“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.”
Hello and welcome to our very first blog on private detectives and investigators. In this introductory blog, we’ll explore what private detectives and investigators are, and what qualities you need to be successful in the career.
It’s fair to say that private investigators have a fairly controversial reputation. For many people, private investigators are a thing of noir fiction, sneaking around with popped collars and fedora hats. For others, private investigating is a seedy and immoral profession that has no place in today’s society. Whatever your view on private investigators, it’s fair to say that they have been sparking the public’s imagination for generations, and will continue to do so. But what does a real private investigator do, and how can you become one? Let’s find out.
What are private detectives and investigators?
In short and simple terms, a private investigator is a person who is paid to investigate a variety of different issues or angles. The majority of private investigators are self-employed, but they can also be hired by companies and external individuals, to investigate and analyse issues such as:
- Missing people or pets.
- Surveillance work.
- Money laundering.
- Performing background checks on potential employees.
- Investigating allegations of extra-marital activity.
- Obtaining evidence that could influence divorce proceedings.
Private detectives and investigators can also be hired by government agencies and local law enforcement, to perform undercover work. You should remember that as a private investigator you will NOT have the same legal capacity to act as a regular officer of the law, as the two are separate careers. There is also a chance that you will be asked to present evidence that you’ve found in court.
What qualities do you need?
Since most private investigators are self-employed, you will need some understanding of how to run your own business. It’s highly recommended that you study laws such as information handling and data protection – as this will play hugely into your professional role.
Other than, you will likely need to demonstrate the following qualities:
- Proficiency with technology. As a private investigator, it’s fundamental that you can keep up with the needs of society, and that means being proficient with computers, mobile phones, cameras and other high-tech equipment.
- Analytical ability. Your analytical skills will be essential, if you are to put the pieces of the puzzle together and solve your clients’ problems.
- Communication skills. This is especially the case if you are self-employed. You’ll need to communicate with clients, and show them that you are the right person to solve their problem.
- Perseverance. Being a private investigator is hard. You’ll spend long hours working on your own, many times out in the cold, performing surveillance activity. Some people can’t handle this, and give up. If you are to be a successful private investigator then you’ll need to show gritty determination and perseverance in achieving your goal.
With these qualities, you can start taking on jobs, and developing a reputation as someone who get things done. As a self-employed businessperson, your reputation is your primary tool, so you need to build this up in order to become successful.
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