A Lunchtime Chat on Career Goals

I went to Butterfield 9 for lunch today with a co-worker as part of Restaurant Week. I had a really nice time and the food and service were superb.

Our lunch conversation generally settled on work-related Hill activity before venturing to talk of our future career goals. I really value my co-worker's advice as I contemplate the next step in my career. He knows that I'm interested in securing a job on the Hill and has offered to help me. He stressed the importance of securing and cultivating personal contacts and relayed some advice that a chief of staff once gave him on the value of interviews (even for jobs you aren't awarded) for gaining career and topical information and connections. He calmed my concerns about leaving my current workplace after only 1.5 years (indeed, I never officially committed to two years. I only made that promise to myself).

Now, I feel more assured about seriously looking for a Legislative Assistant position. Aside from working on a campaign, working on the Hill would be an ideal way to spend my last year in D.C. before the Peace Corps. It would expose me to the inner workings of Hill politics and help me decide if federal policymaking is something that I would like to pursue.

Truthfully, my only hesitation about working on the Hill is the potential pay cut that I'll have to take (though I don't make tons of money now as a nonprofit worker). But Hill work will necessitate a clothing budget (e.g., dry cleaning, hosiery, suits, etc) that I've been able to avoid. I just worry that I'll have more expenses and less income as a Hill staffer. But the experience and merely fulfilling a dream will be worth it.

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