Nivethan Placidass started as a floating security guard. Five years later, he became the operations manager for security at SickKids hospital, teaching new recruits how to prepare for a career in security and law enforcement.
When I first started at GardaWorld in 2014, I was hesitant, in part because of the perception of security that we see in movies and on TV. Then I started working and I saw how important the work we do really is. For my first shift, I was stationed at SickKids, and I realized how much of an impact the guards have on the community. I saw them talking to families and staff in the facility, directing and helping them. They were not just a contractor providing a service, but an integral part of the hospital community.
Surrounded by a supportive leadership team
Over the past six years, I’ve been surrounded by great leadership, both on site and from management. The team supported me through challenging times, and doors continued to open for me. At the same time, patience has really helped. There have been times I didn’t get the promotion I was hoping for. As a guard, we often aren’t aware of what might be going on from the management side; sometimes the time is just not right, and we need to stay focused and continue to perform.
Full circle, in five years
After five years, I was promoted to Account Manager at SickKids, where I first started as a floating security guard and then became the Embedded Operations Manager. That gave me a sense of closure, as if my career had come full circle. The position gave me a greater opportunity to make positive changes at a site I had spent five years working at.
I’ve been able to support the new guards coming to the site, molding and prepping them for the many careers in security and law enforcement.
Putting in the effort, reaping the rewards
My advice for those starting at GardaWorld is that you have to put in the effort to reap the rewards. With hard work and the right attitude, the organization can open all the doors for your future. Don’t be scared to ask hard questions, because the team is made up of people who have been in a similar experience as you and are willing to help.
It’s normal for there to be times when you feel you are not doing anything right, but as long as we persevere and continue to move forward in a positive manner, success is always around the corner.
Not a thankless job
One of the biggest rewards has been getting to know the kids and their families. It’s an incredible feeling to see a family that you’ve gotten to know leave the facility after months of treatment. There are also scenarios that do not turn out well, and we have to assist in these cases. The hospital recognizes this can take a toll on us, and we have multiple types of support from both GardaWorld and SickKids. The stereotype across the industry is that security is a thankless job, but with GardaWorld I have never felt this way.
Find out how you can pursue a meaningful career at GardaWorld. View our job opportunities here.