10 Things to Try When Your Case Hits a Roadblock

We’ve all been there.

You’re working a case and you’ve tried everything you know to try, but you’re just not accomplishing what you set out to accomplish for your client.

You’re stuck.

So what do you do?

Here’s a list of my own suggestions, things I try so as not to have to throw my hands in the air in defeat:

  1. Phone a friend. Enlist the help of another private investigator.

  2. Post your conundrum on a listserv or similar group where other private investigators can chime in.

  3. Brainstorm with non-private investigators for a different perspective.

  4. Sleep on it. More than one night is sometimes needed.

  5. Reflect on past cases. Your answer might lie in a case closed two years ago.

  6. Talk the case through with your spouse, significant other, or best friend.

  7. Don’t sweat it. Set it aside and work on another case for awhile. Then come back to it later with fresh eyes.

  8. Unwind by doing something you love to do that has nothing to do with work. Forget about it. Answers often come to me when I’m not even thinking about the problem.

  9. Ask the client for input. This isn’t always the best idea, but sometimes, it’s totally fine and ends up being the reason you figure it out - together.

  10. Ask yourself if you’re hitting a roadblock due to your own lack of skills. If that’s the case, admit it, and then find someone with the expertise you need to help bring the case to a close.

If you’re a private investigator (or anyone else for that matter) and you have any tried and true methods that have worked for you, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Note: It’s never okay to breach your client’s confidentiality. There are ways to ask for help from others without sharing details and breaking that trust.