Why Mentoring Up-And-Coming Investigators Is Good for the Industry
A young man messaged me through LinkedIn a few weeks ago seeking advice about his career. He’d been a researcher at a national investigative firm for 10 years and had the notion that he’d scrambled his way as far up the corporate ladder as he was ever going to. “I would love to pick your brain about the business,” he said.
We chatted via email several times, then caught up on the telephone last week. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was productive. We plan to grab a cocktail next week and discuss the state of the industry.
This exchange is not unique. I get a call like this at least once a month. If you run an investigative company, I’m sure you get them all the time.
The caliber and experience of the people who reach out is impressive: a woman transitioning out of the public defender’s office in Washington State; an older gent from Texas about to retire from a career in law enforcement; a Fulbright Scholar, fresh out of university, ready to tackle the world—all interested in becoming professional investigators.
I enjoy helping others figure out their strengths and weaknesses and am happy to offer whatever insight I can. I also steer folks toward Pursuit Magazine—a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the business of investigations—and PIEducation.com, which offers courses on various topics that an investigative hopeful would find useful and interesting.
Currently, we’re working on a new product for people who want to become private eyes. It’ll be a few months in the making, but we’re excited about offering a series of courses, e-books, and guides for the aspiring gumshoe.
In the meantime, we’ll keep answering the phone and returning emails from the spy curious out there, people who have an interest in transitioning to this fascinating and rewarding business. I encourage you to do the same. Offer advice. Share experience. Cultivate and encourage young, smart, and talented people to join our ranks. Hire them. Train them. Learn from them. They’re not our competitors. They’re our colleagues.
And besides, a successful person never forgets his or her first mentor. It never hurts to have powerful allies rising in the ranks of your profession.
The more savvy, educated, and energetic people we encourage, the more our industry gains credibility. And the more cachet you’ll have when you call yourself a professional investigator.—THH
this post appeared in Pursuit Magazine