November 2, 2010

Could You Run for Office?

Today, across the United States, conscientious Americans are lining up at the polls to cast votes in the mid-term elections.

As you fill out the ballot, you may feel like some of the open offices have no good candidate options available. Have you ever considered running for public office yourself? For some people, holding government office is a great career choice!

There may seem like a daunting mountain of things standing in your way to hold public office – and you would be right if your goal is to be the president someday. But the great thing about the United States is that any citizen can get involved in politics in some way. Here are some tips you can use to see your name on the ballot in the future:

  • Get educated. While you don’t need a degree to run for public office, getting your education is definitely an advantage and will help you appear more favorable to voters. You’ll also learn more about the American political system if you take political science or law classes, which can help you run in the future.
  • Volunteer with your party of choice. You might not be ready to run yourself, but you can help candidates who are at the point where they want to run for office. Learn about the candidates who will be running and volunteer to help them with whatever skills you possess. Think you have no skills that can help a politician? They always need help stuffing envelopes, doing grunt work at rallies, and so forth. You don’t need to be a speech writer or analyst to volunteer with your party of choice.
  • Read as much as you can about the issues that are important to you. When you do run, you’ll need to be able to speak about the topics that are most important to you. Read as much as you can about the history of these topics (like gay marriage, the economy, etc) so you know where the country has been and can better speak about where you’d like ti see it go.
  • Work in leadership positions. Those who hold public office are definitely in leadership positions, so any kind of leadership role gives you good experience for this. If you can’t find a job in a leadership role, consider something like becoming a volunteer scout leader, heading a PTA committee, volunteering to organizing a fundraising event for a local non-profit, leading a study group at your house of worship, or otherwise jumping in to be a leader.

Start with a small local office as a way to get into politics and start meeting people. This field really is about knowing the right people, so network, network, network at lower levels so you can be prepared to run for a higher office in the future. Government job networking today can lead to success in the future!

Sign up for our newsletter!