The top 3 mistakes people make when looking for a job as a P.I. [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, How to become a private investigator

Now that I’ve been on the other side for a while (having people call me wanting to become a P.I.) I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Remember what I said before about prospective employers. Their default answer is ‘no’. Do any of the following three things and you make it that much easier for them to say no. 1. Saying you’re enthusiastic, keen and a quick learner, without any evidence. If you say these things, but have no actions to back them up, they’re not only redundant, they’re a complete lie. Every single person who has contacted me has said these words. I can only think of one person who actually had the evidence. She got a job with us. How enthusiastic and keen are you? Have you contacted them more than once? Do … Read More

A day in the life of a private investigator [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, How to become a private investigator, Stories

I’m not sure what your perception of private investigators is. You may have already done plenty of research and have a fair idea of what they do. Then again, this may be the first thing you read, and the only examples of a P.I. that you have are from movies or TV shows. As with most things on TV (including ‘reality’ TV), real life is different. Hopefully reading through this book, and looking at the below example schedule, will dispel any myths and perhaps show you another side that you didn’t think about. Just remember though, if you tell people you’re a P.I., the first thing they will think of is whatever TV show they’ve seen. Often the first question I get is ‘do you drive a Ferrari?’ This can get annoying if you let it. Just realize that most … Read More

Equipment [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzHow to become a private investigator

Here is a list of essential equipment. These are the items I use on a regular basis. I haven’t gone into too much detail as there are plenty of other articles that do so, and that’s more on the training side. But this should give you a good idea of what you’ll most likely use in your first year. Be aware that if a company hires you as a contractor, they will most likely expect you to have your own equipment. Not many firms supply equipment to their contractors these days. Necessary Digital video camera. This must have a number of features such as ability to record in low/no light, a decent optical zoom, compact enough to conceal easily, ability to have a date/time stamp on the recording, tripod mounting point, ideally a viewfinder (not just a fold out screen), … Read More

Personal attributes of a private investigator [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, How to become a private investigator, Personal development

There are some very specific traits common to almost all private investigators (successful ones at least). Having a thick skin. This is not an easy job and you are not dealing with nice people all the time. You will face abuse and you may be treated like the villain by whomever you’re investigating. You need to be able to handle this. Yes, you should try to treat everyone fairly, but you will at times have very uncomfortable conversations. As long as you’re staying true to your own values and maintain your integrity, you don’t need to worry too much about what people think or say about you. Good verbal and written communication skills. A lot hinges on what you say, both on investigations and in court. You need to be able to communicate, persuade and influence effectively and succinctly. Equally, … Read More

Common and uncommon backgrounds of private investigators [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, How to become a private investigator

After a while in the industry you get to know where investigators tend to come from. In the case of former police officers, often just by looking at them! But regularly you’ll come across that person who came from a completely different field, one that you wouldn’t expect would lead to a career in private investigation. There are common backgrounds for most private investigators, but just because you don’t have this background doesn’t mean you won’t make a great investigator. In the next chapter, we’ll go over attributes common to investigators (regardless of what background you came from). In the meantime, here are some common and uncommon backgrounds. Common Police officer or other law enforcement role Insurance claims adjuster Military police or intelligence Parent was a P.I. Completed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or similar Private internship or online … Read More

Reasons why you shouldn’t become a private investigator [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzHow to become a private investigator

Working as a private investigator is an exciting and rewarding prospect. But be under no illusions, there are many difficult aspects of the job. Coupled with the excitement, there can also be a lot of boredom sitting on stakeouts or sifting through documents. You don’t necessarily deal with happy people all the time, on the contrary. It can also be a very seasonal job, with irregular hours and income. Before you even begin the process, you need to decide whether it’s really for you. You need to ask yourself a lot of questions. Later in the book I’ll go through a ‘typical’ day which will give you some idea of what to expect. In the meantime, have a look at these questions and honestly answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You prefer to work normal daytime hours, and you like … Read More

The chase [How to become a PI – book excerpt]

Kurt.nzHow to become a private investigator, Stories

The chase He slowly walks down the gangplank, struggling under the weight of two heavily laden backpacks. That fits the description, but is it the guy I’m after? A quick double check of his picture on my phone confirms it. Back to watching him through my video camera. A container truck blocks my view. By the time it clears he’s disappeared. Damn! Two seconds later he reappears, he’s stashed the bags behind the gangplank and is sitting, waiting. This could be a while, you never know how long for. A taxi pulls up. A struggle to get the bags in the cab and then he’s in the back, taxi heading towards the exit, straight past me. Video camera down, engine started ready for a vehicle tail. One car in-between us, perfect. It’s a fairly short tail from the port to … Read More

How to become a private investigator: Break into the industry with little or no experience

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance

How to become a private investigator

So, you want to know how to become a private investigator? Great! You have a desire to enter one of the most exciting professions available. One where no two days are the same. One where you are constantly challenged and need to remain alert and engaged. One where you’ll regularly stop and think ‘…and I’m actually getting paid for this!’ However, if you’re like a lot of people, there are some roadblocks: Little or no law enforcement or related experience Sick of sending resumes and calling companies only to hear ‘no’ Want to start your own business but don’t know how Want to know what it’s really like being a P.I. but struggle to find any good information A few years ago I was in exactly the same position. I had wanted to be a private investigator for years. Yet, … Read More