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Before You Go, a Short To-Do List for Hill Staffers

Heading home for the holidays? Hill Navigator has a short to-do list before you go. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Heading home for the holidays? Hill Navigator has a short to-do list before you go. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The “cromnibus” is done! Holidays are here! Tax extenders are done! Sine Die! There are a couple weeks of recess in front of you, with time to tap out some constituent mail and take long lunches, perhaps even a take few days off to spend with family. But not everyone is as happy about their job prospects this holiday season, and lots of transition affects people in different ways. So before you head out, Hill Navigator has a short list of recommended to-do items.
1. Email a displaced staffer. Twenty-three members of Congress lost re-election races , 32 are retiring and nearly a dozen lost bids for other offices. Surely you know people affected by these changes, and no matter how much time they had to prepare, it can be a rough transition. Before you go, reach out and offer to help in the job search. Even if they already have new gigs lined up, they’ll be glad to know you’re thinking of them.  

2. Set up a coffee with a newbie . Come January there will be lots of new staffers lost in the Rayburn basement. Know someone who is coming to Capitol Hill? Offer to meet with them after they arrive next month. Even a quick introduction to Cups and Company goes a long way in making someone feel comfortable in a new, somewhat intimidating environment, and they’ll be extremely appreciative of your time.  

3. Say yes to the informational. Nothing like a wave election to get people excited about working on Capitol Hill. Time to say yes to a wannabe staffer. We all start somewhere; the person you’re meeting for coffee can be in a position of influence in a few short years, and we all have a way of remembering the people who helped us out at the beginning. At the very least, you’ll likely get a hand-written thank-you card out of the deal.  

Still looking for a few more things to do before heading out of town? Check out Hill Navigator’s Best of 2014 column coming soon. Or check out some of the other popular reads from Hill Navigator this year:  

Memo to Capitol Hill Staff: Work Fewer Hours

All Work? Congress Averaging 70-Hour Work Week

Dads on Capitol Hill: House Paternity Leave Varies Widely

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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