By Contributing Author
No matter where you are in your life, it is never too late to change the direction of your career. Some people know what they want to do from a young age. This isn’t the case for everyone, though. Not everybody knows what they want to do, and at the tender of age of 18, deciding what career they want to do results in enormous amounts of pressure, with the wrong decision being made often as a result. However, this doesn’t have to impact the rest of your life. You can delve down many careers in your lifetime until you find the one you are happy with.
“The future depends on what you do today.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
You are in charge of your career, and if you have concluded that you are unhappy in your current role, business, or industry, then you need to seek a change to do something you are passionate about. Then, you can set about following it up and achieving it. For some people, it might be working in healthcare; for others, it could be in law enforcement and becoming a private investigator. Becoming a PI and running your own firm might have seemed like an impossible dream as a young teen, but it is more than possible to do exactly that. In this guide, you will discover just how you can take your career in the direction you’ve always dreamed it would and start your own private investigation firm.
Ensure you have the right education
Changing up your career might require you to go back to school and expand your education. For a private investigator, this is a must. You need to show clients that you have the education and experience to handle their case, and if you don’t, they simply won’t turn to you.
Therefore, start by assessing your education. Did you complete your high school diploma or GED? If not, you will first need to set about doing so. Without this, you won’t be able to continue with higher education, and you certainly won’t be able to become a certified PI.
If you have already achieved this, then you can set about applying for colleges. Gaining a college degree will give you that boost you need to compete against other firms. There’s no need to be concerned at how long this will take, however. You can apply for an online criminal justice degree and complete the course in 6 weeks. The great thing about online courses is that you can achieve a degree from one of the top colleges in the country, without even leaving your home. This is ideal for people that are yet to quit their current job in order to pay the bills.
Why take a more generic degree?
If you are taking a degree, you might question, “shouldn’t I take a more specific degree for private investigators?” The answer is no. Taking a criminal justice degree means that you gain a wider knowledge of the criminal justice system, and for somebody entering this for the first time, learning as much as possible is vital.
Plus, it might make you realize you are more passionate about another area of criminal justice, so always keep your options open. There is nothing wrong with this.
Obtain your license to practice
With your education sorted, you now need to focus on obtaining your private investigator license to practice, as many states require you to have one. While not all of them do, they will still require many other important licenses, such as business credentials and permits. Even if you have no plans to open up your business yet, this is a crucial step to carry out. Without doing so so, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law yourself.
Get experience working for an agency
With a license to practice and a formal education behind you, getting work experience is the next vital step. Apply to agencies so that you can shadow other PI’s, get an understanding of how day to day work life goes, and put everything you have learned in theory into practice.
The reason you should apply to an agency before opening up your own business is to ensure that this is still the right career for you. Upon working in the agency, you might find that actually, it isn’t. However, this isn’t too much of a worry, because the degree you took allows for many different career branches. You might decide that actually, an FBI career is more suitable, or a police officer role is better.
Consider your business plan
If you are still absolutely certain that this is the right career path, then that is great. Now you need to set about making a business plan. This needs to include your budget, your business name, and what clients you want to reach out to.