Career Advice Locksmith Tips and Advice Tradie 18 May 2021 According to Competenz, one of New Zealand’s industry training organisations, locksmiths provide: “security for homes, businesses and other assets. Locksmiths secure premises and provide security advice as well as open jammed or broken locks, make replacement keys, unlock vehicles, buildings or safes and help law enforcement agencies with evictions, repossessions, search warrants and forensic investigations.” Competenz Sometimes locksmiths work a typical an eight-hour day; sometimes they work on shift work rosters, or on call. Work can include discussing clients’ security needs through to replacing lost keys or cracking a safe. Typically, you travel to the client’s location so you’re often on the move. Your clients could be private owners or law enforcement agencies depending on the company. Locksmith services can include: Supply and install of physical security equipment Servicing of all types of lock systems Designing and installing registered master key systems Supply and installing of residential and commercial door hardware Institutional and Custodial locking systems Sales and servicing of safes and vault doors Sales and servicing of fire protection cabinets Mobile locksmithing You may also be involved in providing security advice, for example, alarm systems. “A good locksmith is highly adaptable and doesn’t necessarily need expensive tools” Chris Drake ( Basingstoke Locksmiths ) What Do You Need to Succeed? Following are some thoughts on how to succeed as a locksmith. Let’s dive in. Truckloads of Patience According to the Master Locksmiths Association (LMA), patience is the number one and the most common response we hear from our vetted locksmiths. As a locksmith, you will be picking locks open. Different manufacturers tolerances mean that the tension used on one lock may not work on the next. You must have bucket loads of patience to practice, fail, practice again, succeed, and deal with challenges customers present “The art of being a locksmith requires an immense amount of patience for trial and error. Picking a lock is not easy and sometimes it takes a good amount of time and commitment to make sure that is done right and that the mechanism is not broken in the process. A good locksmith must possess massive reserves of patience to overcome the pressures the job presents.“ United Locksmiths You Think Ahead Every locksmith needs the ability to think ahead of the curve. If you were always that person who was one step ahead of everybody else, and could prepare for eventualities before they happened, then you just might become an amazing locksmith. Locksmiths need to know how to plan ahead and calculate almost every possible outcome. This helps them provide the appropriate solutions to the problems their customers are facing, as well as giving them insight into how to best improve their home security as time goes by. It helps when a locksmith can flow with the tide of the industry and quickly adapt. Foresight will also help to anticipate the changes that are coming. You Think Outside the box It goes without saying that a locksmith has to think outside the box in every single situation that they are presented. It doesn’t matter if they are trying to help a family out during a lockout, or if they are advising a homeowner on how to upgrade their home security. Locksmiths have to constantly think in the paradigms of a locksmith, a homeowner, a child and even a burglar. Innovation and thinking outside the box has carried Larry Schwalb, RL to the pinnacle of his chosen profession. “I’ve always been driven to overcome challenges. I like opening what is designed not to be opened. Opening safes and locks, securing a client’s assets, getting called on to a project for big companies and government agencies give me great pride,” Schwalb says. “We have a tag line here at Houdini Lock & Safe Company, ‘When All Else Fails’. It implies when you really need help Houdini is there for you.” Steve Lasky, Locksmith Ledger Give Accurate Advice Giving the correct advice to secure a business or family’s home also needs responsibility from you to make sure that advice is right. Keeping yourself up-to date with the latest standards is essential in the locksmith industry. Give Ethical Advice A locksmith should ideally possess a strong code of ethics and a moral compass that points true north. Essentially it is modeled after what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Most locksmiths have an interest in bypassing anything that can be viewed as restricting. This interest is one of their greatest strengths, but it is also one of the things that makes them exceedingly dangerous. Locksmiths have a natural inclination to try and bypass things, so it is important that they do not overstep their boundaries when they are called or a job in someone’s home or office. The nature of their jobs makes them privy to certain aspects of people’s lives, and as such, it is important that they do not take advantage of this unparalleled access. Develop a Wide Range of Locksmith Skills We recommend learning a wide range of locksmithing and not just focusing on certain areas as it will separate you from competitors and give you more confidence on a broader scale when jobs are coming in. Have a Curious Mind For people that are constantly questioning the way things work, and wondering why something is used one way and not another, locksmithing might be your calling. Locksmiths have to be naturally investigative, and curious people, in order to do their jobs efficiently. They are the type of people who are constantly intrigued by the way things work. Were you one of those kids who took everything apart, essentially becoming the bane of your parents existence? We totally understand you! The natural inclination to see how something is put together is one of the few things at the heart of becoming a locksmith. Enjoy Solving Puzzles If the thought of something that is broken down into different pieces gives you a rush, as you think of all the possible ways you can put it back together, then you might want to change your profession and become a locksmith. If you’re already a locksmith, then stay right where you are. Locksmiths view every task as a challenge and they consistently step up to the plate to try and solve it. This is an excellent trait to have because you will most likely never get tired of the work you are doing. “Locksmiths are constantly presented with challenges of varying degrees of difficulty, and their love for puzzles is one of the things that helps them get past each and every one of these challenges.” United Locksmiths For an amazing locksmith, the harder the challenge the more they enjoy it. Adapt Your Lifestyle to suit business Locksmithing becomes a lifestyle not a job. As you will have to adapt your life to suit your business. Some customers suffer lockouts late at night/odd hours and this is why Emergency Locksmiths and 24-hour locksmiths exist. They have to respond to calls at late hours and still be fully functional so that they can properly assess the problem and provide the adequate solution to it. Good Communication Skills A regular complaint from customers about workmen, in general, is the lack of communication. It seems too much trouble to explain what you are doing and why, so ability to communicate at all levels is very advantageous in getting work. Good communication also helps defuse highly strung customers who believe the world is ending because they can’t get into their house when they get home from work. Be Sociable and Easygoing Locksmiths need to be sociable and easygoing, and ideally, they need to know how to smile and make people feel at ease. Locksmiths deal with many different customers, and in most cases the customers are in the midst of an emotional crisis. This could be because of the anxiety that being stuck in a lockout is causing, or because they might not be able to get in contact with someone (maybe a parent) who is stuck behind a locked door. “When locksmiths are sociable, they automatically set their customers at ease, or at the very least help them calm down a notch.” United Locksmiths This trait is invaluable when it comes to being a locksmith, it helps your customers feel a lot more comfortable and it makes your job a lot easier. Develop A Thick Skin As a locksmith, you meet all sort of customers. Meeting lots of interesting, friendly people can be a really rewarding part of the job. Much of the time people show genuine appreciation on completion of a job. On the flip side, there are always those customers who want to squeeze you on price (Often these customers live in large properties!). Some customers can be very difficult and sometimes rude. It is important to be able to keep your cool and take the rough with the smooth. 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