Life of a Private Investigator

Life of a Private Investigator

Life of a Private Investigator

Being a private investigator is not as exciting or glamorous as it is often portrayed in movies and T.V. shows. It requires a lot of patience and a natural ability to obtain information through persuasion, creativity and the willingness to go the extra mile. As a private investigator your job is not to catch convicted criminals or solve a murder mystery, but rather to collect relevant information that will assist your client. Another accurate title for private investigators could be information brokers as more often than not that is the sole objective of a private investigator—to obtain information.

If you are reading this because you are considering a career in private investigation and think that the job is always filled with excitement and involves sports cars and cool sunglasses, you should highly consider another profession. The following will outline the main factors to consider when choosing to endeavor into a career as a private investigator. It is important to note that everything mentioned herein is only relevant and accurate to private investigators within the Province of Ontario.

Patience is a Virtue

The word “surveillance” often triggers thoughts of excitement and you may even have a flashback of a scene from your favourite action movie where surveillance was being conducted; however, the cold hard reality is that surveillance can often be incredibly boring. It is not uncommon to be working on a file and be sitting in your vehicle for 12 hours straight without any activity from your subject. You need to be prepared to face the fact that your success on a file on any given day will not always be in your hands. It can be difficult at times to come home after a 12 hour shift and feel a sense of accomplishment when you did not get any results—even though you may have done everything right. A private investigator requires immense patience and understands that not every day will be filled with excitement.

No Set Schedule

Being a private investigator is certainly not a 9-5 job, it requires flexibility in your scheduling and a dedication to your work that trumps your desire to attend that family gathering or a birthday party for your friend. You need to understand that the client almost always comes first as they are the ones that keep our doors open and ultimately pay our employee’s salaries.

Awkward Moments

While conducting surveillance as a private investigator you will often encounter awkward moments with neighbours of your subject, kids playing in the streets, dogs that won’t stop barking at your car and sometimes even your subject; in which case we always recommend you drive away to avoid a confrontation. Inexperienced private investigators will quickly develop a case of paranoia—thinking that all the residents in the neighbourhood are onto you and wondering what you’re doing parking your vehicle in front of their house. As a private investigator gains experience, they will learn to ignore their natural instinct of mental preparedness just in case something goes wrong—constantly being on the lookout for what could go wrong or who could see you conducting surveillance can weigh heavily on an investigator mentally and cause unnecessary stress. It is important to understand your surroundings; however, you have to learn to avoid becoming paranoid of every little thing that could happen.

Report Writing Skills

At Jack Robert & Associates we provide our clients with industry leading reports that communicate all relevant information to our clients clearly and effectively. We consider report writing skills of equal value to surveillance skills as a private investigator. As a private investigator you need to be prepared to spend 30%-40% of your time writing reports.

Do You Have What it Takes To Be a P.I.?

A career in private investigation can be very rewarding with the right attitude and dedication. At JRK Group we only hire private investigators that are hungry to deliver the results that our clients have come to expect. If you have any questions about a career as a private investigator or would like to send us your cover letter and resume, please contact us at

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