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Progressive Work As A Second Career
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by Lucy Hall, Outreach Manager at Democratic GAIN

Have you caught the progressive bug? Voted, attended a rally, talked progressive issues with your friends or donated money to a candidate or cause? Did you love being a part of the political process? Thinking about making it your day job? You very likely already have valuable skills which qualify you for a career shift. Jobs in the progressive movement go beyond just electoral work, but that of course is included too. Below are some ideas about how to translate your current skills, values and interests into a second – or third – career in the progressive movement.

Writing – If you have strong writing skills and are able to communicate effectively, there are a number of opportunities which value and utilize this skill. For example, communications is a key part of any campaign, be it electoral or issue advocacy. The ability to tell the story effectively, conveying both the important facts as well as the emotional elements, is a necessity. This skill can be found in communications, research, fundraising and new media positions – to name a few.

Research – Do have a particular knack for finding out all the facts about certain events, people, and controversies? Have you spent a considerable amount of time doing research whether it be for a product, in academia or just for fun? Your eye for detail and ability to get into the weeds on topics is crucial in the progressive world where the maxim that knowledge is power holds true.

Sales – My first job in the progressive movement was as a canvasser for an environmental group that is well known in my home state. One major aspect of this work was going door-to-door talking to people about the organization and signing them up to be members – which included a financial contribution. Because I very much believed in the work I was doing and had a negative connotation in my head about ‘salesmen,’ I was taken aback when someone at their door told me that I was in sales. But he was right. I have worked in private industry, the progressive movement and in the world of non-profits. In each one, I have done sales in one way or another. But to me, the selling is always easy because I believe so much in what I am doing. The ability to talk to people quickly and effectively, as well as drum up support in a variety of ways, is highly valued in the progressive world – particularly in the realms of field and fundraising.

Tech – Are you at home in a word of metrics, numbers and formulas? The areas of data and targeting, technology and even new media thrive on the ability to gather and analyze data as well as use it to make strategic decisions.

These are but a few examples of skills which are applicable and valued in the progressive movement. You can find out more about what skills match up with jobs in the political sphere here. And be sure to visit democratic GAIN’s job board to see what positions are available today!

To learn more about preparing yourself for a progressive career, visit our Career Center.