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Usually you do a politics degree and then sell your soul to an MP for a bit after uni (good luck getting one of these jobs by the way, about 200-300 people apply for each job, most of them won't hire you without at least three months interning experience which is obviously impossible to get unless you can somehow afford to live in London for that time for free or living wage and limited hours), then apply for jobs on w4mp or the public affairs network website. Most jobs have titles like Parliamentary officer, corporate affairs (officer/manager/assistant) or public affairs or policy advisor. Everything but lobbyist basically, because those names sound much nicer.
Then you have to decide which way you want to do it. I work in house - this means that I work for a company and only that company. Everything I do is for the company, I'm part of the team like anybody else and sit in one of their offices only ever working for them. These jobs are rare and hard to come by, most people getting these are promoted internally or come from some sort of grad scheme.
The most common lobbyist way is working for an agency, who then obtains contracts with companies who outsource it and pay you to manage the accounts. Most of these jobs are shit and so are the companies, bar the exception of Hanover (hope you're Oxbridge educated and can sense a political opening three months before you're meant to ) and Michael Page, maybe a few others.
I fucking wouldn't though, I get paid little more than most assistants/secretaries, I have to often report to, brief, prepare and look after our chief Exec and board (who all get paid in excess of £4m a year) with important people despite having no money to match the responsibility, I have to sometimes deal with people that are super important myself, again for none of the salary and make sure that it never goes wrong so I don't get bollocked.
Most of my time is spent dealing with cunty Parliamentary Assistants who are the gatekeeper to the MPs we want to see, so I have to juggle diaries and chase everything up with people who get precious of their MP and won't fit you in because they want them to attend the church bake sale for the sixth week running.
Oh and if that wasn't enough, my job title includes corporate affairs, my old one was something like Parliamentary Officer, others might include public affairs as mentioned. What does this mean? Nobody appreciates the dedication, work and level of political know how you need. Whenever I tell people my job title they either think it's a fancy name for working as a customer service person or at best some sort of public relations marketer. I am none of those things and neither is the job. Nobody, except those who work in the area, will never understand the job title and assume you do something like go to public meetings and deal with the public.
Did I mention the pay is shit? Oh yes, I did. Your only hope is to become a SPAD where you can earn anything from£60k-120k. Granted you do get to fly around the world and travel in the ministerial car, but these jobs are extremely limited and are all well and good, except for the fact you only last as long as your boss, which is until the next reshuffle.
Finally, if you can live with all of that and have some luck, then you might get somebody who appreciates what you do and understands your job title. This means they hate lobbying because they don't understand it and will then precede to attack your life and everything you work for because they've watched House of Cards and believe you're a 'despicable lobbying cunt' who wants to the government to legalise throwing cute children off cliffs.
Law might be boring, shit, hard work and more of a vocation than a job, but so is this, and I'd rather take the extra money. Hence why I want to swap.
It's been rewarding, it is interesting and if you are in the 0.01% who get lucky with it you might become super important orearn loads of money, but for the most part it's a highly skilled job (if I may say so) that combines high intensity pressure, excellent communication skills, excellent people skills and lots and lots and lots of reading and trying to get nowhere, with the possibility that if you upset somebody or get one thing wrong, you might have fucked it.
No problem, but I wouldn't think of lobbyists as anything better than your average prole working in an admin job. We still get shit pay, still drive shit cars and still have nobody respect us anymore than your average shop worker. It sounds magical, until your best result of the quarter is getting an MP to tweet something nice about your organisation and sign up to agree with something you say.
I'm a bit tired and grumpy, but I can't tell if you're taking the piss? Will my background actually help? Nobody seems to give a shit when I've asked around about what I do now.
Preferably I'd like to get somebody to pay for my GDL so it would have to be one of the better firms, but I'm guessing they want at least a few weeks experience somewhere?