The genesis of a hero

I knew that enrolling in a government agency would not be possible. I was really out of shape. Unable to climb more then 3 steps without being out of breath. My vision was real bad and I only had a degree in Computer Science. Sitting in an office all day even working for a three letter agency is not very much James Bond lifestyle. To later find out otherwise.

I started looking up the United Nation’s web sites for jobs overseas. Found a couple of interesting posting that would fit my background and get me out of here. But getting a job at the U.N. if your not connected is not that easy. Could be fastidious and painfully long process. Skimming the offers got me thinking of other options. The Caribbean, I thought, would be a good start for a taste of Bond’s lifestyle. So I applied on different jobs I could find on Monster and other specialized Caribbean Job web sites.

When I started this process I was Teaching Networking and Information Security at a local college. Training the local elite, I quickly realized this wouldn’t be a long lasting job. The contracts were getting rare and the classes smaller. So was my bank account. I was making a decent living but nowhere near a generous James Bond’s one.

Even though I had posted to my top 50 jobs selections, I was still hungry to know more. Learning about expat’s sites and applying for defense contractors with interests in Europe or the Middle East quickly came up as a natural next step.

After a week I started to receive offers and interview requests. I got one that got my attention. The job was in Bosnia and Herzegovina in ex-Yugoslavia. If interested, they wanted to interview me the following week any day available early in the morning. Because of the time difference of 6 hours the best time for both of us was 7 Am on Tuesday, right after lunch for them and just before work for me. I was really excited.

I felt it was a terrible, terrible interview. I was still drowsy from a sleepless night and I couldn’t put sentences together very well, mixing up acronyms and hesitating before answering back.

Resigned, I carried on with my other leads in the Caribbean. A Canadian Bank’s branch contacted me for an interview the following day. They wanted me to relocate there promptly. We exchanged a few Emails and all was going well until I was explained that I could be sent back anytime if a qualified local turned up to be hired for the job. No guaranties on how long the contract would be or anything of that sort. The bank would support my application for a temporary resident based on the fact that they couldn’t hire someone with my level of certifications on the island. I wasn’t really pleased with that. So we initiated the process slowly. They sent me documentation and paperwork, along with an offer. The yearly wage was higher then what I could find in my hometown; but on the local economy it wasn’t flying very high. In fact it was a bit disappointing.

The Bosnian package arrived unexpectedly 3 months after the interview. I wasn’t thinking about it anymore. But this was all real. I had to file for a security clearance, health check paperwork the whole nine yards.  

In all the excitement, I didn’t realize yet that I was very much alone in my project. I hadn’t involved anybody at any steps of my personal development process. Fair enough my friends knew I was on the lookout for another job, but nobody expected that much of radical change of direction. This when the clearance came in.


SuperSpyMeJF Bouchard