If I could distill the entire conversion with Eric into one liner, the title would be it.
“Hopeful, capable and forward thinking” are three words I would use to describe Eric Xie, 35. The young Security Supervisor with Formteam Consultancy shared with us that he first got into the security industry because he enjoyed the challenge and action that being a security officer would bring.
Prior to his security stint, he was a regular with the Police for one year and even did a retail job. But he found his true passion in the security sector eventually and has been doing it for the past 10 years.
Most memorable and haps incident
“When I first joined security, I was 25 and with a different company. I was a Security Officer with CISCO. But joining them was really good for me. Because they have many big events, like NDP and the foam party at Siloso Beach. Doing big events, you gain experience fast. So in future when you are thrown big events to handle, you will be very steady.”, Eric shared.
His most memorable incident while at work?
“Of course, the foam party at Siloso Beach lah! Firstly, it’s very dirty. All the sand mixed with the water. You feel very dirty and sticky. Secondly, all of us GUYS got groped by GIRLS OKAY! Can you imagine, we are in like combat pants and we still KENA GROPED?!”, Eric said, sounding only half exasperated.
In case you need pictures of what that may look like…
Wah seriously you see this kind, 19k people stuck together. Don’t say grope luh, you pull their bikini string off they also don’t know wor!
Okay, back to the serious stuff of security work and safeguarding people…
Best part about the job
“Ok, for me, the best part is when you have a supportive company. There’s freedom in the job and a ‘big playground’. When the trust is there for you to do the job, it is the best.”, Eric summarised.
By a supportive company, he means a company that will give them opportunities, which Eric is happy to have at Formteam Consultancy. He shared that he completed 4 courses within 6 months, which allowed him to be promoted from Security Officer (SO) to Senior Security Officer (SSO). Less than a year later, he was promoted to Security Supervisor (SS), after completing one more course module. He is now halfway through his career progression to Senior Security Supervisor (SSS) and will continue to attend more modules.
Eric’s hard work has not gone unnoticed, he received an award from SAS for being an outstanding officer. Even though he sometimes draws doubts from residents as he is young in age to be a supervisor, he wishes to change the perception that people have about the security industry.
“I don’t allow my SO to dress shabbily. There was once I sent someone home for wearing ah gong pants and crocs. Wahlaoeh, seriously cannot continue to give people the impression that security is a job only old people do. Must dress nicely and protect the professional image!”, Eric explained.
Eric is also passionate about encouraging the older members of his team upskill. Reason being?
“The older generation has so much experience but they are stuck at the SO level. Eventually, they will be phased out. I don’t want to see them lose their job and income. Even if they find it physically harder to cope, if they pick up skills, they can continue to do backend monitoring. My team, there’s one almost 70 years old, all this while he’s an SO. I told him, the company support you, NTUC also support you, got training credit. You waiting for what? Now, he just got promoted to SSO and is halfway through to getting to SS.”
The struggles faced
Eric also shared candidly about the struggles faced by some older security officers and gave some feedback.
“Some cannot read or speak English well. So, they can’t do the courses. I think they need more hands-on or practical courses. Even if they can get promoted just one or two levels, it’s about $500 pay increment for them. It really helps!”, Eric said.
Eric firmly believes that the security sector is not a sunset industry anymore. After the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) was introduced to the sector, the pay has become even more attractive. When he started out as an SO (before PWM) the basic pay was only 1.3k. In 2020, the total pay (including OT and allowances) for an SS was 2.8k and after further increments slated to happen under PWM, it will increase to 3.2k.
We too hope that more young people can consider security as a job and join Eric in this sector!
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