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A Career In Public Affairs – What Would That Be Like?

career in public affairs

If you are into politics and also like the idea of working within communications and persuading people, then a career in public affairs might appeal to you.

What would a career in public affairs involve?

A career in public affairs involves understanding the political system in order to offer public policy advice to your client, which might be a company, charity or some other organisation.

Advising your client is important so that they can deal with / adapt to policy changes made by Government.

A job in public affairs involves a lot of research and information monitoring to stay up to speed with developments that affect your client. A lot of the work will be office-based, but equally, there will be times when you need to get out and about to gather all the intelligence that you need to do your job. You might for example attend events and Government select committee meetings.

Expect to:

  • Read lots of lengthy documents – including Hansard transcripts.
  • Be proactive in doing research
  • Use your intelligence to evaluate the effect of changes on your client’s business
  • Write briefing papers
  • Attend events and meetings
  • Communicate with officials and politicians
  • Work to and meet deadlines
  • Look smart and behave professionally

What qualifications do I need for a career in public affairs?

Jobs in public affairs are competitive. It may be possible to get into this career with an HND and lots of experience in politics and campaigning ( you could get this through voluntary work for a local MP for example) but more often you will need a degree and a relevant post-graduate master’s degree can be helpful.

If you like these things – you might like public affairs

Politics and current affairs

Researching things

Examining and investigating information

Communicating with people

Using IT

Using your initiative

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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