06th March 2020
Kevin Valks works as a Security Inspector at one of our client sites in London and has worked at Anabas for just over 6 months. Learn about his career as he answers questions on his journey so far…
1. Firstly, can you tell us about your career path and what’s led you to the role you’re in today?
At the age of 16, my job was to clean tables in a shopping centre. The on-site Facilities Manager approached me and asked if when I turned 17, I would consider joining his security team. These were the days before SIA… I started working in the car park, before working in the mall assisting in all sorts of incidents including a miscarriage, knife crime and attempted suicide. After 6 years, I left as an Assistant Manager when I realised, I wouldn’t progress any further. I then joined the client site I currently work at as a security guard and I now hold the role of Security Inspector.
2. What attracted you to the Security / FM industry?
I fell into it at a young age. I don’t believe many would say they aspire to be a Security Officer but it’s a great career path. I was young and wanted action so at the time it was exciting for me at that point. Now I’m older with more responsibilities, the management side of the industry appeals to me.
3. What does a typical day in the life of a Security Inspector involve?
I manage a team of eighteen security officers. I schedule and deal with day to day staffing / access issues, general employee relations and staff engagement whilst ensuring the safety of the building and our people are kept safe. Every day brings its own unique challenges.
4. Is there anything which surprised you about the Security / FM industry when you first started? / Is there something you wish you’d have known before starting in Security / FM?
I was very young when starting out in security, so I was still learning in life as well. I have been given many opportunities to continually develop myself and I didn’t know when I started out that there was so much more to the role of security than what the ‘stereotype’ might be. There is a lot of training involved if you want to remain competent in the role. Excelling at customer service and emotional intelligence are two skills that wouldn’t have sprung to my mind all those years ago!
5. What do you love most about your job at Anabas / working in the Security / FM industry?
I can say that previously working for other FM providers companies in the past you feel like just a number in the business. Since joining Anabas, I and others in my team have felt more included and part of the Anabas Family. There is definitely more engagement & effort from people across the business and that makes a massive difference. As soon as we became part of Anabas we were invited into the company fantasy football league which was a brilliant way to start to get to know people.
6. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Although I’ve hit a plateau in recent years, I’ve always progressed well in my career. I like the fact that I am a long serving employee too.
7. What would you say are the biggest rewards about working in Security / FM?
Job satisfaction is my biggest reward. We regularly go above and beyond in our security roles; I’ve helped many people and been involved in sad events that I’ll always remember.
8. What sort of things have you done to support your career development?
I’ve always been keen to professionally develop myself. I have completed a range of training in First Aid, Customer Service, Health & Safety, Counter Terrorism and CCTV to name a few. I’ve recently been given the opportunity to do an Apprenticeship in Security First Line Management which will be new and challenging, but I know it will be beneficial to me personally and professionally.
9. What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out in your career?
Everyone has a story as to why they’re the person you met.
10. What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?
No secrets! Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Just be yourself and work hard.
11. What skills do you feel are essential for someone interested in your role?
Be honest, respectful and mindful.
12. What advice would you give young people who haven‘t quite decided on a career path yet?
Don’t panic, it’s not a race with your friends. Be sure to do what interests you, don’t just follow the crowd…
13. What advice would you give to young people who are wanting to come into Security / FM?
Learn and listen to whoever wants to teach you. Take all opportunities that are offered.
14. What are the prospects like within Security / FM? What do you think the future will hold for the next generation?
Technological advancements in security equipment….robots maybe?
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