Most kids when they were young dreamed of being pilots or policemen. Then as they grew older thing like spy and fireman became options. Seemingly glamorous that hardly anyone grows up to become. Or do they? If we think long and hard enough about it we probably all know somebody who knows somebody who is a policeman or a fireman. Or a pilot. But nobody knows a spy. Sure, we watch movie about them all the time. Who doesn’t like a good James Bond or Jason Bourne movie? But in real life, do spies actually exist? And if they do, where would you find them? The truth is we have no idea, but we’ve come up with a list nevertheless, something for you to keep in the back of your mind next time you are looking for a career change.
There is probably no better place to start than as a cleaner. If you wanted to know what your rivals were doing and you wanted access to their premises after hours when nobody was looking, what would be better than working for Envy Cleaning Solutions that offered office cleaning services south Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane; they all have outfits offering such services. Once all the regular staff have gone home you can cruise in with you vacuum cleaner and broom and your camera and hard drive and copy important documents to your heart’s content.
It might seem like an obvious cover but what about journalism? People expect journalists to ask awkward questions and to go looking for dirt and answers where other professions are unable to. Journalists get to travel and they are able to work ‘freelance,’ which means when they are asked who they work for they don’t have to name a specific newspaper or publisher. It’s all a rather convenient cover.
Anyone who has ever read an Ian Fleming or John Le Carre novel will know that it is always the cultural attaché who is the spy. Normally a man, he is somebody who is affiliated to an embassy who has been planted in a country for no purpose other than to spy. It is often quite unclear why a spy would be needed, but if the old-school spy books are to be believed every embassy has such a person and he is always out and about with his ear to the ground looking for mischief.
Moving with the times
Spies are typically thought of as glamorous types, drinking cocktails and bedding conquests like there were no tomorrow. But the truth is modern spies are probably the people you called nerds at school, the ones who spent all day in front of their computer screens, only venturing out to play dungeons and dragons once in a while. Because modern espionage is really all online now. Hacking private accounts, reading emails that weren’t intended for you and wreaking havoc on vulnerable networks to cause damage to your enemies. Hard to find, but they are out there, the modern spy might not be the James Bond on old, but they are still out there.