Tonight I attended a networking event for lobbyists or public relations professionals sponsored by Washington Network Group (Wing) (http://www.washingtonnetworkgroup.com/). There was a crowd of 90 well-dressed people who slowly meandered into a private room located at Bar Louie near Gallery Place and shared the hors oeuvres. The event partner was the American League of Lobbyists, founded in 1979 to enhance the professionalism, competence and ethical standards of lobbyists. The president of the group said he’d like young people to email their resumes to the American League of Lobbyists because the association has members who know of lobbying jobs. Employers who are looking for more experienced folks would like to see candidates who have a legislative background as an analyst and have run a Congressional Office.
I met an attractive woman in her mid-forties who said she was lobbying on her own for the environment. She’d been looking for a job for more than six months – her expertise was health care related—she was also selling insurance. She’d moved to the District two years before from Virginia and seemed discouraged. She said that it’s been very hard to find a new job—she’d been laid off and blamed her situation on age discrimination.
Another man who previously worked for the health care industry talked about his trade negotiations and policy experience. He had several master degrees and an MBA and was also was working on a doctorate in finance. He was getting flack from potential employers who apparently didn’t like the idea he was working on his Doctorate and so he wanted to leave it off his resume. One employer said that they were afraid to hire him because he would be too distracted working on his thesis.
One man started his own company called StrategiConneX International,LLC during the last two months working with groups who were devising strategies to grow their business and focused on helping POW’s. He makes connections for clients by introducing them to the right military contact where they can get funding. Starting his own company with partners has brought in some business with more jobs in the pipe line, he said.
Several people had their own businesses. One man had a software company that was intertwined with Congress providing data analysis to support a data warehouse for Congress. Another person who was looking for lobbyists in the Healthcare field gave me his card. A lot of people were attending the event for the first time such as a Business Development Officer Roumen Boudin from Eagle Bank.
A young man who was seeking a job as an energy lobbyist said he’d been looking for a year for work and had volunteered on the Hill for a Senator and for the Republican party as well as a few other organizations but still did not get a job, He had sent out 130 resumes received 10 phone interviews and nothing happened. He was very passionate about saving energy and was in a fight to gain more experience.
There were about eight women at the event, one had her own business in education and training, another had a graphics and publishing enterprise, and then there were two selling insurance. Bill Stokes an executive search consultant and a board member for WING, mentioned a man who has a digital IT business verifying negative things that are being said about job candidates and through his programming expertise is able to manipulate Google so that the negative feedback is buried and appears as search comment 500. He can’t get totally rid on negative events or comments but is able to bury it. For example, my friend who sued two companies she worked for and received a nice settlement has had a difficult time since then landing another job. At the previous company she worked for for eight years as a manager she was involved in a sexual harassment suit. It took her four years to get her present contract which is half her pay and will expire in February. She could use this firm.