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Alternate Routes in Government

By Laura Gordon

If you decide that a career in politics isn't for you, there is no need to fear that your options will be limited. Politics is all about relating to people, and knowing how to distill and disseminate information to the masses - skills that can take you almost anywhere you want to go. Here are the paths that politicians most commonly take when they leave the field.

Non-Profit Organizations

The non-profit arena plays a large role in political operations, but the industry is known for fairer play and better ethical standards than politics. Therefore, professionals with past experience in government can easily make the switch to more neutral non-profits, where important issues will not necessarily center on funding political candidates.

Public Relations

If politics is all about fast talking and people skills , then public relations is just about perfect for any motor-mouthed Hill veteran. Constituents become clients, and drawing up legislature becomes contract signing. You may have to deal with a few more egos, but it won't be anything you can't handle after hearing your colleagues in D.C. talk about themselves non-stop.


As most politicians already have a law degree and an extensive knowledge of U.S. policy, a transition into legal practice would be all too easy. Skills honed on the campaign trail or in the legislature could translate easily into a courthouse or corporate boardroom.


Once again, several degrees and an extensive knowledge of the U.S. bureaucracy, history, and legislature can be immensely helpful in launching a teaching career at any level, be it elementary school, high school, or at a university. Besides, getting constituents on board with your policies is great training for teaching students to understand new concepts.

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