Looking for jobs in politics? If you’re a young professional with a passion for politics, check out the top jobs listed below for demanding (but rewarding) hands-on work centering around political causes, campaigns and more.
Top 10 Jobs In Politics For Young Professionals
If you’re paving a path to a career in politics, starting small and locally is your best bet. Look into doing intern or volunteer-level work for local political organizations. Even if it’s not during an election season, contact your local legislative district and see what kind of work they’re doing. This may include registering people to vote, canvassing already-registered voters to recruit them for volunteer work in future elections, and other organizational and logistical duties. During election seasons, you’ll engage in canvassing, phone banking, and other types of outreach to mobilize people to vote for your candidate. Working as a local political intern or volunteer is a great way to network, as well as gain experience working with fellow organizers.
Working as a volunteer coordinator is essentially one step above working as a campaign intern or volunteer. As a volunteer coordinator, you maintain more responsibility in your local legislative district, directing phone bankers and canvassers, rather than just engaging in phone banking and canvassing yourself.
A legislative aide is an entry-level job, and perfect for recent college graduates with political degrees who are looking to move beyond local volunteerism. As a legislative aide, you can potentially work directly with legislators to help them with communications and administration. Overall responsibilities include researching, writing, and reading legislation, as well as briefing constituents about the issues via phone or email.
Policy & Political Analysts
A job as a political analyst is fairly malleable, as you can potentially work with the government, legislators, and candidates themselves. Policy analysts work to create and implement effective policies and programs. Research, data, and analysis are heavy components of the job, so you need to capitalize in a specific area of experience and skillsets. However, political science students often study the process for generating public policy, so the applications in the job of a policy analyst are a natural transition from work as a student.
As a pollster, your job is to measure the effectiveness of a political campaign and how it’s received with constituents. Similar to analyst positions, pollsters have a very data-heavy job; they accumulate information in a variety of ways, evaluate and organize the responses, and present their results comprehensively. If you’re fascinated by numbers and how they can influence votes, look into being a political pollster.
A job as a lobbyist means getting to emphasize your persuasive and communicative speaking skills. As a lobbyist, you contact elected officials and convince them to vote favorably on your legislation. Conversely, you might also ask them to oppose legislation that is not in your organization’s best interest. Lobbyists can either work independently or with a lobbying firm, so there are plenty of opportunities widespread in lobbying careers.
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations is such a broad field that it certainly offers lots of political PR work. Political PR specialists organize and publicize press conferences and other events in order to receive media attention and disseminate positive messages about their candidate. Most young professionals with political degrees have the writing and communication skills necessary to be a political PR specialist. That’s what makes it one of the top jobs in politics.
Looking to stray away from the intensity of campaigns, legislation and voters? A great way to stay politically involved is to pursue a career in nonprofit or advocacy work. First, find a cause you are passionate about. No matter what cause you want to champion, there’s an organization somewhere that works to influence relevant policy outcomes. You can begin working for your chosen cause by volunteering or interning, and then progressively work your way up to a career in the advocacy network.
All politicians seeking elected office, whether locally or nationally, need input on planning strategy, fundraising and appealing to voters. Being a political consultant requires experience working on successful campaigns, which is why volunteering and interning locally (as previously mentioned) are always great places to start.
Campaign Accountant/Fundraising Director
A vital part of running a successful campaign is its funding. As a campaign accountant or fundraising director, you would maintain a lot of responsibility allocating funds to advertising and travel expenses. You would also get to work with big donors and network positively with them. Want to learn about how much money and how many donations your candidate truly relies on to succeed? This is one of the most interesting jobs in politics for young professionals.
There is a wide-range of jobs in politics, especially for entry-level young professionals. Think about your personal strengths and skillsets to identify the kind of political career you want to pursue.