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Rebecca Gale


Rebecca Gale is a contributing editor for Roll Call. Prior to coming to CQ Roll Call, Rebecca worked as a press secretary and communications director for senators and members of Congress on Capitol Hill. She has also worked on presidential and congressional campaigns, both as spokesperson and communications director. She graduated with honors from Miami University in Ohio and has a master's degree in political communication from the Johns Hopkins University. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published by Boxfire Press, and her debut novel, "Trying," was published by Boxfire Press in December 2012.

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Stories by Rebecca Gale:

Wisdom from CMF: Happy Staffers, Happy Office

Jan. 15, 2014

“This is a business. And we keep punishing ourselves by eliminating the tools necessary to run our businesses properly.”

What Not to Do: Mess With Staffer Benefits

Jan. 13, 2014

My colleague Hannah Hess has the story in Tuesday’s Roll Call: According to the Congressional Management Foundation, the recent changes to the health care benefits are taking such a toll on senior staffers that many want to leave. “Anywhere but here” seems to be echoing through the halls of the Capitol. Nearly 4 in 10 of the chiefs of staff and district directors surveyed expect to look for a job outside the office in the next 12 months.

In Gmail We Trust

Jan. 9, 2014

The House has mail.house.gov and the Senate has that ubiquitous underscore that never quite caught on with the rest of the email world. But sometimes those gmail and Yahoo accounts prevail in job listings. Worried that this could be anything less than official business? Hill Navigator discusses below.

How to Get Fired

Jan. 7, 2014

It happens to the best of us: Sometime, somewhere, you’ll leave a job under less than ideal circumstances. Some people may call this being “fired.” Other euphemisms include: layoff, downsize, time off for family reasons and “I quit.”

Hill Navigator's Best of 2013

Dec. 26, 2013

How has it been one year since Hill Navigator started giving workplace advice? It seems like not that long ago that we started asking for submissions about the concerns and questions Hill staffers have about their jobs. Sure enough, questions came in. People want to get on the Hill or get off the Hill. Staffers want more money or a date or a title change. And sometimes they just want to vent.

In Defense of the Staff Assistant

Dec. 18, 2013

If you’ve been reading Hill Navigator long enough, you may find some overarching themes. One of them is a fervent defense of the staff assistant position. Hill Navigator was once a staff assistant — answering phones, ordering sandwiches from the Rayburn Special Orders deli (old timers may remember that one) and greeting every visitor with a big smile and an offer to make fresh coffee. Such skills may be deemed entry-level, but they have served me well in every job I’ve had since. By the time I’d become weary with the job, a promotion — to the coveted back office — was in the wings.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Dec. 16, 2013

Holiday parties! Free food and drinks and Christmas trees abound. But if you’re a Hill staffer with a long dance card, how do you decide where to go? Hill Navigator helps.

The All-Important Titles

Dec. 10, 2013

Legislative assistant. Legislative correspondent. Legislative director. Intern. Capitol Hill jargon is filled with important titles. But what if your title confuses your colleagues? And what separates an “intern” from the elusive “fellow”? Hill Navigator discusses below:

What I Wish I Knew Then: Jake Tapper

Dec. 10, 2013

“Sometimes it’s easier to get noticed when you’re young by being meaner and crueler than anyone else. But ultimately that can catch up with you.”

One of the Good Ones Gets Away

Dec. 9, 2013

Hill Navigator is a strong advocate of the power of entry-level jobs: Get your foot in the door, work hard and learn all you can from those ahead of you. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the chance to work with some amazing people — both on and off Capitol Hill.

The Least Popular Hill Navigator Answer Yet

Dec. 4, 2013

Think your office likes you? Really likes you? Sure, a manager can dole out praise and Christmas gift baskets with maple syrup straight from the home state. But when it comes to substantial raises, most offices plead indigent and offer a small cost-of-living adjustment. Hill Navigator is here to break the bad news, or at least prepare you for a better conversation.

The Real Backbiters of Capitol Hill

Nov. 26, 2013

Blame Congress. That’s what opinion polls seem to suggest that the general public does. But what if the problem isn’t Congress, but a set of ruthless co-workers? Hill Navigator discusses why competitive offices may not be confined to the Capitol.

Ready to Bolt

Nov. 19, 2013

For every reader question about trying to find a job on Capitol Hill, there seems to be someone anxious to depart. The Hill is, if nothing else, a whirling turnstile for staff. But how do you leave on the best of terms? Hill Navigator discusses below.

Hill Navigator Returns

Nov. 18, 2013

It seems not too long ago that Hill Navigator was penning columns on maternity leave and the need for all working parents to be able to take time off without fear of losing a job or health insurance.

So Busy! So What?

Nov. 12, 2013

Ask someone on Capitol Hill how things are going, you’re likely to get a variation of this response:

The Magical Powers of the J.D.

Nov. 5, 2013

Walk onto any Washington Metro car and you’re bound to find a lawyer. They’re everywhere: working in government, writing in newsrooms, making lattes at Starbucks. After three years of law school and a decent amount of debt, even the most starry-eyed of juris doctors can find the D.C. job market jarring. What do you do when you’re a lawyer and want to work on Capitol Hill? Hill Navigator discusses:

Hill Staffer Seeks Lobbyist Friend

Nov. 4, 2013

Hill Navigator has long believed one needs to network both on and off Capitol Hill. Particularly if you’re contemplating a job switch, having a contact put your résumé on top of the (metaphorical) pile can do wonders for getting that initial interview. But what if you don’t know people who can help? And just how do you meet those elusive “lobbyists” everyone talks about but no one claims to be? Hill Navigator discusses below.

Best Flack Ever: 6 Ways to Improve Your Game

Oct. 29, 2013

For everyone out there who envisions themselves on a White House podium doling out answers to reporters’ pressing questions, welcome to the traditional steppingstone: the Capitol Hill press secretary slot.

Calling It Quits Before Re-Election Season

Oct. 22, 2013

Did the government shutdown leave a bad taste in your mouth? Maybe it was the final straw in your Capitol Hill career. But there’s the delicate issue of timing, and a member of Congress with a tough re-election bid can be extra sensitive to staff departures. Hill Navigator has some thoughts on how to leave on the best terms possible — even during a tough re-election.

Hill Job 411

Oct. 21, 2013

Hill Navigator wouldn’t have a column without questions from people clamoring to get on Capitol Hill. But it’s an answer that never gets old, so we’ll give it another go.

Steve Feldgus Prepares for Return Trip to Capitol Hill | Hill Climber

Oct. 15, 2013

If you ask Steve Feldgus what he most looks forward to in returning to the Hill after two years of working in the administration, his answer is straightforward: giving his girlfriend a Capitol tour.

When Will 'SOMETHING' Come Up?

Oct. 15, 2013

Ask a staffer how she or he got that first job on Capitol Hill, and most have a colorful story to tell.

Former Durbin Aide Keeps Focusing on Education in New Gig | Hill Climber

Oct. 8, 2013

Joanna Serra, formerly a legislative assistant to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, is the new manager of government relations for Higher One, a company that works with colleges and universities to provide financial aid refund, bill payment and financial literacy services.

5 Ways Your Capitol Hill Office Is Not a Campaign

Oct. 1, 2013

Previously, Hill Navigator wrote about the ways your campaign office is not Capitol Hill. But just as there are Capitol Hill staffers who make their way to the campaign trail, there are campaign staffers who come to Congress. And it can be a world of difference.

How Important Is the Rep’s Reputation?

Sept. 24, 2013

So, you work for a big shot. Is there a fancy name in raised print on your business card? There are plenty of people in the name-dropping world of Washington who work for impressive bosses. But what if reputation alone isn’t enough? This week’s Hill Navigator takes a look at when it is worth jumping ship from a well-respected office to an unknown entity.

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