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Interview: Muhammad

Churchill:

Good. Tell me about the work that you do Muhammad.

Muhammad:

I have two jobs. One is that I’m an IT manager for Department Of Education in Victoria and I also have my own security business. I have people who work for me in the business, therefore I’m able to concentrate on my job during the day time, and when I get home in the evening I spare a couple of hours looking after the business, invoicing, training [inaudible 00:01:04], communication to the clients, fostering payments, all that I do it from my home office in the evening. So, that’s how I manage my day.

Churchill:

A busy man.

Muhammad:

Yes, I like to be busy.

Churchill:

Good on you. So, which is your passion? Is it the IT management or is it the security business?

Muhammad:

Security business, definitely.

Churchill:

Let’s focus on that, as the industry then.

Muhammad:

Sure.

Churchill:

So, do you want to tell me a bit about your background in that industry, and how you got into it?

Muhammad:

Absolutely. It was in 2008 when I first got into the security job. A friend of mine needed some help, so, I spoke to him and he said, “I need a couple of people to work for me.” I said, “Look, I can be available if you like.” That’s how I got into security business. What happened after that, because I was an IT officer during my day job, I always wanted something where I can go out, meet people, rather than staying at home, sorry, rather than staying in front of the computer screen, so, I liked the idea. When he suggested that I will be talking to people, I will be out and about, I saw that was something I would like to do, because I’m very tired of sitting in front of the screen.

Muhammad:

So, during the different times of the year, he asked me every now and then, if I can come and ask him, so, that’s how I came and asked him. I asked him if he wants some extra help, which I helped him getting some of his shifts covered, and then I started liking it. So, what I did, I asked him if he can put me on the regular roster. Then, I got on the regular roster, I started to do on the weekends. So weekdays, I was doing my IT job, and on the weekends, I was doing security job.

Muhammad:

Then, I was working for this client for many years, and after some time, this client asked me if I would be interested to put in my tender, because they are not renewing the security contract of the current company. So, I quickly registered my business, got the licenses, filled in the tender, I got the tender, and that’s how I started to run my own security business.

Churchill:

What a great story.

Muhammad:

Yes. The reason I was not able to do full-time in security business is because, my state job was still paying my bills. But, once my security business is 100% able to afford me and my family, I would quit my job and would focus on the business, 100%.

Churchill:

So, is it a scary profession?

Muhammad:

Well, it has some challenges, but I like it, I like challenging work.

Churchill:

So, it’s mostly good people that you meet when you’re on the job?

Muhammad:

I had done different jobs, so, I used to work in night clubs, that’s when I first started, then I did a lot of events, but now I’m only doing corporate security. I provide security services to churches, to residential and often commercial complexes.

Churchill:

So, I know that you got a certificate four in security and risk through RPL, didn’t you?

Muhammad:

Yes.

Churchill:

So, what was the reason for that? Was that part of setting up your own business?

Muhammad:

Yes, that’s right, that was part of setting up my own business.

Churchill:

Okay, all right. So, what advice do you have for other people who would like to get into the security industry?

Muhammad:

The first thing is, if customer service is your thing, and you are really good with communication, the person should definitely look into security work. Because, the best thing with security work is, every day is a new day. You have so many challenges, you meet different people, you learn so much from different people. The amount of knowledge I have acquired by meeting just different kind of people, is just amazing. I would have never gotten that kind of knowledge any other way. So, if someone is a customer service person, if that person is a people’s person, and they can have decent communication, they can definitely look into security business or security jobs.

Churchill:

So, do you need to have defence skills or anything like that?

Muhammad:

Sorry, repeat again?

Churchill:

Do you need to have defence skills?

Muhammad:

It depends which industry you work in. So, definitely if you’re working in night clubs, and where alcohol is involved, definitely, you should be able to defend yourself, and be prepared for any situation. But, if you are working in corporate security, you still need self-defensive skills, but you need more customer services skills, because, 90% of the time, either you are in nightclubs, or you are in corporate security jobs, it depends on the way how you communicate with people.

Muhammad:

So, if you really know how to tackle a situation just by using your words, you are a successful security officer. You need to be a six foot guy, with a solid build, you don’t need to be that kind of a person. You can be an average build, but if you know really how to talk to a person, how to communicate, how to diffuse a situation, you are in the business. That’s what I do. I’m a tall guy, and I’m a big build, but I never had to physically be involved, and I’ve been in the security industry for 10 years. In the last 10 years, there were probably two or three incidences that I had to physically force myself on someone in terms of restraining them or in a fight, or that I need to use my self-defensive skillset.

Muhammad:

Yet, as I said, in the last 10 years, it was only two or three times that happened. Usually, I use my words, I try to diffuse the situation. I learned something in this industry, that, no matter which person you are dealing with, whether he is a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or just a normal person trying to trespass, we humans have basic requirements. We all deserve respect, no matter in whatever condition we are, either we are homeless or an alcoholic, or whatever, we all deserve respect.

Muhammad:

So, if you give other persons respect while you’re dealing with them, even in a difficult situation, chances are, they’re going to comply, they’re going to listen to you, and there will be no physical fight in the process. So, you have to treat everyone with respect. I try to understand their situation, I try to tell them what is your job, and why you are doing it, give them a reason why you are doing this, or what [inaudible 00:08:32] just this quality on site, and give them a clear reason, they will understand.

Muhammad:

I have people who were creating trouble, and I used different techniques, I went and asked them, why you’re doing that, why are you upset, and then I told them why am I asking them to leave. I’m not asking them to leave because they are noisy, but I’m asking them to leave because there are kids here, there are families who are playing, there are kids, they’re running around.

Muhammad:

So, if you are a homeless person, why am I asking you to leave? Not just because you’re homeless, but because this is a private property, and the manager or the owner, or the body corporate wants to make sure that whoever is in the premises, they are the residents, they are not visitors, or if they’re visitors, they’re registered visitors. So, if there’s an emergency case or a fire, so we can count people, we don’t leave anyone behind. So, if you talk to them, give them the reasons, they will listen to you.

Churchill:

Do you need any qualifications to go into a security job?

Muhammad:

Usually yeah. You need certificate one and two to get your foot into the door, and then there’s certificate three to get better jobs, and then if you want supervisor role, or if you want to start your own business, then you need to do cert four in security, or a diploma in security and risk assessment.

Churchill:

Where do you find jobs in the industry?

Muhammad:

Back in the days, it used to be through connections, through people you know. But now, the security industry is very tech savvy, so, they all advertise jobs on Seek, online, on Gumtree, on Indeed.com, all those recruitment websites, you can find good jobs over there. A lot of jobs, like agencies that work Centrelink, they have a lot of vacancies, or they have connections in the industry. So, if you are looking for a job, and you’re jobless, and you are going through Centrelink, the chances are, they are going to hook you up with an agency, which will get you a security job. Or, you can simply just visit online, go to your local library, ask them to use their computer, visit one of those websites for jobs, like Indeed.com or Seek.com, and there you go, you can find a job.

Muhammad:

From there, apply for it, make sure that you submit your cover letter, and your resume properly. Being an employer, what I noticed is that new boys or girls, who are fresh graduates, and they are good with their English, they’re good with resume writing, all those who are coming through agencies, their resumes and their cover letters are very well done. But, other people who evolved into computer generation, so for example, they’re 50-60 years old, they never have to use computer before, but now to find jobs, they are learning to use computer, I would suggest to them, make sure your resume and your cover letter is up to date, and it reflects exactly what you do in your current job or what you were doing in your previous job.

Muhammad:

As an employer, it really upsets me, and I’m assuming it wastes candidates time when they upload incomplete resumes, which does not reflect what they’re currently doing. It may be saying what they have been doing, but it may not say what set of skills they have, what they’re currently doing, what were the challenges, what kind of work they did. So, that’s really important to mention what kind of work they did in their previous job in detail, because that makes a huge difference.

Muhammad:

So, maybe the employer will call you, they will do the interview, and they will reject you, because the resume you sent to him did not reflect your skills, and that will waste your time. But, if you have a properly done resume, maybe you need to spend $30-50 to get someone to do your resume, but, if you have done your resume, it will save you a lot of time in future, because, it will give the right information to the employer, it will not waste your time because then, the jobs you’re applying for, the employer knows that you are the right candidate when they call you for the interview. Definitely, definitely, put in a habit of sending your cover letter as well. Those cover letters make a huge difference.

Churchill:

That’s great advice, thanks Hassan. How did you find out about RPL?

Muhammad:

Well, I just took out a test a long time ago, when I was studying computers. So, that’s how I found out about RPL, thing. When I started to contact this Churchill Education, I spoke to the boss, I think John, and I mentioned him, he asked me what I do. So, I explained to him what I do, and he said, “Oh, it sounds like you’re already doing what you’re going to study.” I said, “Exactly.” I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, 9 years to be exact, so, I exactly know what I will be studying, I just need a piece of paper. He said, “Have you heard about RPL? Would you like to consider applying in RPL?” I said, “Of course yes, why not?” So, that’s how I got into it. John helped me at the start, then Churchill Education helped me.

Churchill:

Great. So, how did you first find out about Churchill Education?

Muhammad:

Through, Google online.

Churchill:

Okay, so you searched, yeah. Did you find the process of getting your qualifications through RPL smooth?

Muhammad:

Sorry, say it again.

Churchill:

Did you find the process of getting your RPL qualification easy, smooth?

Muhammad:

Very smooth, very easy. It was very easy to apply. I gave them the information they needed, luckily in my resume, even though I’m an employer now, I still even now, I keep my resume up to date. Every now and then, I visit my resume, I update it, I put in my new sites in there, what I have been doing in the years, any set of new qualifications, et cetera. So luckily, I had my documents ready. As soon as they requested, I submitted my documents. I think the only time I spent was writing a letter why I am applying for that field, and that was it.

Churchill:

That is fantastic Hassan. Thank you so much. That was really good information on your industry.

Muhammad:

Thank you.

END

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