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  • Peter Sandru

The Learning Curve of a Private Investigator

Updated: May 6

Every discipline has a learning curve. If you aspire to play the piano, there are no easy shortcuts. Time, effort, practice, and experience are required to produce great music. The same rule holds true for the development of becoming a Private Investigator.

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A novice in any of the Private Investigator fields or disciplines is an individual who has less than 2400 hours of experience and Private Investigator training. Once PIs achieve 2400 hours of Private Investigator experience, they will have the confidence and expertise to work independently. When a Private Investigator acquires over 10,000 hours of experience in a given field, they are considered to be proficient in that particular field or discipline. Due to the many disciplines in the Private Investigator, it would take many years of hard work and effort to master them all. Most PIs choose to specialize in a few fields rather than trying to become experts in all areas.

A novice Private Investigator, no matter how intelligent, must learn through experience. Private Investigator school is an excellent way to build a solid foundation; however, to become fully capable a novice PI will need experience. The learning curve is defined by specific skills one can only obtain by working in the professional investigative industry.

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An experienced Private Investigator will have a better ability to predict situations and know what information to look for. A novice Investigator is more likely to experience tunnel vision of thought and action due to stress and other contributing factors. These factors will contribute to the novice missing details that a more experienced investigator would have spotted and leveraged to move the investigation forward.

The Professional Private Investigator will have seen many typical situations in a particular field and will adapt their methods as they apply knowledge from past experiences.

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In the Private Investigator profession, you will never stop encountering new situations that will act as learning opportunities to increase your knowledge and skills. If you ever arrive at a point in your career when you believe you can do no wrong, be prepared to be reminded that this is a lifelong journey. The Professional Investigator draws from the past, uses that information in real time to make calculated decisions and anticipates things yet to happen. Effective experience-based decisions will benefit the client and shape your reputation as an Investigator.

At the 10,000-hour mark, a Private Investigator is considered a master in whatever field they obtained those hours. They will have encountered nearly every situation imaginable in that field and have a vast repository of experiences to work with. When a new situation does occur, the master Investigator will be able to apply the Private Investigator knowledge gained from past experiences to the new situation. Furthermore, the master Investigator will not be susceptible to tunnel vision and will be able to think clearly in new situations, even intense ones.

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