My time in Australia gave me plenty of career opportunities that allowed me to attain a management position within a government organisation.
One of the drawbacks of being an investigator is that you work under assumed identities. I had to use a different name, passport and identification. Most of the time, it felt like I was living as someone else, and due to the confidential nature of my work, I was unable to disclose what I did to anyone.
To many people, this kind of stuff sounds exciting. Almost glamorous. But for my wife and I, it became draining to run the same cover story day-in, day-out. I had to lie about where I worked and what I did. When my wife and I went to interview schools for my son’s education, I was not able to disclose what I really did.
Naturally, I began to feel unsettled. I began questioning myself. Is it worth it? Is this what I really want to do?
Having to portray a different persona, keep my work hidden from friends and family and the day-to-day stresses of managing difficult staff took a toll on me. Australia gave me a change of pace and a platform to grow my career, but I was beginning to feel like a vagabond.
One day, my son’s class was asked to bring their dads to school to give a presentation on what they did for a living. Most of the fathers in my son’s class had prestigious jobs, ranging from successful lawyers to heroic firefighters. But as I was working under an assumed identity, I was unable to disclose what I did. I had to say that I gave security advice to commercial firms – a watered-down description of my job and one I knew my son wasn’t proud of. I could not tell his class – let alone my son – that I went to work armed with a gun every day and investigated the most dangerous and organised criminals. I felt like my work meant hiding a lot of information from the people I cared about. And while my intention was only to protect those people, I knew it was going to be harder to carry the disguise over time.
In 2014, my family and I moved back to Victoria where I was finally able to feel grounded in my work. It was here that I discovered my purpose.
My passion is helping people get to the truth.
Even more simply, my passion is helping people, and that was what I was determined to do with my career.
One day in 2014, I was in a shopping centre when I came across a stall for security training for security guards. I got talking to the representative, who offered me a training role for certified courses specialising in security and investigations.
I did not want to be a trainer, but I knew I wanted to leave a legacy. I wanted to create something that my son would be proud of. That was my driving force.
I wanted to work under my own name and build credibility as a private investigator. I wanted to provide a premium level of service and care for my clients under the authenticity of my own brand.
And so, in 2014 I created Rivica Investigations & Covert Solutions, under my own name, Richard James. I created the company with my family in mind.
My family is the heart of Rivica, hence the name was derived from the initials of my family.
Today, I am proud to have served a multitude of clients independently as a private investigator. I have begun working closely with the legal community to help lawyers and solicitors proceed with legal matters. I help my clients find the clarity and confidence they need to move forward with legal matters. I educate and empower them to make informed decisions.
And I no longer must hide behind a false identity.
It took me a while to find my purpose and create the legacy I want to leave for my family. But for all the stress and uncertainty I experienced throughout my career, I realise now that I would not have ended up here without it. And I could not be prouder of what I have achieved.