Being a lobbyist means advocating for a certain cause, knowing the policy initiatives of governing agencies and being able to represent the interests of the organizations you represent. Lobbyinst’s job is to inspire ideas, incite change, and influence opinions of outside stakeholders and legislators. The calling of a lobbyist is becoming more and more popular nowadays and people interested in this particular field often wonder what steps they need to take in order to become one.
Is lobbying for you?
The first step, just like with any other career, is determining whether you are a good fit for the job and whether lobbying is really something you wish to pursue. There are some characteristics that all lobbyists share and are particularly useful to have in order to successfully represent an organization or influence others’ opinions. First of all, all lobbyists are very social people, which is understandable considering that they need to work with people all the time. They are good at meeting new people, making connections and have great communicative skills. Fighting for a cause they believe in comes easy to lobbyists as they are very passionate about making a change and are not afraid to speak up when they need to. Lastly, lobbyists are also confident, which is a characteristic you definitely need when trying to persuade legislators into voting on certain public policies.
Luckily, lobbyists don’t have any requirements when it comes to education. Of course, it is good to be well educated and a degree in political science or law might be the most beneficial to you; however, it is not necessary. If you are interested in a particular field, you might want to choose something which will bring you the most knowledge about that subject. For example, someone who wants to fight for environmental causes would benefit greatly from an environmental science degree.
Since you will be working closely with legislators you must know how the legislative process works. A good way to expose yourself to other lobbyists and politicians is by seeking internships and working alongside other lobbyists, legislators, and politicians. A job of an intern usually includes taking notes, answering phones and e-mails, which doesn’t sound like much, but that is the best position to learn about current issues and get the necessary knowledge you will need in your job. Internships are also an amazing way to form connections and meet important people, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and show how passionate you are. Even though they are usually unpaid, internships are how people receive job offers and start their careers, so be sure to find one as soon as possible.