Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tips for Finding a Political Job

For someone just graduating from college with a political science degree, or someone who is looking to transition from one career path into politics, getting started and finding a political job can be difficult. Politics is a very closed society, where the best way to get a job is by knowing other people who are involved in the process. Finding a political job is difficult, but not impossible. Here are some tips for getting your job search started:1. Volunteer on a CampaignA great way to get your foot in the door is to volunteer on a political campaign. You'll make great contacts and learn great skills. Volunteering on a campaign will make it easier to either get a job with the candidate if he or she wins, or to get a paid job with another campaign after your volunteer stint is over.2. NetworkOne of the best ways to get started with a political job is to find someone who knows a politician to recommend you for an entry level position. Use your network! You'd be surprised how many people that you know are contributors to, volunteers for, or old friends with local elected officials in your area. Find out who knows whom, and start the networking process.3. Use Your Local Party Stop by your local political party headquarters and let them know you are interested in working for some of their candidates. Ask if there are any positions open. If not, ask to volunteer at party HQ. As you work there and become friendly with the staff, you will be the first to know about new opportunities with candidates from that party as they open up.4. Intern with a ConsultantPolitical consulting firms are great places to learn a ton about politics in a short time, and to meet influential people on a daily basis. Send your resume to political consulting firms in your area, and ask about a 6 month internship. Work hard, learn the ropes, and they may offer you a job or be able to connect you with one of their clients who has an open position.Getting your first political job can be difficult, but once you are in the door, getting subsequent jobs is much easier. Use the tips above and work diligently to find your first job in politics, then work hard to impress the people you are working with so that they are willing to refer you up the line. Remember, in politics, your network and reputation are paramount.