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

Are you training or doing?

Kurt.nzPersonal development

When I was in the Army reserve, we did a lot of training. That’s how you learn. That’s how you get good. Training is a necessary tool, so when it gets real, you know what to do. You’ve done the drills so often that you can do them without thinking. The problem was, there was very little opportunity for me to actually use that training. At least not immediately. The same goes for many people in the military. Even when on a deployment, a lot of your time is spent waiting. Sometimes it was difficult for me to take the training seriously. I have a fairly short attention span. If what I’m doing doesn’t show results pretty quickly, it’s easy to become bored. The alternative doesn’t make sense though. I think everyone would rather a little training before being thrown … 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

Fulfilling one of your dreams (lessons learned)

Kurt.nzLifestyle, family, community, Personal development


A couple of years ago I fulfilled a lifelong dream and became a private investigator. With almost no experience I entered one of the most difficult professions to get into. In doing so I learnt a few things about doing something huge. Something that you’ve always wanted to do, something that may seem impossible, fulfilling one of your dreams.   Three things you need to keep in mind: Things don’t have to be perfect for you to make a start. You’ll almost never be the best straight away, or land your dream position immediately. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.   What does this mean?   1. Things don’t have to be perfect for you to make a start. Things will rarely ever be perfect. For a huge decision we often wait until what we perceive to … Read More