Lobbyists monitor the government’s activity and work on campaigns to change or improve policy and law.Job Category:
What you will do:
Your main aim is to influence the government or to help others to influence the government. You’ll advise your clients on policies and processes, and represent their views to Parliament.
- help clients understand legal or political processes and help them build a strategy to improve those processes
- investigate when new legislation is due to be released and support clients in preparing a response
- provide information and strategic direction to clients or government agencies
- organise meetings between clients and government departments
- attend party and committee conferences
- read reports and information produced by government agencies, NGOs, Think Tanks, charities, and other agencies
- write press releases, articles, reports, newsletters, and digital content
- work directly with politicians or civil servants
In the UK, you will also need to follow the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ code of conduct.
You could work at:
- an independent consultancy
- a public relations organisation
- an NGO or charity
- a Think Tank
- a pressure group
- a government agency
You may also work ‘in-house’, meaning you lobby the government to change policies in line with a private employer’s aims and missions, for example, to stop testing cosmetics on animals.
You could become a freelance lobbyist after you have enough experience.
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- administration & organisational skills
- the ability to work with lots of different types of people
- the ability to work on your own
- to be flexible and open to change (adaptable)
- customer service skills
- strong written and verbal communication skills
- confidence in public speaking and speaking out against a majority
- strong research and analysis skills
- enthusiasm, resilience, and perseverance
- the ability to analyse problems and build a strategy to overcome them
There are no official entry requirements, however, most organisations will expect you to have a degree in politics, international relations, social policy, law, business studies, or languages.
Senior positions may require a postgraduate qualification in politics, government, or public relations.
You will also need to have significant work experience either through shadowing local government or a consultancy firm, or through voluntary social impact work – for example, with your school, college, or university’s council or politics society.
Working Hours and Environment:
Most lobbyists work a 37-40 hour week, though you may need to work extra hours in the lead up to a campaign or deadline. You will also be busier at different points of the year depending on parliamentary recesses and processes.
If you choose to work as a freelance lobbyist, you set and work your own hours.
Career Path & Progression:
Your career path depends on where you choose to work.
For example, in a consultancy firm, you will follow a clear structure from junior, to manager, to associate, to senior where you’ll bring in new clients. Whereas, in a public affairs department, the progression is less certain but you may be able to move into policy advising or into other political roles.