For people who want to create a life of service to others, politics can be a challenging and rewarding environment. Whether you’re running for office, managing campaigns, or working in a policy setting, politics are often stressful and competitive. This is something you will have to be ready for before you enter the world of politics.
The first thing you have to do, if you want to make a career in politics, is obtain the right experience. Then, it’s just a matter of finding an entry-level job that will open the door for you and allow you to push your career forward. However, building a successful political career will take years.
Nonetheless, many dedicated men and women spend their lives in this sector. These individuals work hard, long hours to effect change in our societies. Here are some of the steps you can explore if you want to start a career in politics.
Know Your Goals
You need to agree on your priorities before you start your career in politics. You can plan to report on political developments, to work as a staffer, or to run for office yourself. If you’re still in school, majoring in political science will give you insight into the path you’ll take when you graduate.
You will be prepared for polling and analysis by taking courses in statistics and research methods. If you can apply for an internship, you will see firsthand how the system works and where you might fit in best.
Join A Political Organization
Regardless of your political slant, you need to consider joining a political organization consistent with your beliefs. Be an active participant when you join a group. Be active on Facebook and Twitter, and communicate with as many people as possible.
If you enter a local political group, there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities. These opportunities may include canvassing the neighborhood, staffing headquarters, making phone calls, stuffing mailers, and helping out with registration drives for voters. When you spend a lot of time doing mundane tasks, don’t be discouraged; everything begins like this.
Be Active And Visible
Serve on local agency committees and volunteer with schools, churches, and other organizations. If you want to have a career in politics, you should also attend community events. Whether you intend to run for office yourself or you would like to serve in other areas of politics, participation in the community is important. You can also attend city council meetings and board meetings at local schools. A career in politics is often about getting to know the right people. Involvement in your local community enables you to expand your network.
Work For A Candidate
Another way to break into politics is to work for a candidate — as opposed to working for the party or another group. You will put your skills to use as a campaign worker. If you’re a good writer, writing essays, press releases, and policy statements will help.
Research is another important role in the campaign; they need help not only researching issues but also learning about the opponent and his campaign as much as possible. If your candidate gets elected, they’ll need an assistant to help with communications, scheduling, and events. You could be hired to help the official liaise with other government officials and neighborhood influentials.
Run For Office
You may consider running for office yourself after you have gotten a feel for the political process. Begin with running for a place in your civic organization or a position in your municipality. If you’ve developed a good network of like-minded friends, get their backing.
In politics, nothing works like personal contact. That involves knocking on doors, sending handwritten postcards, and making phone calls directly to voters. And if you lose your first few times, don’t get discouraged. Learn and move on from your mistakes.
Politics is one career field that will stay around forever. Elected officials include senators, congressmen, congresswomen, governors, state legislators, and other lawmakers from counties and cities. They all have employees working under them. At every level and in every part of the country, there are career opportunities in politics.
For more tips in starting a career related to politics, click here.
Featured image: undark.org