3 favorite things about working in politics

I love working in politics…well, public service or government as I like to call it. And it was totally a pleasant surprise. At no point had I ever prepared for a career in public service, but have realized it is something I had an unknown interest in. In high school, I was on Student Council, and in college, I was a clerk at the Village Hall where I lived. I was also on the Policy Committee for the Student Union. Still, no bells or whistles ever went off. It wasn’t until I interned in my State Representative’s office after law school when I realized I really like government. Here are just a few of my favorite things about this line of work:

1. I meet a lot of people.

Although I am an only child, I am a bit social. I like hosting and meeting people. Through this job, I get to know others who want to get involved and make our surroundings better. I also learn a lot from the lunches shared, events attended, and debates listened to. This field not only gives me the chance to meet lots of different people from different places, but I can also connect with them for the good of where we live…which leads me to my next favorite.

2. I can see the product of my work.

Working in government, particularly on the local level, gives you the chance to see the fruits of your labor—and relatively fast compared to the federal level. I meet constituents who express their concerns and not only can I do something to help, but see the results of our efforts as well. At the same time, I see what things could be done to improve our City and State through a different lens. Being on this side helps me understand the reality of certain requests and how implementation could, or could not, actually take place. This is a great position for helping people and contributing to the world immediately around me.

3. I am using my law degree.

The economy and job market were in terrible places when I graduated from law school. I was leaving my corporate job, after working there during school, and knew using this expensive education was a priority. As I realized I may or may not be practicing the type of law I thought I would 9-5, my priority became– simply using it. I have a great appreciation for my legal training, and I am eager to share it with others. Being a government employee, and working directly with legislation allows me to keep my legal cap on. My role as a legislative counselor not only keeps me in direct contact with state law, but also how to draft it, improve it, watch for unintended consequences, and inform others of all its implications. This is definitely one of my favorite things about my job.

Surely this list could continue…with things like talking local races with colleagues and troubleshooting issues for elected officials. I enjoy my work, and am so glad I have ample reasons to feel this way. This is a great space for learning, and I feel like I learn something new all the time. I didn’t plan to be here, but couldn’t be happier I am.


About the Author:

Victoria Watkins is a legislative attorney for the City of Chicago. She also writes B.A.F.F.L.E.D., a lifestyle blog, highlighting fashion, law, entertainment, beauty, and so much more.