Always dreamed of being a real life secret agent? Why not pursue the career you’ve always wanted? Learn how to become a spy professionally with this step-by-step guide.
If you’ve ever dressed up as James Bond for Halloween or thought about what it would be like to work in the Secret Service, you may be interested to find out how to become a spy.
However, understand that being a spy is not the lavish Bond lifestyle, nor is it limited to Presidential affairs alone. Spies work with all kinds of domestic and foreign leaders for a wide variety of reasons.
Some spies protect citizens in high-profile positions or those in the Witness Protection Program.
Others are on the front-lines, proactively working to solve cases and, yes, catch the bad guys.
It’s rarely a glamorous process, but it’s always rewarding.
No one understands the spy lifestyle better than an actual spy, though. To experience the big thrills and overcome the low points of spy life yourself, you have to do the following.
1. Check if You Qualify
Unfortunately, you may be out of the running to become a spy before you even start researching how to be a spy in the first place. This isn’t something to take personally, it’s just how the process goes.
Quit while you’re ahead if you don’t meet these three requirements:
Clean Legal History
The government isn’t going to trust you with top-secret intelligence and the lives of many Americans if you have a criminal record yourself. This may mean anything from a traffic ticket to a petty theft charge from your juvenile days. Even public indecency or a charge for underage drinking may be enough to get you out of the running.
It doesn’t matter how long ago these events occurred. The truth of the matter is they happened, and such actions don’t shed a good light on you if you want to be a spy.
Good Personal Health
Maybe you’ve done everything you can to be a good citizen, but you don’t have the best health.
This alone is enough to decide whether or not you can be a spy.
Agencies want people who are in their best physical and mental condition. It means their spies can hold up against the longest of days and grueling of situations. Plus, if you have health problems, being a spy may only make them worse.
This one isn’t necessarily a requirement to become a spy, but financial stability is better than a long line of debt or monetary ups and downs. It shows good faith that you’re trustworthy and disciplined. Not to mention, you’re less likely to give in to a bribe or big paycheck from an opposing party if your own finances are in order.
2. Go to School and Build Your Skills
Once you’ve read into all the basics of how to become a spy in real life, you can start training to be one. Training doesn’t just mean long hours in the gym and afternoons working on how good of a shot you have.
Actually, it may take you a few years to best prepare yourself, especially if you make an effort to do all of the following.
Learn About Travel and Foreign Languages
Most American spies spend a lot of time on foreign soil. They have to be ready to catch a flight at a moment’s notice and know what to do when they land at their destination.
As such, it pays to know a thing or two about travel and have a few foreign languages under your belt. These things make you incredibly useful for spy agencies. They allow higher-ups to assign you cases that best align with your international knowledge.
Expand Your Mind
Keep in mind that understanding a language isn’t enough. When you’re on location somewhere, you have to know the cultural norms in order to best blend in. This is even more important if you’re going to be among members of the higher class, who tend to have more strict mannerisms and interpretations of body language.
A little bit of world history and a good understanding of current events helps, too. A lot of the times, spy work will challenge you to understand why certain cultures have tension or the reason for injustices going on in the world. It makes you look at the big picture when you’re trying to solve a single case.
Train Your Body
The other skills you have to train are all about fitness, they’re your physical stamina and endurance. You’re going to end up in a few situations where you have to run for your life or to catch someone ahead of you.
These won’t be in the most open of spaces, either. A lot of the times, you’ll be challenged to use your full-body strength just to survive. Your strength will also come in handy in other, less intense spy situations.
3. Prepare for the Application Process
The skills above get the basics out of the way. You need a college degree to become a spy, so you may as well learn about languages and study abroad during your educational journey. This time gives you the chance to build your physical strength, too.
But, you can’t just graduate from college one day and become a spy the next. There are other preparations that have to take place.
Prove You Can Work Long Hours
Being a spy is anything but a 9-5 experience. The work never stops, and you need to have something on your resume that shows you can handle long hours.
Look for a job in which you’re required to put in long days every day. It may be exhausting, but it gets you one step closer to becoming a spy. Don’t do any job, though.
Find something to best fit your skills or work on other ones. Your job should help you build leadership skills, work on your communication, and learn how to handle pressure. These are talents spies use every day, which you can learn in a wide variety of other work environments.
Do Something in Public Service
Since being a spy is a public service, why not start in the public sector from the get-go? Think about joining your local police force or becoming a fireman for a little while. If you’re willing, enlist in the Armed Forces.
Not only does this show you know how to follow orders and work to protect and support your fellow Americans, but it also proves you can work the long hours mentioned above.
Keep Quiet About Applying
When you’re ready to apply, don’t blow your chances by telling everyone you know. Think about it: spies have secret identities and personal relationships to protect. The moment you become one, you have to be careful about everything you say.
Spies know how to do everything from cover their steps to leave town without being seen and even set up temporary emails with tools like TechinDroid. You may as well start working on these things now. The last thing you want to do is brag about applying to be a spy, only to realize no one should really know what you do.
How to Become a Spy: Be Discreet and Stay Focused
The process of how to become a spy often takes years to complete. Between all the good behavior you have to show to avoid legal trouble, the schooling you need, and the relevant work experience, it may be a while before you’re going away to do spy work.
Still, the work is unlike anything else you’ll ever do. Being a spy is an amazing life experience and an even bigger service to your country.
Keep in mind you may discover a new passion while preparing to be a spy. Don’t be surprised if you end up starting your own law firm or working in domestic high-class security instead. For insights on the former, click here.