If I had stayed out of banking when I originally intended to, I would have had more years experience as a security guard than I would in banking. The reason why is that my first job in college was as a campus cop which then predispositioned me for future security work. Sure enough if I needed any extra cash I would work a night shift or go part time. Also, security work gave me options, thus any time a boss got lippy, I was misled about a job's duties, or there was just a good ole fashioned market melt down I could tell the boss to pound sand and take off.
However, while most people look at security guards as one of the lowliest of "professions" truth is it's the best damn job you can have.
The reason is simple - the job allows you to work on you.
Understand that the vast majority (if not all) corporate wage slave jobs require your time to be completely consumed and preoccupied. And more often than not that time is consumed with a mentally boring and mundane task. And even if it isn't, the culture is such that you still have to "act busy," which is even more mind-numbing than actual work. In the end, yes you do have a job, but your brain is completely and 100% occupied doing boring work that advances some other person or company.
However, with security work it is different.
First, your job is to merely be present. Not to track down the bad guys. Not to do detective work. Not to be a wanna be cop. You merely sit at your station or desk, make an hourly patrol, and then return to your desk. The reason why is the big secret in the security industry. You really aren't paid to protect, you're paid because having a uniformed person on the premises gets that company or client a decrease in their insurance costs. A decrease that MORE than compensates them for the $9/hour they're paying you.
Second, since you aren't supposed to be doing anything other than merely existing most security companies allow you to do some other work. In other words, there is no expectation you need to be constantly occupied all the time. Matter of fact, it's expected you'll bring a book, study, bring a laptop or whatever. Some security companies and some security gigs won't allow for this (for example body guarding some socialite at a night club) and these are not the gigs I'm talking about. But the majority of security work is sitting at some corporate campus, twiddling your thumbs, killing time.
Third, the caliber of the average security guard is crap. Absenteeism is a huge problem, drugs another, and nutjobs thinking they're cops and pulling people over (known this to happen twice) is rank throughout the industry. If you are just a clean cut guy, looking to make a couple bucks on the side, and can show up on time and not be high, you are in.
Finally, the night shift. If you are going to work security make it the night shift. You don't want to be the armed and overpaid receptionist for an office building downtown unlocking people's cars, towing cars, and in general dealing with everybody's mistakes.
In the end and combining all these traits together, you have the PERFECT job, especially for independent-minded people like us. You are paid, albeit it a minimum amount, to sit and work on your own stuff, occasionally getting up so you don't fall asleep, and are completely alone (assuming you took the dog shift). It is the perfect recipe for an inventor, an author, a entreprenuer, or just a minimalist who likes to read books because it gives you 8 hours a day to work on what you want. Better still, it FORCES you to work on your own projects because if you don't have anything to occupy your time you will get bored.
For example I wrote "Enjoy the Decline" in 45 days while pulling 16 hour shifts sitting at a warehouse as a security guard. I wrote "Behind the Housing Crash" in just three months doing the same. Another guard I know wrote the code for an entire program as a security guard. And another one I knew doubled as a network administrator who would telnet into work and get paid double. Though the work was not glorious and the title guaranteed not to impress chicks at bars, working security gave industrious individuals like ourselves the time, the discipline and the opportunity to focus on ourselves and our endeavors.
But the true benefit of working security is ultimately financial. Specifically, your chances of becoming genuinely rich are higher working as a security guard than a corporate cog.
Understand nobody becomes rich busting their ass off in the rat race, climbing the corporate ladder. Most people will deem the mental and pscyhological costs too high to make it into senior, let alone executive management, settling instead for a very median wage. But as a security guard, busting his or her ass off, aggressively pursuing whatever your idea or dream is, you stand a MUCH BETTER CHANCE at becoming rich than your average corporate, ass-kissing slave because it is your entire idea. If it works, you get to benefit from it 100%. Also realize that while, yes, a corporate cog could come home and start working on his or her new business idea or invention, corporate employment is so mind-numbing most people just want to sit and veg out. Security work not only allows you to work on your own stuff, but does the opposite of what corporate employment does to your mind. Instead of numbing it, it invigorates it. It gets the creative juices flowing and consequently gives you more passion and energy to pursue and accomplish your dreams. I've come home from 16 hour security shifts more invigorated and pumped up about life than a 4 hour day cut short by a computer network failure or power outage at a corporate gig, just because the damn job gives you hope.
Of course, all of this is contingent on one thing - that you have a plan or a goal AND you have the discipline to pursue it while working the night shift. For if you don't have those two things, then, well, yeah, you're just a rent-a-cop wanna be Paul Blart. Otherwise, there is absolutely no shame in working a security gig.