Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Your Career in Politics - Tips for Getting Your First Political Job

Getting your first job in politics might seem like an extremely daunting task, but if you break it down into its basic elements, you might be surprised that its easier than you thought.

Starting out, you can try for a full-time or part-time position, paid or unpaid, as an entry-level staffer or as an intern. Much conventional wisdom on these issues is misleading. Unpaid positions are often a great way to get in the door, and can be surprisingly competitive. Also, many good places will create a position for you if they see a need for your talents. You have to find and identify the decision-maker and convince them to support you and bringing you onto the team instead of just relying on whoever is accepting your resume as the designated catcher for intern resumes.

The money is always an important first consideration. There are paid and unpaid positions, and a variety of titles and roles that masquerade as unpaid work such as "fellows" and different flavors of internships. Don't let a college degree, work experience, or other personal pride stand in the way of taking any of these positions.

If this is an organization or team you want to work with, do what it takes to get in the door. Focus hard on finding a paid position, don't work for free as that sends a bad message to the staff that you have a low worth, but do the unpaid work if that's what it takes. Don't think that your commitment and hard work won't get noticed, just be careful that it's not taken for granted. If you do end up doing an unpaid position, do it for a set period of time and don't work a single day past that point without asking for a regular salary.

Want to learn the insider secrets to getting a job in politics and keeping it?

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