Getting A Promotion…

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and they asked, “How quickly does someone become a Doorman?” This lead to a discussion with a ton of different tangents, before returning to the basic answer of:

What is that individual’s experience and skillset?

There are few jobs in a Nightclub or Entertainment setting into which you can slide with no experience. Head of Security, Doorman, and Bartender are three of them. Each of these demands a specific skillset and at least some background experience. I can’t imagine having a bartender with no experience make me a complicated drink any more than I can imagine a Head of Security not knowing how to fill out an Incident Report.

So how does one work their way up the ranks in a job setting, especially in the field of Security? How do you put yourself in the position to receive a promotion?

Besides having the correct Attitude and Approach, the only way to truly advance is EXPERIENCE. You have to put in the time.  Only by putting in the time will you learn the intricacies of each position on the Security Staff, which will – along with some demonstrated initiative – allow you to advance and be considered for promotion.

By way of example, here is an excerpt from an Employee Manual:

Skill set:

  • Assist Patrons with any questions or concerns
  • Have general knowledge of  XXXXX Policies and Procedures
  • Monitor sobriety of Patrons
  • Circulate throughout XXXXX, evaluating the conduct and attitudes of Patrons and looking for inappropriateness and misbehavior
  • Monitor male-to-male behavior like rough-housing and possible early stages of altercations
  • Interdict and de-escalate verbal altercations between Patrons
  • Interdict and de-escalate physical altercations between Patrons
  • Maintain flow of foot traffic throughout XXXXX
  • Lookout for hazards to Patrons and Staff, including: broken glass, bottles, chairs, tables, and any other possibly dangerous obstructions.
  • Attend to the needs of over-intoxicated or physically ill Patrons
  • Attend to general cleanliness of  XXXXX
  • Advise Floorman/Zone Leads of any possible altercations or trouble
  • Assist Zone Leads with any work requests
  • Clear Front Sidewalk of Patrons post-closing

These are the required skills for the most BASIC of positions. By way of comparison, let’s look at the skill set for the Head of Security:

Demonstrated knowledge of all Roamer responsibilities

Demonstrated knowledge of all Floorman responsibilities

Demonstrated knowledge of all Door Out responsibilities

Demonstrated knowledge of all ID Check responsibilities

Demonstrated knowledge of all Zone Lead responsibilities

  • Formulation and implementation of XXXXX Security Staff Policies and Procedures
  • Interviewing and hiring of potential Security Staff candidates
  • Conduct procedural training of new and current Security Staff
  • Formulation and management of Security Staff schedules
  • Conduct Security Staff job performance and disciplinary reviews
  • Assist Management with any major Event or Promotion preparation
  • Assignment of nightly Security posts
  • Oversee Security Staff throughout duration of nightly shifts
  • Act as liaison between Security Staff and Management
  • Communicate with Zone Leads and Management to ensure continuity of service throughout duration of evening
  • Act as Liaison to VIP Hostess for any VIP Security needs
  • Act as Liaison to Law Enforcement during sweeps
  • Report all Incidents and responses to Management
  • Review and complete Security Staff paperwork, including Nightly and Incident Reports
  • Conduct end of night Security Staff meeting and Management debrief

A little bit more detailed, no? You’ll notice the first thing listed is “Demonstrated knowledge of…” Think about it: How can you possibly do your supervisor’s job if you don’t know how to do your job and the jobs of every other position on your crew?

One cannot expect to manage a Staff (regardless of the type of job) unless they know what the Staffers do!  For one, it allows you as the manager to “get in their shoes”. Why does guarding the garbage suck so much? You should know, you’ve done it. “How do I fill out an Incident Report?” You should know, you’ve done it. And based off of YOUR experience in the lower rung position, you might be able to make some changes, adjustments, or improvements to that position when you advance.

Finally, the most important reason that you should know how to do everyone’s job:


Someone might call in sick. Or get fired. Or really need to go to the bathroom. And you are the only one around to do the job. But that’s not a problem…BECAUSE YOU’VE DONE IT BEFORE. Learning how to do everyone’s job doesn’t just help you: it helps your co-workers as well.

Now you know to start soaking in information like a sponge. But what else does it take to get that promotion? You’ll have to wait for that information.

Until next time….


  1. From reading your other entries I know that you are an advocate of security professionals constantly improving, and/or maintaining their training and certifications. Were these aspects purposefully omitted or are they mistakenly absent?

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