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Myth Buster

If I join MI6, I won’t have much time for my family.

Wrong. Many of our staff have a family or have caring responsibilities. Join us and you’ll find that our flexible working policy means you can work around personal commitments; a number of our roles offer the opportunity to work flexibly. When our staff apply to work overseas, they find the experience can have a positive effect on family life. Sharing experiences with people overseas often creates life-long friendships, while families have a unique opportunity to experience different cultures. Naturally, we’ll support you and your loved ones both during any relocation overseas and while you’re there.

It’s probably full of super-bright graduates from the UK’s top universities.

Wrong. Whatever your background, if you have the skills we’re looking for, there could be a place for you here. We aim to recruit talented people from all backgrounds who have also had different experiences in life. This provides a richer and deeper approach to problem-solving and helps to keep us one step ahead of our adversaries.

It’s a dangerous job.

Not usually. The vast majority of roles wouldn’t be classed as dangerous and you would never be asked to do something you’re uncomfortable doing, or if you felt the risk was too high. Some choose to work in high-threat areas, but our number one concern will always be to ensure the safety and security of our people. However, everyone who works for MI6 is potentially of interest to our adversaries which is why people who work here can only tell those closest to them – see myth#5!.

You have to work long hours.

Not always. One of the positive aspects of working in secret intelligence is that because of the nature of our work, you simply can’t take it home with you. This means that in the majority of our roles, you work regular hours, then can switch off and go home at the end of the day.

No one can know where you work.

Not true. You’re allowed to tell close and trusted loved ones where you work, if you wish to. But to protect yours and their safety, as well as that of your colleagues and their families, you won’t be able to tell anyone outside of your immediate family.

You’re on your own.

Absolutely not. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you’ll always be part of a team. As an international organisation with offices all around the world, we’re expert at keeping in touch. And one of the many great things about working at SIS is that you’re surrounded by like-minded colleagues who are there to support you.


As you can probably tell, we want to make your career with us as rewarding and enjoyable as possible. Depending on operational need, we’ll aim to give you a good work/life balance, including the option of flexible working. You’ll also have access to excellent training and development opportunities, giving you the chance to strengthen your skills and shape your career within SIS.

Our benefits include: a Civil Service pension, discounted healthcare scheme and 25 days’ paid annual leave. We also provide generous shared parental/adoption leave and pay, childcare vouchers and a subsidised children’s holiday play scheme. Finally, you can take advantage of our cycle to work scheme, an interest-free season ticket loan, and the on-site restaurant, gym and language facilities at our London headquarters.


In an organisation dedicated to protecting the country, keeping staff safe and supported is really important. Our specialist people in the well-being teams work with staff both in the UK and overseas, and support their families too. Any staff member can access personal or financial advice as needed.

We’re serious about offering a real work/life balance, including offering flexible working where possible.

And with initiatives like social clubs and societies, occupational and mental health provision – any part of the SIS family can get the support they need, whenever they need it.


There are a number of groups run by staff in SIS dedicated to a wide range of causes, including: promoting gender equality; enabling an open LGBTQ+ workplace; celebrating inclusivity at work for all people regardless of race, ethnic origin, faith or cultural background; and another dedicated to awareness of disability. They host events, celebrate national diversity days like Pride, and importantly they create a culture where everyone can feel included and supported.

British intelligence explained



Find out how SIS works with the other British security and intelligence agencies, both at home and overseas, to help protect the UK’s people and interests.