Author Topic: Any Political Campaign workers/organizers  (Read 1799 times)

Marko34

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Any Political Campaign workers/organizers
« on: May 22, 2013, 12:08:35 AM »
Hey Guys, I'm new to the MMM world and trying to get my things in order...  I'm also new to the Campaign world, but have been doing it for almost a year and a half since graduating college and have worked on a winning referendum state issue campaign, and also a legislative campaign in two different states.  I love the work, the fast pace environment and the travel.  I have been accepted into Grad School for Public Policy and Management, but am looking to gain more field experience and defer going back for my masters.  I was wondering if anyone on here has been or is still in this field?  How long did it take for you to really move up into higher money making positions (not that it's super important to me, i truly love the work,) that included benefits and so on.  Most of the people I have worked with love it, but are bouncing state to state, and may make decent salaries at times, but spend months after campaigns unemployed and very rarely get benefits.  Are there any other MMM readers who are campaign junkies like me who can give me any advice going down the road on best ways to balance the constant moving, travel, post campaign-unemployment, with still living an MMM lifestyle?

I hope to try to pick my new jobs based on places with bikeable commutes, and if possible places that offer supportive housing.  I am young and don't mind having room mates to live rent free.

ScubaAZ

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Re: Any Political Campaign workers/organizers
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 12:21:31 AM »
I've only volunteered on campaigns (as in, not my job), but I've spent a lot of time involved in local and state level policy making.  Campaign work early in your career could be invaluable to transitioning into policy work later.  If you enjoy it, do it and have fun with it.  Try to stay local enough at some point that you build some connections, and then you generally can transition into a lobbying/advocacy role.  Some of the high speed fun of campaigns with more stable environment and pay (if you do it right).

As for grad school, I'm not sure its worth it.  I did my MPA part time at night (while working full time) and paid for it in cash and scholarships.  Experience is worth so much in this arena that I would be hesitant to take the time off completely for grad school.  Plus its generally very expensive, and campaigns/lobbying/public policy work tends to insist on experience such that even if you have your Masters, you'll still start at the bottom and have to work your way up.  Grad degrees here aren't all that common in state and local politics.  DC is a whole other beast, if that is what you're interested in.  There, it seems you need a graduate and/or professional degree, and you'll still start at the bottom :)

Good luck, I say live frugally and take this time to enjoy life and build some relationships.

iamsoners

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Re: Any Political Campaign workers/organizers
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 08:21:42 AM »
I don't work campaigns but work for c4 advocacy organizations and will second this...

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Campaign work early in your career could be invaluable to transitioning into policy work later.

We always want to hire people for our organizing jobs who have done a lot of it before. And our jobs are stable, well paid gigs. I'd echo the comment to find a state/metro you like and try to keep working campaigns there so that you'll have good connections.

Most campaign friends I know end up with unemployment and severance bonuses--so that should help bridge the gap for you.  Honestly I would say just keep living like a poor campaign worker, even when you've moved up the ladder some, and you'll do ok for yourself. My friend's biggest vices seems to be lots of travel during their off season so if you fall in to that, at least do it the mustachian way.

Marko34

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Re: Any Political Campaign workers/organizers
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 12:29:56 AM »
Thanks guys!  Great advice!