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What’s your MAG story?
I’d always wanted to work at the airport – the excitement of going away and the atmosphere of the airport always appealed to me as I travelled through. I was particularly drawn to the security area and I remember thinking it looked like an interesting job. I applied, and in August 2015, I found myself beginning my career on an annualised hours contract as an Airport Security Officer. I started during the summer (a peak time at the airport) so things were incredibly busy. In November 2016 I was offered a core contract which meant I had a little more structure to my working hours, I was over the moon!
What does a typical shift involve?
It depends really. If I’m on a 12-hour shift most of the time I find myself on ‘frisk’ searches. I could also be placed on ‘search’ which means I have the responsibility of checking the rejected bags from x-ray. We also work on the staff channel (security for staff entering airside) or the service yard. I’d say my favourite task would have to be x-ray, I find it really interesting. Not every bag is suspicious so it’s just about being confident and having good attention to detail.
What are the biggest challenges as a Security officer?
I would have to say the annualised hours contracts. As you must be flexible it can sometimes feel as though it’s hard to balance your work life and personal life. However, it really works for some officers and you won’t always be on an annualised hours contract. When core rosters come up, you can apply for them.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The team I work with are supportive, they’re with you through the good days and the challenging days, so there is always help when you need it. A few of my team members are on the same roster group so we work very closely with each other and have good relationships. I have thought about applying for other roles in security, but the Security Officer position suits me perfectly. I have a core roster, a great team and can pick up overtime in the peak months.
What personal qualities do you think a candidate would need to succeed in this role?
Things get very busy in the terminal, so patience is key. A lot of our guests are not frequent travellers, so coming to the airport can be extremely stressful. You need to be able to empathise with our customers and understand their needs in line with the procedures at MAG. Being flexible with great people skills is a necessity too.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about applying for the role of an Airport Security Officer?
If you’re flexible, patient and have great experience in dealing with customers then apply. There are lots of ways to progress in MAG. Starting as an Airport Security Officer or Ambassador is a great place to begin. I’d say you need a solid year in either role to help you understand the operation and procedures we have, which will stand you in good stead if you want to apply for leadership roles in security.