Capitol Hill: It’s Not for Everyone

Not sure you want to climb the ladder on Capitol Hill? Here's how to know when to leave. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Working on Capitol Hill may be a dream job  for some, but others may find the esoteric workplace a hard place in which to succeed. So what do you do if you decide Capitol Hill is not for you, and how long should you wait it out? Hill Navigator discusses.

What's Next for John Boehner’s Staff?

Boehner may be leaving office, but what does it mean for his staff? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Many things will change in the House when Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, resigns at the end of October, including employment prospects of his current staff.  

According to information from LegiStorm, 67 people are listed on Boehner’s personal and leadership office payroll, most of whom will be actively looking for new positions (several are shared staff). Come Nov. 1, a handful of staffers will be retained to handle constituent casework and answer phones for the “Office of the 8th District of Ohio.” Aides can still provide constituent services, though the office is forbidden from taking on legislative work. Staffers may keep those jobs until a new member is sworn in, and he or she will decide who stays and who goes.  

Farenthold Case Prompts Talk About Sexual Harassment on Capitol Hill

Cloakroom buzzed about sexual harassment as the House Ethics Committee announced its next step on Farenthold's case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

"What do you do if you're being sexually harassed in your office?" one user asked Monday morning on the anonymous Capitol Hill social-networking app Cloakroom.  

It prompted one person, identifying himself as a 26-year-old male working for a 40-year-old female chief of staff, to share his own situation.  

Roll Call at 60: How Capitol Hill Staff Have Changed Since 1955

A staff-focused headline from a 1955 Roll Call front page.

Capitol Hill looks quite different than it did 60 years ago, when Roll Call published its first issue.  

The demographics have changed: Members of Congress are far more diverse, both in ethnicity and backgrounds. The neighborhood has changed: Capitol Hill has become a highly sought after residential space. And there are the offices — Roll Call documented the construction of the Rayburn and Hart buildings, plus the introduction of computers and the way the Internet changed the fundamental ways an office communicates and conducts business.  

How August Recess Makes Life Better — for Everyone

August recess isn't just for the beach. One expert explains how to be productive. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

September is looming large, with the August recess eventually coming to an end. But these several weeks aren’t wasted time. On the contrary, August recess actually improves a congressional office’s effectiveness, says Brad Fitch, president of the Congressional Management Foundation and a former Hill staffer.  

Fitch and CMF spend their time helping congressional offices be more efficient, productive and responsive. He took some time to talk to Hill Navigator and explain the August productivity uptick, and ways offices can use the time to prepare for the busy months ahead.  

Capitol Hill Is No Place for the Passive

Looking for a Capitol Hill promotion? Time to act quickly (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Good things come to those who wait — except on Capitol Hill, where good things come to those who pounce immediately at the opportunity. Passivity has a time and place, but it’s not likely to serve you well in the competitive job hunt. Hill Navigator discusses how and when to speak up.

Policy or Communications? How to Choose

Will press or legislative backgrounds yield a chief-of-staff spot on Capitol Hill? (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

If “chief of staff” sits atop the apex of the congressional staffer pyramid, there are typically two expertise areas that lead to it: policy or communications. But how do you decide if you’re meant to be a legislative assistant or press secretary, which lead down distinct career paths? Hill Navigator discusses.

‘Unemployed Chief’ Finally Lands a Job

Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call


It’s been a long six months for “Jon,” the unemployed chief of staff profiled in Roll Call in March. After nearly 20 years on Capitol Hill, Jon found himself without a job after his boss lost a tough re-election in November. Though he had many connections and years of experience, he wasn’t sure what his next move would be.  

Climbing That Ladder: Will Graduate School Help on Capitol Hill?

Too cool for graduate school? How graduate school affects Capitol Hill job prospects (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Got ambition? Plenty of high-ranking Capitol Hill staffers once started answering the phones and answering mail (even before there was email ... back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). But take a look at any resume stack and graduate school comes up quite a bit. So just how helpful is that graduate degree on Capitol Hill? Hill Navigator discusses:

Clout Calculations: When's a Good Time to Leave Leadership?

Just how compelling must a job offer be for a staffer such as Michael Steel, right, to decide to leave Capitol Hill? (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

If you work for the highest-ranking member of the House, just how good must a job offer be to jump ship?  

Such are the questions swirling around Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, who is leaving the speaker’s office and his $150,000 salary there (according to Legistorm) to work as an adviser to Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise Policy Solutions PAC. The former Florida governor is expected to officially announce his candidacy for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination this summer. Leaving Capitol Hill for the campaign trail can be a wise career move, particularly for someone as well-positioned as Bush in the GOP nomination contest. Campaign flacks, including Robert Gibbs and Josh Earnest, have found themselves behind the West Wing podium as White House press secretaries.