Many people who are highly motivated to get involved with politics might wish to make an outright career out of their passion. Just jumping in and running for a local office might be a bit tough, however. Without a degree in political science or a background in running political campaigns, you might find it tough to get elected.
So, what can you do to pursue a career in politics to get your start? You could look into working for a candidate’s campaign or in the office of a local politician.
Working for a campaign is often a temporary position. This goes double if the campaign is unsuccessful! Sometimes, if a politician wins the election they might bring their former campaign employees into their new offices with them, though this isn’t always the case. However, working for a campaign is still a great way to get your start in politics if you’re looking to eventually launch your own election bid.
For one thing, you get to learn a lot about the process. By working for the campaign office, you’ll see the processes that go into getting your name on the ballot and turning out voters to throw your name in the ballot box. For another thing, if the politician you’re working for supports a similar platform to yours, you might consider your work rewarding and enriching.
What’s better than fighting for a cause you believe in?
Representatives, senators, and governors all have support staff. After all, someone’s got to help them read up on all the new laws being proposed and help them prepare for lengthy discussions about policy. The HR software systems within government offices are overflowing with names of applicants looking to help their favorite politicians, especially in Washington, DC.
Often, it’s easier to secure a job with a local office first before you try to get hired on with a federal official’s office. This can serve as a springboard for some aspirational people: starting in a local office and working your way into a senator’s inner circle before launching your own senate bid is a classic “bootstraps” story in DC.
Remember, you might not always get the job working for politicians you agree with completely. That’s okay! A job is a job, and people in Washington know that experience in the field is necessary for future success. Keeping your head down and working hard at the job is the key to crafting a successful career in politics.