From campaigns for the smallest local office to that of the president of the United States, campaign workers of all levels are needed. Once the campaign is over, though, campaign workers usually lose their jobs. Campaign workers find more steady employment working for political consultant firms or assisting pollsters and other political researchers. They might also find work organizing the fund-raising campaigns of nonprofit groups, colleges, and other organizations. The job prospects are good for these more advanced positions.
Volunteer for local political campaigns and advocate for public policy issues of interest to you. You can even participate in national elections by volunteering at your local Democratic, Republican, or other party headquarters. There is always a need for volunteers who can make phone calls, print out mailings, stuff envelopes, and help with other administrative support tasks. Keep on your toes and you could soon find yourself doing more substantial work.
After a successful campaign, campaign workers may move on to manage other campaigns, or they may go to work on the staff of the official they helped get elected. For example, they may become a staff assistant, scheduler, caseworker, press secretary, legislative correspondent or legislative assistant, or chief of staff. Or they may become political consultants, contracting with candidates in a variety of different races across the country and around the world. They could also advance into a position with the Democratic or Republican National Committees as a survey researcher or fund-raiser or become political director for an organization or association.
Tips for Entry
Volunteer for a local political campaign or issue-oriented group in your neighborhood, town, or city.
Join an active local political club where you can meet people and get involved.
Some lobbying and political consulting firms provide internships that, while often unpaid, will give you invaluable experience.
College students interested in finding an internship with the U.S. Congress might consider studying for a semester in Washington, D.C., during a time when competition for such jobs is less competitive. Students might also consider spending a semester in their state capital to intern with the State legislature.
Examine your address book, Facebook friends, or Linked-In contacts for people who might provide you with an entree into a local, state, or national political organization. Remember, in politics, it's not only what you know, but who you know.