Based on recent events and the changes happening around us, it is clear that now is no longer the time to sit on the sidelines and watch things unfold. To make the communities around you better and have an impact, you need to start getting involved.
There are more ways to get involved than ever before. Non-profit organizations and community movements are always seeking qualified candidates to fill key roles in their organizations, government officers are doing the same thing to boost their performance. If getting into government is the path you want to choose, then these next several tips and tricks will help you get started right away.
Choose a Cause
This may sound idealist, but it is necessary to have a cause and stick with it. Before even applying for a government job, you need to have a clear vision of the changes you want to (try to) make. That vision will guide you throughout the process.
With a clear vision in mind, it is much easier to determine the kind of government job you need to pursue. Don’t worry about opportunities; the government is recruiting heavily and there are plenty of opportunities to grab.
The same vision will also keep you motivated. Working in government can be challenging at times. Staying motivated and keeping the drive alive are important if you want to achieve your objectives and influence change.
Once you know the kind of government position you want to fill, it is time to prepare yourself for that role. One of the best ways to boost your credentials – especially if you have no experience working in public service – is getting a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.
Earning an MPA is something you can do while working a full-time job. Courses such as those offered by Syracuse University’s Maxwell School can be taken online; you even have the opportunity to complete the course in less than a year if you can allocate more time for the course.
Other short courses, particularly in project management, budgeting, and communications, are also valuable. Even better, there are a lot of free short courses you can now take online. Add the new skills you acquire through these courses and the MPA program to your resume.
Keep an Open Mind
One big challenge that you have to overcome when working in government is keeping an open mind. You WILL come across those with different points of view, different objectives, and different ideology entirely; diversity is part of what makes the government effective.
Keeping an open mind is a must, and it is something you can train for now. Read different views, study research from opposite sides, and learn to be more empathetic. The latter will also help you connect with the communities you’re trying to influence, allowing you to be more effective as a public servant.
With these tips in mind, getting into government and influencing change are much easier to do than you think. Take that first step, get yourself ready for the challenges, and enter the field of public service with an open mind and a lot of drive to make a difference.