Ever wondered how you become a spy? I can’t speak for other countries but in the UK the initial application process is quite easy.
You are not solicited covertly in a seedy bar and handed an envelope with instructions, nor whilst sat on a park bench eating your lunch do you have your briefcase exchanged for one containing your ‘mission – should you choose to accept it’.
Instead wonderful MI5 make the process simple…you go to their website and apply online – they even have a list of available jobs !
“Whatever your role at MI5, you’ll be contributing to protecting the UK from threats to national security including terrorism, espionage, sabotage and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”
Recent ones include the more serious:
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Advisor
- Project Manager, Explosives & Ballistic Protection
and one of the funniest:
- We currently need carpenters or multi-traders with NVQ Level 3 / City & Guilds Level 3 (or equivalent qualification) in carpentry (or a related subject area with a strong carpentry component) plus demonstrable experience in carpentry or other building trades.
Obviously we have great call in the UK for Ninja Carpenters in the case errant chisels or stray pieces of 2by4 get out of control – Damn, I knew I should have kept up the woodworking lessons.
Anyway I thought what the hell – never one to shy away from applying for outlandish jobs – astronaut being one of them, I quickly formatted a CV and pressed ‘send’.
By way of suggestion before doing this you are invited to take an online quiz to see whether the spy game is one you are up to the challenge of. I took this twice once concentrating on the answers I should give and once just randomly selecting the answer – both times I was successful which goes to prove it’s not the most difficult of tasks.
I did once meet a real ‘spook’ – I worked for a firm in London whose MD had a brother who was in the secret service, now for all I know he was making things up but his stories of stuff like being airlifted onto Nuclear Submarines was at the very least entertaining. There were plenty of other stories but if I told you I’d have to kill you 🙂
Now if he’d happened to be a Daniel Craig type character then I may have dismissed his musings as pure fantasy – watching too many James Bond films as a kid – but he wasn’t.
In fact under normal circumstances I’d suggest he was the type of person you’d completely forget about the moment he left the room – very unassuming and forgettable. And perhaps that where the real talent of a spook lies – to be able to go anywhere without the fear of drawing attention to yourself.
But in the end I realise I will never be a spook myself – other advice the MI5 site gives includes:
Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.
Thus posting about my intention on my blog………FAIL !