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Hill Navigator Archive

Notes on 'Boston Bound' — Hill Navigator Heads North

Capitol Hill staffers, by job design, are dedicated. The bossí needs are elevated above their own, a stafferís actions ó good and bad ó reflect back on the member. The job is all-consuming, sometimes exhausting and overwhelming, but Hill Navigator would not have a column in Roll Call if working on Capitol Hill was not as rewarding as it is.

Arnie Thomas, Veteran Washington News Man, Dies at 66

Arnie Thomas, a former senior vice president at CQ Roll Call, former director of LEGI-SLATE at The Washington Post, president of the A Thomas Group and mentor to scores of co-workers over the years, died of a heart attack on April 12. He was 66 years old.

Mentee Seeking Mentor

Wouldnít it be great if David Axelrod decided to meet you for coffee? Or how about if Sheryl Sandberg or Theo Epstein emailed to see if you were free for lunch in Longworth, to, you know, talk about your future?

Staffer Fail: Vance McAllister's Infidelity Offers Valuable Lesson

We all make mistakes.

Are Happy Days Here Again?

Everyone has bad days. The Metro breaks down (in a tunnel). Coffee spills (on your keyboard). And errors are made (that the boss catches). So how do you bounce back when you know youíve erred? Hill Navigator discusses.

The Lobbying World for the Rest of Us

It seems like nearly every time you open Roll Call, thereís a story about someone who is leaving the Hill. Gone are the government-issued BlackBerrys, the cheap suits and the metal detectors; say hello to the company-issued iPad mini, monogrammed cufflinks and personal office baristas.

In Defense of Mark Leibovich's Campaign Flack Targets

Hill Navigator is a little late to the game on this one, but was recently handed a copy of Mark Leibovichís New York Times Magazine article, ďAll is Fair in the Fog of Fake OutrageĒ (March 9). Leibovich dissects what he terms ďcompletely inappropriate dramaĒ behind the Kentucky Senate race between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Loser’s Guide to the Job Hunt

Hill Navigator has yet to meet a person in Washington, D.C., who has never been turned down for a job. On both sides of the aisle, in each branch of government, there are staffers that ó like you ó were not picked for a job they wanted.*

D is for Desperate

Think youíre the only one who really wants that Capitol Hill job? Worried that all the begging might leave you looking a bit ďdesperate?Ē Hill Navigator discusses reframing your messaging techniques below.

And the Winner of the Staff Assistant Job Is . . .

Weíve all been there ó qualified, hopeful, ready to hit the ground running but ultimately not the one picked for the job. But what happens when you arenít even given a chance to apply? Hill Navigator discusses.

Take the Good With the Bad: Former Reporter Speaks Out

Itís not every day someone chronicles the aftermath of a fall from grace.

When All Is Said and Done, Keep It Classy

Capitol Hill got you down? Maybe you didnít get the press secretary position you were so qualified for. Maybe your merit raise hardly amounted to a cost-of-living adjustment? Or perhaps the boss that loved you is retiring, or caught in some embarrassing scandal, and youíre done listening to people scream at you over the telephone.

Hey There, Awkward

Itís no news to anyone that Capitol Hillís close quarters and young staffers produce some intraoffice dating scenarios. Itís only newsworthy when the congressmanís involved, but what happens when itís just two lonely legislative assistants, quietly getting together after hours? Hill Navigator has some advice for everyone involved ó bystanders included.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Has the Capitol Dome dimmed just a bit? Does the thought of constituent mail turn your stomach? Re-election leaving you glum? Perhaps Capitol Hill is not for you. But how to approach those contacts that helped you land that coveted job in the first place? Hill Navigator discusses.

The Shelf Life of Recommendation Letters

Each of us has a short list tucked away someplace: the handful of people who say nice things about us and are willing to serve as recommendations. By their very nature, recommendations are favorably biasedĖweíre more likely to provide the names of the people who view us as successes, rather than failures, so this is a less a scientific examination and more of a praise-a-thon. But what if you want to use your member of Congressí office on your short list, even if your internship was back in the days of Speaker Dennis Hastert? Hill Navigator discusses.

Breast-Feeding Redux: Library of Congress Edition

Hill Navigator is not yet finished talking about breast-feeding on Capitol Hill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data showing a decline of toddler obesity, citing increased rates of breast-feeding as a likely cause. And for more good news, the original article about staffers pumping milk on Capitol Hill garnered sufficient reaction to merit another dedicated post: this time about the Library of Congress.

Notes on Staffers Left Behind: The PMF Saga

Public service isnít easy. Once upon a time it was lauded as a job with cushy benefits and easy hours, but talk to anyone who works on Capitol Hill or for a government agency, and youíll find their experience indicates the opposite. In every branch of government there are smart, motivated, hard-working, high-achieving staffers who could be doubling their salary in the private sector. And yet they choose to stay.*

So Over the Hill: Staffers Reflect Back

ďAs a congressional staffer, you donít really know what youíre talking about. Youíre better off just admitting it.Ē

What I Wish I Knew: CNN's Dana Bash

ďUnderstand that people you are dealing with are human and to treat them that way, especially the staff. Aides to politicians donít sign up for doing damage control on a sex scandal.Ē

Empty Promises From the Lobby Shop

Few things hold more promise than that coveted Washington, D.C., internship. Whether itís on Capitol Hill, K Street, or even the White House, your internship badge often marks the foray into the much-discussed, overly analyzed, and difficult-to-access world of Washington politics. But what if your internship isnít taking you where you want to go? Hill Navigator discusses.




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