolled into one?

Yes!
 

So you’re not a STAR anymore – what was your next move after that?

After I gained more experience in the industry I was invited to join Securitas’ operations support team at the head office in London. Operations, as anyone will know is one of the most challenging roles. Operations support taught me a lot about my time management and being organised. The role had me on the phone 24/7 and I often worked long hours at the office and at home. The hard work paid off as I was successfully selected as a Service Delivery Manager for one of the best performing London branches. Now I was managing the Operations support team! I was responsible for 260 officers in the branch, arranging and attending client meetings, site visits and assisting my branch manager. I did operations for almost 3 years and I felt I was ready to move to a new challenge. At the beginning of this year I applied for a Regional Security Advisor role at LinkedIn and that’s where I am now!
 

What do you think about the security industry and working in it?

I joined the industry just to have a job, but before I knew it, I fell in love with the industry. No day is the same, the only constant is change, and I love it! I never liked feeling ‘ordinary’ and I do feel like woman in the security industry are not a majority, and I am very proud to be a part of a strong, smart and ambitious minority, which is as much as it is rewarding – it is challenging at times.
 

What does a typical day look like to you?

In my current role as Regional Security Advisor for LinkedIn EMEA & LATAM there is no such thing as a “typical day”. One month I am in the UK, another I am in Dubai or Munich, or wherever it is I am needed. I am responsible for the delivery of physical security including staff training and general security awareness in the office for LinkedIn across 11 countries. It is similar to what I did in my previous role, but somehow completely different! The experience I gained as front-line security really proved paramount to my ability to perform this role today. I understand the officers and their role first-hand as well as the standard of service expected.
 

What do you enjoy most about your role now?

Free lunch and breakfast! No really, on a serious note, I love the flexibility and autonomy of my role. I know what needs to be done and it is up to me how I do it – I don’t have a manager breathing down my neck giving orders at me, I feel respected and trusted. I learn new things every day and I’m always working on improving my own processes and habits to be more efficient.
 

What advice would you give others considering a move into the security industry, or looking to move to a new company or apply for a new role?

What I have realised is, in security, to be successful and to be recognised as being reliable and professional you must maintain a positive attitude and work ethic. Everything else can be learnt – but those 2 things are paramount. Employers need to know they can rely on you. Reliability is key to promotion that and using your discretion to sometimes go above and beyond what is expected of you. It’s also important to keep developing yourself – keep pushing your boundaries, it keeps things exciting! I recently applied and was accepted onto the ISMI “Certified Security Management Professional” course and hope that this will open up a whole new level of opportunity.
 

Do you feel like you are part of a minority, working as a female in security?
There aren’t really a lot of woman in the security industry, so yes it can feel like that. In my opinion I think the reason for this is the fact security was historically seen as a macho role – a position which required strength and aggression. As I know now this is such an out of date mentality and it needs to change. There needs to be more education and awareness about the industry itself to encourage women to see it as a suitable career path. Security has changed significantly over the years and we need to be more vocal about this and encourage anyone and everyone to see it as an inclusive and viable career path.
 

What advice would you give to other women reading this?

I like attending networking events related to the security industry, some of the best events I have been to are organised by ASIS Young Professionals – I find them are inclusive, friendly and always productive. I don’t really spend too much time reading online and keeping up to date with what’s going on in the market and if I am honest this is something I would like to find the time to do - I think current awareness helps you perform your role better and gives you credibility with staff and clients.
 

My advice for women in the industry is to keep doing what you are doing - stay positive, strong and be fabulous! Being a part of this industry is sometimes challenging but I love it. I get the opportunity to meet and get to know so many new people a day and I feel it is an industry where your work really does make a difference to people’s lives. Whenever I feel in doubt or down I always look back and remember when I first moved into Ops Support and how I really questioned whether I could cope with the pressure and compare that to where I am now and how much I have developed both personally and professionally.
 

Egle, thank you so much for your time and really insightful views on the industry and helping us understand how you got to where you are now! Well done on getting this far and best of luck starting your course!

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