Private Investigator - A Day in the Life
A private investigator is someone who is hired to find out information about another person. Their services may be requested by attorneys who are looking for more evidence or witnesses for a court case, insurance companies that are investigating fraudulent claims or employers who want more information about a potential employee. Private investigators are also called upon to investigate spouses who are suspected of cheating, parents who do not pay child support and children who disappeared or ran away from home. While their jobs are not exactly like they are depicted in movies and on television, a private investigator may spend their days tracking people down, doing interviews, conducting research and performing covert surveillance on their subjects.
Private investigators do not have set hours. Much of the time, they work as the need arises. This can mean getting calls in the middle of the night or early in the morning and getting very little sleep for days at a time while working on a case. It is not uncommon for a private investigator to work holidays and weekends. When conducting surveillance, they have to work around the subject's schedule.
Some of a private investigator's day is spent online or on the phone. They may conduct multiple internet and database searches in order to research a subject's background, view any social media they use or find out if other people are talking about them. Also, they will look for any type of criminal background. They may also make phone calls to former friends, loved ones, associates and employers of the subject to find out if they can provide any information as to the person's whereabouts.
When a private investigator is not in the office chasing down a subject electronically, they are out in the real world working undercover or conducting surveillance. This can mean anything from dressing up in a disguise and pretending to have a need to visit a place where a subject works or sitting in a car near a subject's home, waiting for them to leave. Their goal is to keep themselves conspicuous while finding out as much information about the person they are investigating as possible. An investigator must also be careful to work within the rules of local, state and federals laws.
Working outside of the office can mean long hours of waiting for a subject to show up, but once they do, being a private investigator becomes an exciting job. When following a subject, the investigator must keep his or her distance but also stay aware of every move the person makes. They must take pictures and film of any action the subject performs that is relevant to the reason why they are being investigated. At the end of the day they can report back to their clients about anything they found out during the surveillance period.