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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Loyalty in Politics: Stay Loyal but Be Prepared

Unfortunately usually only flows bottom-up and too rarely top-down. Many groups, campaigns and organizations find people very disposable. It's as though they expect the individual to bleed for their ideology, but their

In a way this mirrors general workplace frustrations where the elite management are often at odds with, and acting with a certain immoral outlook upon, the workers. If you are being hired, you are a worker in politics. If you are doing the hiring, you're in management.

And workers can be taken advantage of, and often are, a few horror stories:

1) Not being paid, having the last pay period denied
2) Not honoring invoices or reimbursements
3) Sabotaging future job opportunities or lateral transfers
4) Not having the proper withholdings, so the individual is stuck with a hefty tax bill which the campaign should have paid.

I'm focusing on the financial because it's the most poignant, the one that can translate across ideologies the easiest. These kind of problems are why, in the book, I outline why 1) your negotiating position is never better than when you start, 2) you should always have a personal plan that doesn't include your current outfit, 3) you should bone up on marketable skills to offer elsewhere, 4) always keep your resume updated.

I've known people who lost state party jobs simply because they supported the wrong person in the primary. I've seen people fired because a new manager simply didn't like them. I've seen people fired two weeks before Christmas, multiple times. I've witnessed terminations that were tough, wrong and immoral, but they happen all the time.

And no matter how often this happens, or even happens to you, you should still try to remain loyalty to your employers. It's unfair, but it's a better policy than cynicism. 

And the best thing you can do is simply be prepared. Don't be reliant, be prepared.

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