Jacob Nyangasi, who started at GardaWorld 11 years ago, credits moving up within the company to his hard work, patience, curiosity and respect for others. The open door policy with management played a key role, too.
I have worked at GardaWorld in Uganda for 11 years. I started as a security guard with KK Security, a GardaWorld company, and now I work as an Accountant. My managers made it clear to me from the beginning that there was room for me to grow within the company. They inspired me and other new hires to pursue further studies and mentorship. This motivated me to work hard.
Proving to friends and family that security is a great career
Many people in this country think security guard jobs don’t have move-up potential. I had to tune out those comments from my family when I initially applied to work with KK Security. Within the first year, I was shortlisted for dog handler training.
I knew my path ahead, and I was focused on working hard, earning money and planning for further studies. One day, I got a phone call from my project manager, who said: “Jacob, you’ve been shortlisted for advanced dog training and they want you in Nairobi in two days.”
Pursuing additional training, moving up, and building a family
My training allowed me to move up from guarding a stone quarry to being posted to the Ireland Embassy Ambassador’s residence in Kampala. While there, I heard a radio room controller say that the company was looking for controllers. I had the two years’ experience and some computer knowledge that was required, so I interviewed for the position and I was hired.
I worked in that position for about one and a half years, and as part of that role, I supervised the security patrols and cameras at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. From there, I moved to the position of Credit Controller. While working, I was able to pursue my bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, through Government Scholarships, and I’m now pursuing a Certified Public Accountant course.
It was a busy time, but I still managed to achieve a healthy work-life balance, which allowed me to build a family; I am now married with four beautiful children, two boys and two girls.
Respect, patience, hard work, mentorship and curiosity are the recipe for success
My advice to someone starting a career at GardaWorld is to always have respect, not only for superiors but for everyone within the company. Why? Because your coworkers may be the people who end up recommending you for a promotion as you develop your career.
One of the things I really appreciate about the culture at my office is the managers have an open door policy. When I have a question about how to handle a situation, they’re available to discuss it with me and offer guidance. I think part of the reason they’re willing to share so much knowledge and time with me is I have always shown great respect for my superiors and I work hard. I’m responsive to their requests. That’s led them to trust me. I would also encourage employees to seek advice from senior staff because they will help you develop your career.
You also need to be patient. The roles may not come when you expect them to, but the opportunities will arise if you have the right attitude and work ethic. Finally, being curious and interested in learning new things really helps to advance your career.
Find out how you can pursue a meaningful career at GardaWorld. View our job opportunities here.