Typical day on the job:
There is no typical day on the job as an FBI agent. Each day of the week can differ on how much of my time is spent doing various investigative processes. Some days I'm on the road all day interviewing witnesses or conducting surveillance. Other days, I can be at my desk analyzing data or typing reports. There are days that are completely devoted to training for Evidence Response Team. My weeks can consist of any of the following investigative steps: testifying in federal court (trial or grand jury); executing a search warrant; gathering evidence (physical or electronic); source meetings; interviewing witnesses; arresting subjects; investigative meetings; data analysis; documentation/paperwork; or traveling for meetings.
My work environment can change depending on what is on my schedule for the day. If I am working at my desk, then I have a desk in an open cubicle area where I can discuss ideas with my coworkers. I also spend a lot of time at the federal courthouse working with Assistant United States Attorneys to proceed in criminal prosecution of my cases. I can spend a lot of time in my car traveling to businesses and homes to interview witnesses or conducting surveillance. I spend time at local police departments working joint investigations. I also spend time outdoors, in the elements. I also spend time in other people's houses and businesses when executing search warrants.
As a Special Agent, my salary is based on 50 work hours a week, that includes the mandatory 10 hours a week of overtime and the understanding that this job requires you to be responsive and available 24 hours a day/7days a week/365 days a year if needed. I routinely end up putting in 2-10 more hours per week during off-peak hours.
Tools you can’t live without:
My cell phone (Blackberry). The internet. Email.
Best productivity trick:
Do not procrastinate, and think ahead to what I will need later and be prepared. Keep things organized. I always write notes to myself so I know where my thought process is headed.
Best career advice you’ve received:
It may have been more of a life advice: Don't grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be. (Clementine Paddleford penned it).
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
I wish that I had started working out in the morning much earlier in life so that I could have accomplished and done so much more.