Social media gives a voice to anyone. The voice can have a positive or negative impact especially to those seeking knowledge.
Social media allows us to be more connected with friends and family and gives us the ability to find our community with tens of thousands of groups on Facebook alone. Online hubs where you can ask questions, share knowledge, network, and virtually hang out and chat. None more so than the executive protection community and the many executive protection-related Facebook groups.
However, not all knowledge shared is viable or factual. In some cases, an answer to a person seeking insight can be opinion vs. fact. Additionally, information can be skewed purposefully and shared as accurate knowledge as was the case in the Russians interfering with the 2016 election. Still, in most instances, misinformation is shared on social media unknowingly.
Fact from Fiction
It can be quite hard to determine fact from fiction if you don’t have some knowledge and experience in the subject matter.
As a newcomer to the executive protection profession, you’re seeking a wide variety of knowledge – training, tactics, skills, business, marketing, and licenses. What better place to gain insight than the EP-related groups?
- I’m looking to break/get into executive protection, what type of training do I need?
- What qualifications do I need?
- What licenses do I need for the “X” state?
Most responses to these innocuous, albeit naïve questions, are answered reliably with useful, knowledgeable information. Some responses ask questions back to the knowledge seeker to get more specifics to supply the seeker more succinctly with the information they will need. In some cases, the responses are laughable reactions and quips like “Don’t”, self-promotion, and the proper training regimen using phrases like “another tool for the toolbox.”
At this point, 20-30 comments in, the knowledge seeker, in a most friendly way, thanks those that commented and, in most cases, asks the same questions in other EP groups. The comments continue and usually end up morphing the conversation into subjects unrelated to the original question.
The knowledge seeker now has the task of separating fact, from fiction and opinion, to deduct a reasonable answer to their questions. Based on that answer to then take action like signing up for this training provider or applying for that license vs. a different one.
How to find knowledge from a trusted source
Before seeking knowledge in a Facebook group, do your homework. What are your goals and aspirations? What do you want to do? Where specifically in the executive protection profession do you want to work? Gain an understanding of the job market. Do you have a plan? Is this a passion or something you’re looking to do in between jobs? You won’t find the answers to any of these questions in a Facebook group.
If you’re looking for executive protection training, visit the training provider’s website and social media accounts. Who are the instructors? What is their background? Do they share their knowledge for free through blog posts, videos, and articles? What is the relevance of the training to what you want to do? Is what they teach a marketable skill? Do they support you after they trained – finding a job or other resources? In other words, is the provider an input/output training factory or one that will support you?
Look for people in the executive protection profession who currently work in or have worked in the same area you are looking and talk to them. Find people that share their knowledge and experience freely and don’t ask for anything in return. Find a mentor that will invest the time and energy in you.
Don’t let a life-changing decision be left to a person a) you don’t know, b) you’ve never met c) has no skin in the game and won’t be impacted monetarily or ethically d) has an ulterior profit motive.
You’ll need to make your own decisions based on the information you’ve gathered from your research. Trust but verify.
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