Professional Progression… Meet Nick Gilling!

June 10, 2024

At Professional Security, we have recognised that one of the biggest issues facing the security industry is sustainability of labour going forward, with the two core demographics seemingly choosing careers away from security being females and younger people.

Focusing on the younger generations, security is often viewed as a “traditional role” & not seen as flexible as other opportunities in the marketplace. With more of the working population seeing flexibility as a key factor in choosing a role or career, the delights of a “traditional role” can seem too restrictive to represent a valuable career choice for some!

The security industry offers a broad range of career opportunities with clear paths for progression. By acquiring relevant education, gaining experience, obtaining certifications, and continuously developing your skills, you can advance from entry-level roles to leadership positions, contributing to the safety and security of organisations and society as a whole.

The security industry is far from a dead-end job, and it can be the perfect springboard to progress your career!

As part of our ‘Professional Progression’ blog series, we are interviewing different members of our team who have progressed their careers within the industry.

First up, we introduce you to Nick Gilling, who started at Professional as a Door Supervisor before changing roles to Business Development Manager.

  • How did you initially get into security? What made you apply for the Door Supervisor role?

My background before I transitioned into the security industry was founded in hospitality, where I spent just over a decade of my professional career. Starting as a waiter at 15 and moving to the late-night economy as a glass wash in a Leeds club at 18, I worked my way up through industry, taking on numerous roles along the way, and graduated in a senior leadership position. I was incredibly driven by the moral obligation and quality of life of my teams and providing the best possible experience for our clientele. However, I was always presented with the same challenge, finding employers that were either willing to or actively practicing strong policies and initiatives to grow the well-being of their teams. Within a few years, my time in hospitality was reaching its limit and I wanted to find a role where I was in a stronger position to have a positive impact on the people around me, without limitation or restrictions. Having worked closely with door teams on a daily basis throughout my career, it was recommended to me but was a role I didn’t think I was suitable for. Within 2 weeks I was licenced and deployed with Professional Security.

  • Give an overview of your time as a DS at Professional.

Since joining the company, I served as a high-quality Door Supervisor at multiple popular, high traffic venues in and around the Leeds area. From my base responsibilities of my role including crowd management, conflict resolution, protecting venues licenses, supporting emergency services, and carrying out refusals/ejections; my role expanded to a strong focus of the safety of my team, venue staff and the wider general public, ensuring positive client & public experience was at the forefront of the work I provide.

  • Give an overview of your now current BDM role at Professional. What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

The easiest way to describe my role as a BDM is Operations, with the ability to showcase and articulate the strong service that Professional can provide to its clients and the wider general public. I’m responsible for isolating clients who are perhaps unhappy with their current providers or are partnered with illegitimate suppliers who put their business, teams, and the general public at risk with illegal practices and offering them a more supportive, cost effective and positive solution. I spend time across out areas in the Midlands and the North, working closely with our Operations and front-line teams to ensure strong service delivery and support them with anything that they need.

  • Were you aware of the numerous career progression opportunities available in the industry?

At the time, no. I was under the impressions that being a Door Supervisor was a very isolated, stand-alone role within the industry. You received your shifts, showed up, performed well and that was it. When I found out that we had a fully established and operational office with a multitude of different departments and talented teams, it showcased that security is actually an incredibly inclusive industry where there is something for everyone.

  • What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your career in security so far? This is across the DS and BDM role?

As a Door Supervisor, it has to be when I had the opportunity to work with the Silverstone team at the Formula 1. As a lifelong viewer of the sport, it was an amazing experience to be a part of and be in the position to have a positive impact on the safety of everyone attending. Since undertaking my role as a BDM it’s a close call between the launch of my first ever client after months of investment and the wider work I get to undertake as part of my responsibility to develop the business. The best aspect of my current role however is being in a position to support and have the best impact possible on our teams. Having been a DS for out frontline, I know the challenges they face and can better support them. I’ve learnt a great deal with working with our Operations teams and proudly support and work with them on a daily basis. I also enjoy being involved in some of the fantastic social value incentives, charity partnerships and events that focus on improving overall standard in the industry.


  • What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t undersell yourself.

  • What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is currently working on the frontline who are looking to progress further within the industry?

My advice would be to take the leap. Research potential opportunities within the industry to see what might be out there and could be a great fit or exciting new opportunity for you. Ask current operators and professionals in the industry for their advice and expertise. Speak to your operations managers about opportunities to work on high calibre doors, events or possible Head Door Person openings in your area.

  • Tell us one surprising fact about you!

In my spare time I volunteer as a paramedic for the St Johns Ambulance service, working alongside other volunteers to help ensure public safety and provide medical support at large scale events from the worlds of sports, music and national events.