Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Careers in Politics, Government, and Activism (2008)

Careers in Politics, Government, and Activism - Second Edition (2008) by Joan Axelrod-Contrada is a comprehensive employment guidebook (~300 pages) for persons seeking employment in public service in the United States. It includes over 75 career profiles in politics, government and activism. It also includes a wonderful foreword written by Congressman Richard E. Neal. It will leave you truly motivated to pursue this carer path!

The book aims to introduce readers to the depth and complexity of pursuing a public service career. It starts with an industry outlook to bring awareness about advantages and drawbacks in this type of work. The most common response is that people want to make a difference. The author scanned sources from industry professionals, association and employment websites, college carer centers, and books and newspaper articles. Overall, this book is very easy to read and left a positive impression on the types of job positions that exist in public and nonprofit sectors. In this world, networking (who you know) is very important to move up the career ladder.

The book is divided into three parts: politics, activism, and and government. Each job description contains a career profile with duties, similar titles, and career ladder (promotions). In addition, each career profile includes salary range, employment prospects, advancement prospects, sample of skills and experience, education and training, and tips for entry. There is an expansive appendices section containing frequently asked questions about civil service and federal employment, federal pay scale, graduate school programs in public service, advocacy groups, how to run for political office, and much more. This is a great resource if you're a recent college graduate or career changer who wants in public service.

  • Political campaigns
  • Political office
  • Local/state government - general positions
  • Local government
  • Local/state specialists
  • State/federal legislative staff
  • Other state/federal positions
  • International affairs
  • Nonprofit advocacy administration
  • Public interest law
  • Community, social and international issues
  • Lobbies, unions, and associations
  • Service programs

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