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Hill Navigator: The Former Boss Who Won't Go Away

As long as your former boss still graces your résumé, he may rely on you to do his bidding. But even the most dogged former members will bow out after a few unrequited rounds of this. And then you’ll be off the hook for good.

Q. I have been looking for a job on the Hill for a while. I know networking is important, but does anyone ever get a job [from] those job banks?

A. The job banks are an urban legend on Capitol Hill. Someone always knows someone who got an interview or a position using the placement services, but the best way to get a job on Capitol Hill is good old-fashioned networking.

Meet with your home state representatives and senators. See if you can get an internship — even a few unpaid hours a week will give you some connections. Ask your alumni group for a list of Capitol Hill staffers they know, and ask everyone you meet with to help you arrange more meetings.

Drink lots of coffee. Write thank-you notes. Email your contacts again in a few weeks with any updates — even if there aren’t any.

Keep putting your résumé in the job bank. But unless you’re waiting to be the next miracle hire, you’re better off doing the groundwork yourself.

Q. Every day, sometimes more than once a day, I see this girl who works down the hall from my office. We smile but that is all. I feel like I am in high school! How can I ever make a move while just passing her in the hallway?

A. Easy answer for you: Longworth Cafeteria. Or Dirksen. Or Cups. Surely this mystery girl gets her coffee someplace. Figure it out, get in line, maybe offer to pay for her latte. That should get some reaction. Capitol Hill was designed for such encounters. Good luck!

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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