Transitioning to Corporate Security: Resources for Veterans and Law Enforcement

Transitioning to corporate security can be an excellent career choice if you have served in the military or as a law enforcement officer. Many private sector organizations need the skills you developed and honed in the public sector. Corporate security professionals have created a generous community that offers guidance and assistance to veterans, agents, and officers who wish to join them.

Webinar: Thriving in Corporate Security After Serving in the Public Sector

Security executives Brian Tuskan, Carlos Francisco, and Scot Walker share career advice for officers, agents, and veterans.

Whether you are still serving or looking for your next private sector opportunity, here are some of the best resources we’ve seen for former service members and law enforcement officers looking for job opportunities in corporate security.

Learn from Your Peers

As you consider transitioning to corporate security, it’s wise to gather advice from peers who have already done it. This can help you understand what opportunities are available and envision different paths you might take.

The traditional method of getting this information is a face-to-face meeting with someone in your network who can share their experience. You can also gather this information online and on-demand.

Here are some great resources that cover the topic of transitioning to corporate security:

Cop to Corporate, an organization founded by Brian K. Tuskan
Brian served his community as a police officer, SWAT team member, and detective. He moved to the private sector in the middle of his career, taking a corporate investigator role at a major software technology company. After 20 years of hard work, he now leads the global security organization. Cop to Corporate provides free insights, tips, and advice on thoughtfully planning for life after law enforcement.

Corporate Security Translator podcast, hosted by Carlos Francisco
Carlos create the podcast to help military, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and federal agents transition to corporate security. Guests share their own stories and offer valuable insights.

How to Transition from Law Enforcement to Corporate Security,” a video interview series by Scot Walker
Scot Walker is a former federal investigator and firefighter with experience in corporate security. Scot conducts in-depth interviews with security professionals who have made the transition. They often focus on specific topics such as specific skills, decision-making, career growth.

Public Safety Innovators Podcast, hosted by Adam Wills
Adam Wills is a former law enforcement administrator turned marketing strategist – a “Coprepreneur,” as he likes to put it. He interviews experts and trendsetters who are shaping the future of law enforcement and private security to showcase new training concepts and unorthodox ideas that will help your public safety or private security organization thrive.

The Healthcare Security Cast, with Brine Hamilton
Brine Hamilton is the President-Elect of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS). His experience as an educator helps make him a highly effective presenter. His program provides valuable insights about healthcare security from respected industry leaders. There are also many broadcasts applicable to corporate security in general.

All of these creators are also excellent people to follow on LinkedIn.

Using LinkedIn Effectively

Speaking of LinkedIn: it has long been an essential tool for anyone in the job hunt. It lets you research job opportunities and learn from corporate security professionals who generously share helpful advice.

LinkedIn also delivers truly global opportunities for networking, an essential component of any job search or career transition. You may also find it helpful in identifying and developing relationships with potential mentors, whether or not you have worked with them in a previous role.

The value of networking simply cannot be overstated. As a security leader at a Fortune 200 bank recently told us: “The military is the biggest fraternity in the world. It’s more important than you can imagine to network with the people who served alongside you.” Similar camaraderie exists among law enforcement officers.

Personally knowing an employee of the organization where you want to work is a major advantage. Many companies provide employee referral bonuses when they refer a job candidate who is ultimately hired.

But how do you grow your network on LinkedIn? Amanda L., a former DOD and DHS analyst had identified some simple steps, including commenting on posts, re-sharing others’ content within your own network, and creating your own original content.

Here are some of our top suggestions for people to follow on LinkedIn.

Eric Vento is a former law enforcement officer who regularly shares job openings and great tactical advice for job hunters. He also frequently offers to make referrals once he has the chance to meet you.

Ernie Van der Leest and Justin Lamb are two other security professional who regularly share job opportunities at leading organizations.

Chuck Harold is a retired police officer and security expert. He’s also the on-air host of SecurityGuyTV.com. He has a wide breadth of law enforcement and private security experience. That is reflected in his diverse content that covers all aspects of law enforcement, safety, security and quality of life.

Charles “CHUCK” Andrews is a consistent and reliable source of security news and insights. He founded Friends of Chuck (FOC), a professional security group that exists for the purposes of networking, locating employment, exchanging business opportunities, discovering new emerging security technologies and sharing other important information.

Tim Wenzel is a shining example of an entrepreneurial security professional who helps others while advancing the profession. He founded Getting Security Done, an organization dedicated to accelerating the advancement of the security industry by fostering the most relevant conversations). Getting Security Done recently launched  The Kindness Games, a strategy initiative that aims to heal our relationships and communities through targeted kindness. Tim also shares his personal journey on his website, Thoughts & Stories for Owning Life.

Joshua Shelton provides a great model of translating skills from law enforcement into a corporate security career at organizations who covet those skills. He is a fraud investigator and supply chain security expert who is quick to highlight the achievements of his peers.

Humberto Botello shares excellent insights on leadership and other important topics in corporate security.

(Special thanks to Scott Lake for introducing us to some of these professionals.)

Mentorship Organizations

In addition to finding mentors among people you know personally, you may also wish to consider dedicated mentorship organizations. Here are a few:

The Veteran Mentor Project is a prevention and early intervention program designed to help veterans and first responders adjust to life after service. The organization provides education, training, coaching, and mentoring. They also focus on assisting with the mental health challenges faced by veterans.

Adam Wills, mentioned above, founded LEO2CEO as a community for former law enforcement officers who wish to build their own businesses. The LEO2CEO community supports each other in the pursuit of the copreneurial journey.

Scott Wolford, a former Ohio State Trooper, founded Beyond the Blue Professional Coaching to help public safety and private sector professionals make transitions in their lives and careers.

Where to Search for Jobs

As you consider potential corporate security opportunities, you’ll want to look beyond the robust LinkedIn jobs board and opportunities shared by connections.

Popular job boards like ZipRecruiter and Indeed.com post a wide range of open positions, but here are some resources that are specifically geared toward security jobs.

The Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) is a 501(c)(3) organization created by the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Security Industry Association (SIA) to promote careers in the physical security technology industry.

The FAST Jobs Board is outstanding, with a wide variety of opportunities that require many different skill sets. There are openings that need applicants with your specialized training and experience in law enforcement or military service.  There are jobs where the skills and discipline you developed in the military translate very well – especially when supplemented with an understanding of the business. There are jobs that let you dip your toe in the water to see if a particular path is right for you. There are roles in vibrant, thriving cities across the country if you are looking to relocate to an area with a more vibrant economy. As a result, there’s a good chance you can find a job there that fits your current career needs, whether it’s your first private-sector role or you are looking to climb the corporate ladder. FAST also offers a streamlined overview of the various security industry certifications you should consider depending on your career objectives.

Silent Professionals is another security-focused jobs board founded by combat veteran Adam Gonzalez.  Silent Professionals acts as a translation authority between veterans looking for jobs and recruiters who need unique veteran skill sets. HireMilitary is another job search platform focused on connecting transitioning military service members with employers.

The Association of International Risk Intelligence Professionals (AIRIP) also has an excellent jobs board, focused on corporate security intelligence roles.

Other effective strategies can be to focus on specific companies that interest you or to create Google Alerts for particular keywords.

One pro tip from Jason Van’t Hof, who recently retired from the U.S. Army Reserves: continue to run job searches even after you have secured a position. This will give you a better sense of what opportunities are out there and different career paths you might take. You may also learn of a position with a respected organization that is simply too enticing to ignore – perhaps because of the compensation or a relocation that would put you closer to family members.

Transitioning from the Military to Corporate Security

The move from military to civilian life often involves unique challenges. Some are related to lifestyle, some to corporate culture, and some to the dynamics of the business world. Fortunately, there are many resources to assist veterans. Here are a few we recommend.

Certifications are often required or highly desirable for corporate security roles. Members of the U.S. Armed Services can often finance these certifications using military benefits programs such as ArmyIgnitED and Credentialing Opportunities Online (for veterans of the Navy and Marine Corps).

The Department of Defense SkillBridge program lets service members gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. In particular, you may wish to examine the Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) sites for your branch of service. This page includes links to the different COOL sites and other SkillBridge resources.

Another resource transitioning servicemembers should consult: the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (Dod TAP). DoD TAP is an outcome-based program that bolsters opportunities, services, and training for transitioning Service members in their preparation to meet post-military goals.

ASIS International Military Liaison Community helps veterans navigate the challenges of transitioning to civilian life. They recently produced an outstanding white paper on Military-to-Civilian Transitions. The document emphasizes a deliberate, phased approach and identifies specific areas where service members should direct their focus.

Hire Heroes USA is one of several charitable organizations who focus on different aspects of job placement for veterans, including career fairs, resume advice, and connecting veterans with specific opportunities.

You can also gain valuable insights from professionals who have spent their entire career in the private sector – and worked with many veterans along the way. They can help you understand the nuances of corporate America, including necessary soft skills. Here is a great article written from that perspective, with practical advice for successful military career transitions.

Don’t Forget About Your Other Options

There are many options outside of corporate security where law enforcement or military experience can be extremely beneficial. There are consultants who leverage decades of military or law enforcement experience to advise clients on security issues such as hardening soft topics, background investigations, and others. Private security companies frequently seek former police officers to guard schools, businesses, and other properties. A background in law enforcement can also provide a unique perspective and natural transition into a career in law.

Veterans may also wish to consider a career in the skilled trades because their military training gives them key skills members of the public may not have. These careers include metalworkers, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and more. 

Do you have other go-to corporate security career resources you’d like to share with us? Contact us and let us know. 

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