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Career Consulting

Aug 29 2002

"Did you apply for that secret agent job?" said my sister.

"Which one?" I said.

"That one I sent you from the Internet..."

I paused for a moment, not knowing whether to explain the negative effects having a job in intelligence can have on things like going into the Peace Corps. When you've been looking for a job for months, sometimes people don't understand things like that.

"I don't think I really want to be a secret agent."

"You did when you were in elementary school," said my mother. "You read Harriet the Spy and you were obsessed with codes and wanted to be an agent."

"I suppose that's true," I replied. "But when I was five, I wanted to be a superhero, or a supervillain maybe. I wanted a superfortress lair that could levitate, that I could hide away in a swamp, desert, mountains, or maybe a subway of a major metro area. I wanted to use technology -- especially chemistry, but maybe lasers too -- to create superweapons. Weapons of mass destruction, if you will. I apparently wanted to be Saddam Hussein. Some things change."

"I think the open position was 'Director of Homeland Security' or something," said my sister.

Another pause.

"Hmmm. Maybe I would get a lair. Do you need prior experience for something like that?"

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