Tuan from the University of Nebraska – Omaha asked:
I am a recent graduate with a degree in political-science and speech communication .I want to stay in Omaha and wanted to become a lobbyist, but seems as though there are not many lobbying opportunities here. Are there other jobs in Omaha that are closely or loosely related to lobbying? I want to work with immigration and minorities.
Hello Tuan –
Your question highlights a challenge that many job seekers face – sometimes what you want to do for a career is not very compatible with where you want to live. While doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers and other similar types of professionals can be found is significant volume in most cities – no matter how big or how small – other professionals – film makers, petroleum engineers, marine biologists and lobbyists have to go to where the opportunities are located to start their careers. Film makers usually have to go to Los Angeles, petroleum engineers have to go to where oil is produced, marine biologists have to go to where the animals they are studying reside, and lobbyists have to go to where the lawmakers work.
Since lobbyists need to be where they can connect with and influence (lobby) lawmakers, they usually work in or around capitol cities. In Texas, that means Austin. In the US, that means Washington DC. In Nebraska, that means Lincoln.
So, if you really want to be a lobbyist, you will probably have to consider relocating from Omaha to somewhere else.
If you want to stay in Omaha more than you want to work as a lobbyist, you need to identify what it is that appeals to you most about being a lobbyist and use this information as your guide in seeking other forms of employment.
Is it the advocacy? Perhaps you could use your skills in persuasion working as a fundraising officer for a local non-profit or in a sales career.
Is it the “helping” aspect? Maybe you could work in teaching or in program management for a non-profit.
Is it being part of policy-making? Perhaps you could get involved in local government.
You mentioned immigration and minority services in your question. What businesses, social service organizations, government agencies and non-profits in Omaha focus on immigration, immigrant assimilation, or minority communities?
That may be where you should start.
Schedule an appointment with a career adviser at your college. I am sure they will have some good suggestions for you.