#50: Moving up in a Private Investigation Company or Moving on

One of the first things I wanted to know about the private investigation agency that first hired me was whether there was career advancements.  Fortunately for me the company was very large and there were plenty of career advancement opportunities.  I was 26 years old and I was not where I had expected to be in my career path. From the day I began my career as a private investigator I was either trying to get better at my job or finding out what I needed to do to move up within the company.  I learned new surveillance techniques from other investigators.  I begged my managers to allow me to train in other aspects of investigation.  I even offered to train in the different areas for free.

I worked very hard.  I worked weekends, volunteered for assignments that no one wanted, I traveled extensively, and I kept asking my superiors what I could do better.  Within the first year of being employed with the company I was promoted to what was called an Assistant Field Agent in Charge. This title carried no additional pay but of course had additional duties.  This was the company’s way of determining whether I would be a good fit for the Field Agent in Charge position which came along with a pretty significant raise (as least as far as I was concerned). From there I became a territory supervisor. To read more about how to move up within a private investigation company read THIS article.


Beginning Your Career

If you are just beginning your career and want to get your foot in the door as a private investigator then I would not worry about screen potential companies in regards to how much career advancement is available.  Learning the craft of a private investigator should be more important to you at that point of your career.  You will have more career choices once you have experience.

What’s the Structure of the Private Investigation Company?

Some private investigation companies do not have the infrastructure or room for advancement.  I worked for a smaller private investigation company with approximately 10 employees.  The office staff consisted of all family members (sons, the owners sister, and a cousin).  The owner managed every surveillance case and rarely communicated with anyone other than his family members.

There was never going to be a chance for me to move up within that organization. The owner was not going to change who he was or the structure of his company.  The owner didn’t care about his employees and he didn’t have to.

If the company is small there is typically less of a chance for any progress or advancement to be made.  Being with a large private investigation company does not mean there are advancement opportunities.  I have worked for a company that was large but because of the management structure only allowing for management to be in a centralized office in another state, I was never going to move up unless I moved (which I was not going to do).

Moving On

If you are working for a company that isn’t big enough for you to move up within then you may need to seriously consider moving on to a company with more advancement opportunities. An additional thing to consider is to find a position within a company that is higher on the food chain like a supervisor or a case manager.  This way you can skip some ladder climbing and come in to a company at the management level.  Sometimes it’s the only way to move up.

I truly believe that working for a company has its growth limitations.  If you can’t move up within the company you work for than you need to move on if you want to make more money.  To make serious money you need to start your own business but that choice belongs to you.  Transitioning to your own business is different for everyone.  Be sure to keep an eye out for advice on transitioning to your own business.

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Take care and be safe,