America is now a highly-charged political world and that could be good news for those interested in working on political campaigns. There are ways to get a foot in the door of a campaign you believe in and end up gaining a career, and good money, for it.
Getting a great job on a political campaign involves skills, strategy and moxi. Experts in the field offer advice to those seriously considering a political move.
Develop and Showcase Skills
Political campaigns have a lot of different needs ranging from social media to speech writing to knocking on doors. You will do well to have several skills because that makes you more needed. However, it would also serve you well to have one or two niche skills because that makes you valuable in those areas.
You should start using those skills prior to seeking a political campaign job so you have more credentials on your resume. That could be offering to create a logo for a local community group or working on a local, city council campaign. You could offer to do social media work for a non-profit that aligns with candidates you would most like to work for in the future. Everything you do, whether it is volunteer or paid, is valuable.
The easiest way to get noticed on a campaign is to start off either volunteering or as an intern. There are plenty of opportunities for both. Some internships are paid, but most are non-paid or you are paid a stipend, so be prepared to work a job in order to pay your bills.
Volunteers and interns start at the bottom of the political career ladder. You will likely be doing things like working with direct mail, going house to house, making cold calls to poll or ask for donations, or picking up pizza. If you do those things well and with passion, you can climb pretty fast.
Those in charge of campaigns look for traits like flexibility, creativity, up-to-date knowledge on the issues, and technical savvy.
Having technical and social media skills are highly valuable because many of the upper level campaign officials are older and aren’t as familiar with those skills. Add a dose of innovation and fresh ideas and you’ll be the apple of the campaign’s eye.
On the flip side, watch your own social media network. An improper photo or misconstrued tweet can doom your career.
Get to Know People
Building your network of political connections is incredibly important to getting a great job on a campaign. That includes both those online and in real life.
Making connections online can be helpful in finding a job. Those who are impressed with your views or ideas can connect you with others who are key to ongoing work. However, you can’t depend on online visibility alone. The best way to impress those who matter is face-to-face. That can be a bit challenging, especially in high profile campaigns, because of security risks. Even so, a visit to a local campaign office can go a long way to moving you to the front of the line.
Once you start working for a campaign, get to know those in charge. Show an interest in moving up and taking on more challenges.
Also, be observant to lower-level workers who are going to move up in the campaign. Let them know your a team player with skills. They are more accessible than campaign leaders and will take you with them if they do move up.
Implementing these strategies will put the odds in your favor to not only make it to the first step of the political career ladder, but to someday make it your full career.
Bio: Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.