In the midst of a political election, many are eager to help out with the campaigns of their preferred candidates. But how do people actually get involved with campaign work?
1. Start Off By Volunteering
If you don’t have much experience working on political campaigns, your best bet is to start by donating your time to a campaign. Find a candidate you’re passionate about and check out their website and/or social media pages to find out how to sign up to help their campaign. Most campaigns will be more than happy to take on volunteers, so if there’s no volunteer sign up form listed, contact the campaign or candidate directly. As a volunteer, make sure to excel at the work you’re given and take initiative by asking senior staff what you can do beyond your current tasks, and the campaign team will be sure to notice! Campaigns are great meritocracies, and chances are you’ll move up quickly if you excel.
2. Contact the Party You Want to Work For
Often, political parties keep a resume bank of those interested in staffing campaigns. See if there is any information about this on your chosen party’s website, and if not, contact the party directly with your resume. If you’re in the U.S., you can sign up for the Democrats’ volunteer database here, or the Republicans’ volunteer database here.
3. Know What You Can Bring to the Campaign
Do your skills lie in sales and marketing? Or are you better at crunching data or budgeting? Before getting involved with a campaign, know where your expertise and interests lie. This is especially important if you are looking to work on a big campaign. In small campaigns, you’ll likely be taking on several portfolios at once.
4. Use Your Network
There’s a chance someone you know has worked on a campaign before or knows someone working in politics, and that can help land you the job. Talk to your co-workers, friends, and family and make your intentions to work on a campaign clear – you never know what might come out of it!
For more tips, check out this super in-depth guide to working on political campaigns by Harvard Law School. It’s tailored towards law students, but it has plenty of useful advice for those not in law as well. You can also watch this 5-minute video on “Starting a Career in Political Campaigns” by Democratic and Republican U.S. campaign experts speaking at the Bush Center.
Have you ever worked on a political campaign? How did you first get involved with the campaign?