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Hill Navigator: Career Change

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
If youve decided the Hill is no longer the place you want to be, how do you tailor your departure to make sure youve gotten everything you can out of your job, your contacts and your experience?

You dont have to scour LegiStorm to know that working on Capitol Hills downsides are in the money arena. But your co-workers dont want to be reminded about how little they make. Keep quiet about the perks youre getting in your future corner office while your current co-workers are crafting Dear Colleague drafts in their cubes. Part of what makes Capitol Hill amazing is the optimism and dedication of the staff. No one wants a departing co-worker to undermine that.

4. Learn more.

Your future employer will be loath to find out that the Hill staffer they hired doesnt understand the first thing about committee markups. Before you head out, take that Congressional Research Service course, ask your legislative director to explain what the motion to recommit does, and strengthen your Capitol Hill vocabulary. Once youre off the Hill, youre expected to know all these things on your own.

5. Do it all one last time.

Former staffers say they miss the splendor of the Capitol and being part of the living, breathing, constantly changing entity that is Congress. Before you go, take another walk around while your staff ID gives you access anywhere. Go up to the Dome and admire Constantino Brumidis masterpiece, The Apothesis of Washington. Find your state statues in Statuary Hall. Take a Capitol tour from one of the all-knowing red-coat-wearing guides. Do it all one more time as an insider before you turn in your staff ID and become an outsider forever.

Got a question, concern or complaint about navigating life on Capitol Hill? Email us at hillnavigator@rollcall.com or submit online at roll.cl/12tvZqI. All submissions are treated anonymously.

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