On 4th December 2020, GISF organised an interactive event aimed at Master students at Sciences Po (Paris). The event titled: ‘Who is protecting aidwork(ers)? The people behind Security Risk Management (SRM)’, raised awareness of the SRM profession in the third sector amongst young professionals interested in humanitarian and security affairs.
Four GISF security focal points kindly agreed to talk about their experiences in the sector and share some career advice with attendees. thanks to the variety in age and job description of the speakers, attendees could get a real insight into the day activities of a humanitarian security professional which varied from: conducting risk assessments, to delivering security training, briefing senior leadership on security issues, and collaboration efforts within the organisation and beyond to maintain and improve security practices, and more.
Some of the advice speakers shared with attendees was to be open minded, as SRM is very versatile and employers will be looking for a variety of skills, including skills that you might not expect or have gotten from what you might think are unrelated; so seize the opportunities that are given. Try to find yourself a mentor was another piece of advice given multiple speakers found that mentors have helped in shaping their interest and career, and that starting you search for a mentor can be as easy as reaching out to strangers on LinkedIn, kindly asking them for some of their time to have a simple conversation. And lastly, all speakers agreed on one thing: where 10 years ago one could argue that you needed military or police experience to become a security professional, this is no longer the true. Hiring managers today are no longer looking for someone with an ex-military profile, what they are looking for is often a versatile, flexible, people oriented individual with a variety of skills.