Job Description:

Politicians represent people's concerns and interests in Parliament / the Assembly / Congress.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

You’ll attend sessions in Parliament/Assembly/Congress to:

  • vote on new laws and policies
  • raise constituents’ concerns with ministers
  • debate issues and ask questions

Outside, you’ll:

  • talk to businesses and schools about local, national and international issues
  • speak to the media
  • attend meetings and conferences
  • hold advice sessions in your constituency


You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • an understanding of society and culture
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • excellent verbal communication skills (leadership skills)
  • active listening skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • persistence and determination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job by being elected by voters in the constituency you wish to represent.


Most people show their commitment through campaigning and volunteering for their party.

You could also:

  • serve as a local councillor
  • be active in a trade union
  • get involved in student politics
  • work as a researcher or caseworker for an existing politician

Contact your local councillors or your student office to ask about opportunities to volunteer with them.

Other Routes

To become an politician, you have to be elected to that position. You can stand for election as a member of a political party or as an independent candidate.

In the UK for example, each political party has its own selection procedure. Usually, you’ll need to get the support of your party’s nominating officer before you can become a candidate.

During an election, you’ll be expected to campaign in public and online, attend meetings, make speeches and talk to the local media. You’ll find it helpful to have some experience in one or more of these areas.

Career tips

You’ll need a good understanding of local and national issues, and keep up to date with current affairs.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 44-46 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings away from home.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

Career Path & Progression:

This varies from country to country, but in the UK, for example, General elections are held every 5 years, so it can take some time to be elected.

With experience, you might get the opportunity to:

  • take on extra responsibilities like chairing committees
  • move into more senior positions like party whip or party leader
  • move from junior minister to minister to cabinet minister if your party is in power
  • be a spokesperson on certain issues or have responsibilities in a shadow cabinet if your party is in opposition