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And the Year it Was: Hill Navigator’s Best of 2014

Need Capitol Hill advice? Roll Call's Hill Navigator lists our favorite columns of 2014 (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

It’s been another year of advice giving, observing staffers and commenting on the workplace. The Senate changed hands. Staffers were fired . Campaigns were won (and lost) and fresh faces are beginning to arrive on Capitol Hill in time for a January swearing-in.  

But some things never change. Interns still work for free, aspiring staffers still want to work on Capitol Hill and existing staffers want promotions (and raises !) too. Hill Navigator would be nothing without staffer gripes and looks forward to another year of writing about the intricacies of the Capitol Hill workplace. But some columns are worth an extra mention, perhaps another read. Here are some of my personal favorites from the past year. 1. The Other Back Room: Let’s talk breastfeeding. And Capitol Hill. And some of the fantastic facilities it provides for moms who pump on Capitol Hill. This column was a favorite of mine both because of the excellent amenities the Hill provides and the chance to educate future pumping-women about their options.  

2. Paternity Leave: Parts 1 and 2 . Experts have already weighed in on the benefits for paternity leave for BOTH moms and dads (and babies), but what does Capitol Hill offer working fathers? Policies vary widely, and talking to the dads on Capitol Hill about why they took paternity leave  was a fascinating insight to the thoughtful, hard-working parents on Capitol Hill. 3. How to Get Hired on Capitol Hill . The top question sent to Hill Navigator asks, in some variation, how to get a job on Capitol Hill. There there isn’t one answer or a surefire, direct route. But there are some universal truths, and more than a dozen hiring managers on Capitol Hill shared their best tips.  

4. A dose of humility for the rest of us . Maybe you’re at the top of your game and don’t need to be reading an advice column, but some of the most meaningful columns I’ve written deal with hard luck in the job market. Even the best of us have down days, or mean emails, or an unwelcome stint of unemployment. Humility columns include: Mean Emails, How to Write and Receive Them ; the Loser’s Guide to the Job Hunt  and When It’s All Said and Done Keep It Classy .  

5. Best Intern Ever. Most of us start as interns, and most interns lack the experience and wisdom of experienced staffers. Despite such mantras, interns are a common punching-bag for office jokes, even when honest mistakes and inexperience are part of the job transition. Hill Navigator is a fervent defender of interns and many of their common mistakes made as a result of trying to please. For many, Capitol Hill might be one of their first professional experiences. Hence, Roll Call’s first-ever e-book: Best Intern Ever .  

Like the inner workings of a Capitol Hill office, Hill Navigator is part of a much larger, collaborative team here at Roll Call. Several quick, end-of-year thank you’s to the people who help make this column the clean, edited version you are reading now: Jason Dick , the fantastic, talented editor (and if any adjectives are missing, it’s because he has pre-emptively edited them out); Cameron Easley, Cyra Master and the Roll Call Copy Desk, for whom no problem is too esoteric to solve; Meredith Dake, who has shown me the wisdom of posting with photos; my colleagues Kate Ackley , Hannah Hess and Bridget Bowman for collaborating on stories; Alexis Levinson for teaching me all things Twitter; and Christina Bellantoni , for steering the ship.  

And of course, thank you, dear readers, for the questions, comments, insight and feedback which make such a column worth writing.  

Have a safe and healthy holiday season. See you when Congress gets back in January.  

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