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How to Be a Political Organizer
Political organizers rally people around a specific goal and work within a political system to realize the goal. They possess a thorough understanding of how political and legislative systems work, and their ability to develop and implement lobbying strategies is exceptional. A career as a political organizer is suitable for people with an academic background in political science and a passion for driving social and political change.
Obtain Relevant Knowledge
Competent political organizers have a sound knowledge of legislative politics, human political behavior, and the political institutions and cultural settings in which they exist. The best way to obtain this knowledge is to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science or a closely related field such as public administration and law. Because many baccalaureate programs require students to complete an internship as part of the coursework, take the opportunity to intern at a political organization. This should help you gain some organizing experience and network with established professionals in the field.
Master the Skills
To be an accomplished political organizer, you need strong lobbying skills. When tasked to unify people against police brutality and racial inequality, for instance, you must be able the select an effective lobbying tactic, such as organizing street marches. The job may involve educating people on the importance of voting and other relevant issues, so you need clear communication skills and the ability to work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Planning skills are also important, because political organizers often organize rallies and volunteers for member recruitment campaigns.
Join a relevant professional association to enhance your network and demonstration your professionalism to potential employers. Securing membership in the American Political Science Association, for instance, enables you to connect with other political scientists and gain access to industry publications that can broaden your knowledge of political systems and help you stay abreast of political issues in the country.
After earning the credentials, search for jobs in political parties, advocacy groups and labor unions. Some independent politicians also hire political organizers to work in their campaign teams. Early in your career you may begin as a volunteer as you wait for a political organizer vacancy to occur. After gaining vast political organizing experience and building a solid professional reputation, you can advance into political campaign management, or move into private practice and establish a political consulting firm. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the employment of all political scientists will grow by 21 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the 11 percent average for all jobs.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.
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