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When to Turn Down Jobs

When to turn down an investigation job

For anyone in the workforce, especially private investigators, getting a new job opportunity is exciting. What will it entail? What are the circumstances of the case? For those involved in the investigation industry, the mystery of a new case can be alluring, and as anyone in business for themselves can attest, it is difficult to say no to work. Keeping that in mind, we will be exploring a few different scenarios in which it is not only prudent — but important — to turn down a private investigation job.

You’re Inexperienced

Sometimes, someone needs a job done that is outside of your capabilities. Of course, everyone needs to try something new in order to learn, but in private investigations, reaching outside of the scope of your skillset leads to disastrous results for both yourself and the client. If you cannot solve a case, your reputation will not fare well. That is why it is important to not be afraid to turn down a job that you know is beyond your abilities. Having a list of private investigators who you can use as alternates will prove beneficial. Your client will have respect for you, as will others in the industry.

If you have a desire to handle cases that are outside of your current line of work, see if you can shadow another investigator or attend professional development classes to become proficient in that skill.

Your Colleagues Have Already Tried

In the private investigations industry, having a rapport with other investigators often proves useful and helpful. If a reputable investigator already gave the case a try and either couldn’t solve it or decided to turn it down, it may be worth a call to find out why. If you have a good relationship with the other investigator, they will likely fill you in on what you’re missing, which is often a good reason to just say no to the job.

It’s Personal

As a private investigator, you may have friends or family who might think to themselves, “Hey, I’ve got a job for John Doe Investigator!” However, sometimes, taking on a case that is personal in nature ends up problematic. Being too close to a case can cloud your judgment (even though you may do your best to stay impartial) and skew your client’s perception of your work, among numerous other issues. These conflicts can potentially lead to legal claims if there are grounds for it. If the case is personal to you, it is best to have one of your colleagues take on the case.

Your Gut Says No

Many PIs will tell you that intuition is a powerful thing. Whether it’s following a lead on a case or listening to your intuition telling you not to take a case, following your instincts may save you time and money. If something does not feel right, don’t do it. There will always be other work. Private investigator and owner of Harris Investigations, Michele Harris, affirms that it is right to say no based solely on your instincts. She says, “I turn down jobs that don’t feel right. I will refuse any work that is a restraining or protection for abuse as I don’t want to get myself in the middle of a he-said-she-said.”

You’re Overworked

Private investigations cases, especially those involving surveillance, require a lot of time, which are often mentally and physically exhausting. If your schedule is already full, it is absolutely appropriate to turn down a job. It’s important to maintain a proper work-life balance because if you don’t, you may suffer from burnout. Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you need to reserve some of those for your private life outside of being a private eye.

When You Say No

If you decide to turn down a private investigations job, it is important to do so politely — but also efficiently. Let the prospective client know clearly that you are unable to take on their job and as quickly as possible so that they are able to find someone else to complete the job. By politely saying no, you secure your ability to say yes to another case as your reputation remains intact. No matter what your final decision is regarding taking on a job, always ensure that your safety is your number one priority when dealing with current and prospective clients.

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Do you have experience turning down jobs? Share your thoughts by joining our groups on LinkedIn and Facebook or contact us.

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