How to Balance Politics and Work

Local politics is generally a volunteer or part-time effort. Yet, the work of politics can be consuming and turn into a full-time job. How do you balance your political activism and work schedules? How do you make political statements without sacrificing your job? Why does it make sense to be active when my job does not require it? What can you do to leverage political activism and building a professional empire? There are lots of twists and turns to making politics work for the modern professional. This blog will help.

How do you balance your political activism and work schedules?

There is no easy way to balance heavy political activism and a traditional work schedule. Unfortunately, to excel in politics, most people have to hold a full-time job and be engaged in the community. This leads to getting politics done over breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, phone calls during workouts, booked evenings, and full weekends. But, it’s worth it, right? You will need to learn how to pack as much as you can into your life, but seeing the impact of your work will make the blood, sweat and tears worth the sweet tradeoff for victory.

How do you make political statements without sacrificing your job?

You will have to make some careful judgement calls here. Many a legal battle have been fought over whether the professional impact of public or private employees statements on political issues. Stay on the safe side with this one. Check with your boss, your bosses boss, and the employee manual. Take stock of how other employees are engaged in politics. Ask yourself some critical questions: Are community and political activism an integral part of your company’s culture? Or, is only one political view a part of your company’s culture? Do certain political positions impact your company’s bottom line (think: healthcare, tax reform, education, etc.)?  Are you in a position where your words and actions may be construed as a statement from the company? These are all questions to think about before you get politically involved and decide how you will use your talents to get engaged. If you think that making your social media private and that off-work activities are protected–you may be exposed and wrong. Have the tough conversations early with your employer so that your political and professional future stay fruitful.

How do I leverage political activism to build a professional empire?

Many shy away from political engagement because it is not “necessary for their career.” It is true that many who are involved in politics have a direct professional link to the success of a certain candidate. They may work within an elected officials administration or have a public position that changes based on the party in power. The core of politics is people and relationships. Since many people involved in politics are not politicians or government employees, political engagement can be a great way to broaden your professional network. You may also gain leverage to get things done in your community as a result of your political contacts. Anytime you’re seen as someone with access to power, and you actually have it, you can wisely use it to advance in every industry.

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The 10|100 Committee is a bi-partisan political action committee that supports candidates-of-color. More on the committee’s mission at ten100committee.com.

 

 


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