Thinking about becoming a spy? Today we take you through the steps you’ll need to take and the things you need to consider.
The first question you must ask yourself before you can become a spy is: Are you sure?
Being a spy is not like what you see in films and books. No one is going to ask you how you prefer your martini, and those death-defying, exhilarating stunts probably aren’t likely to happen. If you’re looking for thrills and adrenaline rushes then you’d be better of joining the armed forces.
Being a spy in the modern world is less about face-to-face interactions and more about using technology to undercover information. These days computer hackers can uncover huge amounts of information, and devices like drones can record audio and video from long distances away.
The truth is that being a spy for a legitimate organization is probably a lot less exciting, though I’m sure there is plenty of tension. But if this is the career you really want, this is how to be a spy.
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When you apply for a position in one of your country’s intelligence agencies, you will need to cover a few of the basics first.
One of the most important factors that will be looked at on your application is your citizenship. Are you a citizen of the country you live in? Are the members of your family citizens too? Remember, spies need to be loyal to their country, so it helps if you are a citizen of that country. Citizenship is a major factor and will be one of the first things the organization looks at.
- Higher Education
Most intelligence agencies need people to work in less glamorous positions such as IT professionals, translators and analysts. While these jobs might not be as cool as what James Bond and the rest do, they are still vital positions.
Intelligence agencies prefer candidates who have a university degree behind their name. In fact, it is a requirement for most applicants. If you do not have a degree for the position you’re applying for, chances are that your application will not get a second glance. So, stay in school kids!
- Don’t cause any trouble
Another factor that might get your application thrown out is your behavior. Agencies like MI6 and the CIA look at all aspects of your life. If you have gotten into trouble with the law before, you might not have such a good chance at becoming a spy. If you are on drugs they will not hire you either.
Basically, good behavior lands you on the list while bad behavior can get you kicked off the list. There are thousands of others who would love to take your place, so make sure that your record is squeaky clean.
If you are a homebody, then becoming a spy is not the career for you. Most agents are required to travel to distant places. If you prefer not to travel, there are a few positions open, but they are few and far in between. Traveling is part of a spy’s life and if you would rather stay at home, then you really shouldn’t become a spy. Do not apply for these positions if traveling makes you uncomfortable or if you have a fear of flying or else you might just end up having the worst job in the world.
Now that you are ready to become a spy, it is time to apply for the position. You will go about this like every other job you have ever applied for. At first, it will seem boring and you might even begin to wonder what is so different about being a spy. They will ask the same questions and it will seem like a normal application. But behind the scenes, the vetting will begin.
Basically, this is when the agency checks up on every detail of your life. The agency will begin to build a complete picture of the type of person you are. They will look into your history and delve into the things you have done. They will look at things like your political preferences and how often you’ve traveled overseas. They will interview your family and friends, all trying to see what type of person you really are.
Your psychological state is also a big factor. How good are you at solving problems and thinking on your feet? How likely are you to stay mentally strong in a difficult situation? A good spy will make the right choices even when under extreme pressure.
In the application, they will ask for a number of documents. You will have to provide copies and they will be verified by the agency. They might need things like your identity document, your marriage certificate, bank statements and references. The agency will be extremely thorough, so make sure that all your affairs are in order.
- Standing Out
Every year, thousands apply for the position you want to fill. Before you go through that process and get shot down, you might want to look at how you can make your application stand out from the thousands that are pouring in.
- Show Commitment
You will need to work to support yourself before you become a spy. Take on a job that shows that you are willing to work long hours and are committed to whatever you do. This job will need to show off your leadership skills and be a reference for the agency, so choose wisely.
- Improve Yourself
Now is the time to learn a foreign language and start getting fit. These are the types of skills that will make you stand apart from the crowd. Spies need to work in foreign countries, so they need to be healthy. Showing that you are willing and able to learn a new language can’t hurt either.
Be careful to stay out of debt and keep your record clean. If your finances are in shambles, you would be a weak spot and a target for bribery (should you get the position).
- Be Patient
The process is long and extensive. You will have to choose references who know you and who will be interviewed. Make sure that they know what they are in for and that they know enough about you as a person. In the meantime, work on your skills so that if you don’t get it the first time, you could always try again later.
You should also remember that being a spy is not what it looks like in the media. It might well be boring and monotonous. But if that’s what you want to do, now you know how.
Here you can find a very good article about the CIA application process if you need more information.
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