‘National Security’ is more than just a phrase you might see in a spy movie - it’s a real and exciting career for thousands of people in the UK, keeping the country safe.
As mentioned in our article Five Things to Know About a Career in National Security, there are a whole range of career paths available if you’re looking for a role in National Security, from Policy Advisors to Technology Engineers and more. Each offers a chance to use your own skills, interests and life experiences to protect citizens no matter what your background is.
That said, what is it like to actually work in National Security? We were able to speak to a handful of folks working in National Security to see what it’s all about.
Though their backgrounds and paths into National Security were completely different, what was immediately apparent was that all six of our interviewees shared a strong sense of satisfaction and pride in the work they do to contribute to the safety of the UK.
Ayo, for example, works as a Project Manager for the Ministry of Defence. He was born in Nigeria, graduated with a degree in Electronic Engineering and worked his way up from the very bottom to get to where he is.
Michael, who currently works in the Joint Intelligence Organisation within the Cabinet Office, produces intelligence assessments for the Prime Minister and National Security Council. He has held a few National Security roles in his career.
In contrast, Karina, who works in administration and office management at the Surgeon-General’s office, was on a completely different career path prior to learning about National Security career opportunities and making the switch, which goes to show that you don’t have to have a lifelong dream to work here in order to succeed in finding your place.
Clearly, there’s no set path to a National Security job - what seems most important for the people we spoke to is having passion and drive, protecting people while putting your skills to the test.
When asked about how they felt about their roles and what a National Security career is like, each of our interviewees had their own unique takes on why they’re happy where they are and what makes it a special career path.
Akosua, a Policy Advisor for the Home Office, relished the daily challenges and knowing that her work is making a difference.
Meanwhile, Harrison, a Lawyer in the Government Legal Department, listed the people you’ll end up working with and amongst as one of his favourite things about the job.
Karina summed things up nicely, with a reminder of what it’s all about at the end of the day.
While our interviewees might be from different backgrounds, working in different roles, they share a commitment to keeping the country safe for citizens from all walks of life. Each of them has found a position where they can be the best version of themselves and use their skills and experiences.
What advice might they offer to someone who may be considering a National Security career path? Don’t worry, we asked them.
So there you have it - some very hands-on experiences of what it’s like working in National Security. Our thanks to all of the interviewees for sharing their experiences. Hopefully, you’ve found something interesting, intriguing or even exciting amongst them.
If you’re interested in a career in National Security, you can find your route into a National Security career via the Civil Service Jobs site. You can also find details of apprenticeship and summer diversity internship programmes, as well as the Civil Service Fast Stream programme on the Careers in National Security website.
About our sponsor
National Security is an important part of the Civil Service, protecting the country and its people. The work we do is interesting and rewarding, with many different careers. Our day to day may look different, but everyone working in National Security shares a common goal: protecting our people, projecting our global influence, and promoting our prosperity.