Careers in Politics

May 03, 2011

Do you spend your days cruising political news sites, or find yourself arguing with the TV as pundits unravel partisan spin? If you're one of those people who are already fired up about the 2012 elections, then you may be a political junkie. Fortunately, you have the chance to make a career out of your passion. Here are some jobs to consider.

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Elected Government

It had to be first on this list. . . . Government officials at the local, state and national levels are involved in conducting the business of the people. Central to the development of laws and public policies, these individuals may work to address issues that range from local pet ordinances to national healthcare laws.

Select officials of the legislative and executive branches are known nationally, but most politicians have decidedly lower media profiles. These professionals typically work at local and state levels to address community challenges. One pretty unique aspect of this job, of course, is that the interview process consists of a campaign before the voting public.

political careers

Journalism

Without journalists, the work of government would not be known or understood by the voting public. As a result, the importance of an autonomous press corps is widely acknowledged to be one of the most critical ingredients of a healthy democracy.

If you're interested in bringing public light to issues of governance, there are many arenas in which you can specialize. People traditionally think of newspapers and television news as sources of legislative information. Increasingly, though, jobs in political reporting are going online as that medium becomes more trusted for news.

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Public Policy

Politicians are often the public face of legislation, but countless people behind the scenes have a lot to say about how it is developed. Municipal, state and national leaders must be knowledgeable on a wide breadth of issues - often at the expense of depth.

It is the job of public policy professionals to understand the nitty gritty details of different issues and craft effective initiatives to address public challenges. Many people who work in this area perform research and writing in support of legislation. Others may serve as advocates of policy within different segments of the population.

political careers

Communications

We've all observed political figures in crisis. From extramarital relationships to the misuse of public of funds, politicians are widely known to get themselves into trouble. Another way to look at it, of course, is that they're not any more inclined toward errors of judgment, but their mistakes are magnified due to their position before the public eye.

Communications personnel help deal with scandal when it comes. Most of their work, though, involves accurately and effectively disseminating messages that represent how a politician feels about an issue or legislation. Showing public figures in a positive light, of course, is a priority at every turn.

political careers

Administration

Government is in effect a vast operation of individually functioning units carrying out various duties at municipal, state and national levels. Within each agency or public office are countless officials charged with administering the laws and policy that have been established.

This fact makes the government an important source of career opportunities. If you like the idea of providing public services and improving the overall health of communities, administrative positions within local, state or national agencies be right for you.

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