Life after Westminster

There are multiple Career Opportunities for Former Researchers Transitioning from Parliament

Working as a researcher for a Member of Parliament in Westminster, provides invaluable experience in navigating the intricate realms of politics, policy, and public service. However, when it comes time to move on from this role, individuals may find themselves contemplating their next career move. The skills acquired in such a position are diverse and transferable, opening up a range of potential career paths outside of parliamentary work. Let’s delve into some of the job opportunities a former researcher might consider pursuing:

Key working roles

  1. Policy Analyst/Consultant: With a deep understanding of parliamentary procedures, legislative processes, and policy development, former researchers are well-equipped to transition into roles as policy analysts or consultants. These positions involve conducting research, analysing data, and providing strategic advice to organisations, think tanks, or consultancy firms on various policy issues.
  2. Government Relations/Advocacy: Leveraging their insider knowledge of how government operates, former parliamentary researchers can excel in roles within government relations or advocacy. They may work for nonprofit organisations, trade associations, or corporations, advocating for specific policies or influencing legislation that aligns with their employers’ interests.
  3. Public Affairs Manager: Public affairs managers play a crucial role in building relationships between organizations and government entities. Former parliamentary researchers can thrive in this role by utilizing their communication skills, political acumen, and understanding of the legislative process to engage with policymakers, stakeholders, and the public on behalf of their employers.
  4. Political Consultant/Strategist: Drawing upon their experience working closely with MPs and political parties, former researchers can transition into roles as political consultants or strategists. They may provide campaign advice, develop communication strategies, or offer insights into political trends and public opinion for candidates, parties, or advocacy groups.
  5. Research and Analysis: The research skills acquired while working in Parliament are highly transferable to various research and analysis roles across different sectors. Whether in academia, market research, or the nonprofit sector, former researchers can apply their ability to gather, synthesize, and present information effectively to inform decision-making and drive organizational goals.
  6. Communications Specialist: Former parliamentary researchers possess strong written and verbal communication skills, making them well-suited for roles as communications specialists or media relations professionals. They may work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or PR firms, crafting messaging, handling media inquiries, and managing public relations campaigns.
  7. Legal and Regulatory Affairs: Given their familiarity with legislative frameworks and policy intricacies, former researchers may pursue careers in legal and regulatory affairs. They could work as legislative analysts, compliance officers, or legal advisors for government agencies, corporations, or law firms, interpreting laws, drafting regulations, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
  8. Academic or Think Tank Researcher: Individuals who have developed a passion for research and a deep understanding of specific policy areas during their time as parliamentary researchers may choose to pursue careers as academic researchers or think tank analysts. They can contribute to scholarly discourse, produce policy papers, and influence public debate on issues of national and international significance.
  9. Education and Training: Some former parliamentary researchers may transition into roles within education and training, leveraging their expertise to teach courses on politics, government, or public policy at universities, colleges, or professional development programs. They can impart their knowledge and mentor the next generation of aspiring policymakers and researchers.
  10. Entrepreneurship and Advocacy: Equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the political landscape and societal challenges, some former researchers may choose to embark on entrepreneurial ventures or establish advocacy organisations focused on addressing specific issues or advancing particular causes. Their innovative ideas and passion for positive change can drive impactful initiatives and mobilize support within their communities.

Key media roles

Former parliamentary researchers can also pursue careers in media research or journalism, leveraging their expertise to contribute valuable insights and analysis to the media landscape. Here’s how they can transition into these roles:

  1. Media Researcher: Media researchers play a crucial role in gathering, analysing, and interpreting data related to media consumption, audience demographics, and market trends. Former parliamentary researchers can apply their research skills to conduct in-depth analysis of media content, audience preferences, and the impact of media on public opinion. They may work for media companies, advertising agencies, or market research firms, providing insights to inform content development, advertising strategies, and audience targeting.
  2. Journalist: With their strong writing skills, analytical mindset, and understanding of political dynamics, former parliamentary researchers are well-suited to careers in journalism. They can pursue roles as reporters, correspondents, or investigative journalists, covering political developments, policy debates, and current affairs for print, broadcast, or digital media outlets. Their insider knowledge of government processes and access to key sources can enhance the depth and accuracy of their reporting, allowing them to provide informative and engaging stories to the public.
  3. Political Analyst/Commentator: Former parliamentary researchers can also become political analysts or commentators, offering expert analysis and commentary on political events, elections, and policy debates. They may contribute opinion pieces, columns, or commentary segments to newspapers, magazines, television programs, or online platforms, providing insights into the implications of government decisions and political developments. Their ability to dissect complex issues and communicate them effectively to a wide audience can make them valuable voices in the media landscape.
  4. Researcher/Producer for News Programs: Former researchers can work behind the scenes in newsrooms as researchers or producers for news programs. They may conduct background research, fact-checking, and source verification to support the production of news stories and segments. Their understanding of parliamentary procedures and policy issues can inform the editorial decision-making process, ensuring that news coverage is informative, accurate, and relevant to the audience.
  5. Political Blogger/Columnist: In the digital age, there are ample opportunities for former parliamentary researchers to establish themselves as political bloggers or columnists, sharing their insights and perspectives on political developments through online platforms, blogs, or social media channels. They can build a following by providing timely analysis, commentary, and opinion pieces on a wide range of political topics, engaging with readers and fostering discussion in the online community.

By transitioning into roles in media research or journalism, former parliamentary researchers can continue to utilize their expertise in politics, policy, and research to inform public discourse and contribute to the media landscape. Whether as media researchers, journalists, political analysts, or commentators, they can leverage their skills and knowledge to provide valuable insights, analysis, and commentary on issues of national and international importance.

In conclusion, the skills and experiences gained from working as a researcher for an MP in Parliament  provide a solid foundation for diverse career opportunities beyond the confines of parliamentary work. Whether in policy analysis, government relations, research, communication, or advocacy, former researchers possess the expertise and insight to make meaningful contributions across various sectors and domains. By embracing their transferable skills and exploring their passions, they can embark on fulfilling career paths that align with their interests and aspirations.