ABU DHABI, UAE — If you find yourself passionate about a cause or an issue and want to be a voice of change, then make it your job…literally! Advocacy jobs provide a diverse range of opportunities for recent graduates and experienced professionals alike where you can use your knowledge and skills to influence public policy and bring about positive social change.
The biggest perk of advocacy jobs is that they span all sectors. Whatever field you are interested in, you will most likely find an advocacy related job available. The advocacy jobs list we have compiled for you is by no means comprehensive, but meant to be used as a starting point on your journey into the world of advocacy.
If you want to make change at the legislative level, consider working as a lobbyist. Working as a lobbyist is also a great starting point if you are interested in pursuing a career in politics or public relations further down the line. Direct lobbying involves meeting in person with politicians and persuading them to vote favorably on the interests you represent.
Indirect lobbying, or grassroots lobbying, involves garnering community support and involvement in the form of letters, phone calling, e-mails, media attention, and newspaper or magazine articles, etc. As a lobbyist you can work either individually, for a public charity, or a non-profit organization.
A community organizer works on civic engagement activities which can be as broad as teaching and fostering informed citizenship skills, or working with an aggrieved population within the community to collectively lobby local representatives. Grassroots work like community organizing can help not only solve specific problems, but also educate citizens of their rights and responsibilities, leading to better voter participation, robust public discourse, and stronger communities.
While the road to becoming a speechwriter is not easy, pursuing a career in speechwriting can lead to influential clients such as politicians, ambassadors, or corporate leaders. As Robert Lehrman, former chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, put it: “Political speechwriters trade the pleasure of writing under our own names for the power to help achieve policies we’re passionate about and, of course, help elect people who favor them.” The job of a speechwriter keeps you on your toes, as you try to express heavy messages in easy, plain English and in a way that that conveys likeability.
These organizations offer you the choice of working on a local, national or international level. The nice thing about joining a nonprofit team is that you do not have to specifically seek out an “advocacy” position. Nonprofit work suits a variety of positions that allow you to utilize your background while furthering a cause you are interested in. Nonprofits are increasingly on the lookout for skilled job seekers with backgrounds in marketing, finance, event planning, communications, operations, social media, blogging, writing and graphic design, among others.
If you want to escape the realm of traditionally lower-paid advocacy work, you can consider becoming an impact investor. Impact investing is defined as “actively placing capital in enterprises that generate social or environmental goods, services, or ancillary benefits such as creating good jobs, with expected financial returns ranging from the highly concessionary to above market.”
Impact investors are consciously motivated to invest in companies or products that specifically promote social good, as opposed to traditional investors who do not consider the social consequences of their investment when making a decision on where to invest. According to the Rockefeller Foundation, “impact investing could unlock substantial for-profit investment capital to complement philanthropy in addressing pressing social challenges.”
If you are an engaging writer and do not mind essentially working alone, then blogging is an option for you. Blogging has been described as revolutionizing the way information is shared and offering an ideal platform for garnering attention to issues you are passionate about.
The Global Voices Guide of Blog Advocacy describes blogging as “a quick and inexpensive way to create a presence on the Internet, to disseminate information about a cause, and to organize actions to lobby decision-makers.” You can either start your own blog from the comfort of your own home, or work for non-profit related blogs. The top five nonprofit related blogs for 2013 were: Philanthropy News Digest, Beth’s Blog, The Nonprofit Times, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Katya’s Non-profit Marketing Blog.
– Rifk Ebeid
Sources: Independent Sector, Skilledup, Yale, Columbia, Princeton Review, St. Mary’s University, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Rockefeller Foundation, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Blog Basics, Global Voices Online, Top Nonprofits
Photo: Our Social Times