5 Realities Of Working as a Private Investigator

Being a Private Investigator may seem like an exciting, glamorous job. With famous PIs like Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Poirot running around solving mysteries and saving the day, it can seem like all adventure and excitement. Sadly, the truth is far less fun.

1) You’re always open for business

As a private investigator, you are usually dealing with sensitive issues for the client. That means you’re likely to get calls at all sort of hours, not just in the usual nine to five enquiries. While you’re eating dinner, late at night, 6 in the morning while everyone else is sleeping; no matter where you are, what time or day it is, the phone could ring at any moment. If someone has worked up the courage to call a private investigator, you need to be ready to take that call the second they need you. Another reason it’s not a typical 9 – 5? The behaviour you’re investigating doesn’t usually happen during work hours! You’ll often be up at the crack of dawn or up until the wee hours of the night to find out the truth for the client. Whatever it takes to find out the truth!

2) You’re dealing with highly emotional people

Private investigators are called in when people are worried about something. The potential for a cheating partner or spouse, a teenager taking drugs, a fraudulent business partner or a rogue employee (and more!), these situations tend to bring about strong emotions in people. Getting a personal detective to investigate the matter is usually the last step in a harrowing process. It’s a hard line to manage between giving a client cold hard facts, while also being sensitive to the emotional nature of the situation. It’s important as a private investigator to know how to make the process as easy as possible for someone who may not be at their most emotionally stable!

3) It can get… smelly

Meeting with a client, an investigator always makes sure to look his or her best. However, after 5 hours of surveillance or tracking? Not so much! Sitting for long periods of time, often in a stuffy car, can get tiring quite quickly. You can try to freshen up all you like, but there’s no denying the ‘post surveillance smell’. And you can’t just get out and stretch your legs, because the last thing a good investigator wants is to draw any attention. That means that more than likely you won’t leave until you have what you need. And it’s not just sitting around relaxing and checking your facebook, either. You need to keep a keen eye out to make sure you catch anything crucial to the investigation, so you need to focus for the entire time. It’s surprisingly intensive work, and if you don’t come out of it at least a little bit sweaty, you’re not doing it right! You can measure a good investigator by how much he smells at the end of the job.

4) There’s a lot more paperwork than you think!

Paperwork and red tape is a nightmare in any business. Private investigation is no different. An investigation of just one hour’s surveillance might equate to hours of paperwork! Filing, writing up reports, doing research and due diligence, uploading and downloading files, encrypting data, applying for permits and licences; the list goes on and on. Some people say they like the idea of being a private investigator because they don’t want a desk job. Too bad! You’ll spend far more hours doing paperwork than you will on surveillance. It’s the only way to make sure you do a good and thorough job, and make sure your clients gets accurate, reliable and secure data and information.

5) Some clients will never be happy… and there’s nothing you can do

Sadly, sometimes the result of the investigation is not exactly what the client was hoping. It’s never nice to have your worst suspicions confirmed, and the truth can be difficult to hear. It’s a tough job delivering bad news to someone, but at least they now know the truth. While there’s definitely satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped someone find out the truth, chances are they aren’t happy to hear about their cheating partner. Dealing with anger, denial, frustration, and more is all part of the job. But that’s not all. Sometimes the truth is that the suspicions are unfounded, and you prove that the client doesn’t have anything to worry about. You’d think this would be good news, right?! Unfortunately, some people are so convinced that something is going on that nothing will convince them otherwise. Your detective work could have results clear as day, but if a person refuses to believe it, you find yourself in the odd situation of someone who’s mad that you found good news!

In the end, it may be a difficult job, but the satisfaction in knowing you’re helping people find out the truth is worth it.

The private detectives at Elite Investigation are the epitome of professionalism. We know it’s important to be sensitive to your needs, and will do whatever it takes to help you find out the truth. Admin and all! If you think something is happening behind your back, give us a call on 1300 721 715 or email