A Journey into Security

By John Sephton , Axis Security Manager

John Sephton, Axis Security Manager, provides a summary of his career to date, his approach to training and qualifications and any advice he would pass onto others.

Journey into Security

Not by chance and not by choice, my career started as a temporary job for 6 months and when I decided to make it a career thanks to John Docherty (MD SecuriGuard Services) it has grown ever since. My initial 4-day training course was at Vauxhall Bridge Road, where I took and passed my SITO exam, then I was in as a new recruit I was at 80 the Strand the old Shell Mex House building. I was very fortunate and had the luck to meet Dave Earnshaw (Oakpark Security) who was my supervisor at the time to show me the ropes and guide me. After I had learned the ropes, patrols, emergency procedures there was a vacancy come up as a supervisor, so I applied and was successful. This job which was only temporary, become the start of a long successful career full of ups and downs but came right in the end.

Security Qualifications

With competence in security the time has come to educate yourself. I had a negative mindset when it came to education as I didn’t do to well at school, this was affecting my confidence and chances at progression. I decided to bite the bullet and do a part time degree at Portsmouth Uni, which was a great experience and I graduated. It has opened doors for me since. I know Uni isn’t for everybody, but there are other routes, find them, apply them and own them. The change is coming, the time is now and put yourself out there.

Maybe Mentoring

The new security professionals coming into the industry really need seasoned professionals to believe in them and help them grow. When I started, I really didn’t know what was available, who to ask, how people climbed the ladder and if my CV was any good. I was there trying to figure it out along the way, and why I believe that mentoring is the way forward and developing your own style is a must. I have had a couple of great mentors in my time more notably Chris Lyons (Axis Security) and Neill Catton (MD CIS security). They showed me the finer arts of account management and gave me a chance to improve and progress. The point here is find a mentor for your questions, worst thing you can do is guess when help is available.

Stressful trying to be successful

Make your own chances, create your own light and take people along for the ride. My career has been up and down, but I never gave up. Experience is only created by mistakes and failures along the way and there is never a No, only the next opportunity! I have a great career, with a company and client that cares, I continually strive to make my teams successful by mentoring them and by not giving up and finding the next opportunity.

Here are some top tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make yourself known, get on LinkedIn and into some professional groups on the platform, contribute

  • Ask your company if they can use the apprenticeship levy for your development

  • Seek out a mentor for guidance, the Security Institute have an active mentoring platform Take ownership of your career and set up a career path because nobody else will do it for you

  • Take control over your CPD, the Security Institute have a free CPD scheme

  • Make your CV stand out from the others

  • Never, ever give up!