Research and planning are vital when thinking about which area to specialise in. Putting in some solid groundwork will establish what your key skills, strengths and passions are.
Ask yourself what you see yourself doing in the next three years:
- Is it developing policy? If so, you should get yourself positioned at the coal face of policy development which will be in a government department or regulator.
- Is it lobbying & influencing (public affairs)? You need to position yourself in an agency, in house public affairs team or a membership body where you can really influence on particular issues.
- Is it communications? You must want to be involved in developing communications strategies both internally and externally and media relations. If so every single market needs professionals to do this.
As a rule of thumb and generally what I have seen work over the last ten years of recruiting in this field it is worth remembering the following:
- Do you specialise in Communications? Your skills could be easily transferred to public affairs.
- Do you specialise in Policy? Your skills could be easily transferred to public affairs.
- Do you specialise in Public Affairs? Your skills could be easily transferred into both policy and communications.
This is not to say that you can’t do anything else!
Perhaps you want to work across vertical sectors and countries? This can be difficult in terms of market positioning as it goes against the grain of the market, which prefers specialisation, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Markets are maturing and opening up to people who are generalists in all three areas, but this is the exception rather than the rule of thumb.
If you are interested in discussing your career further please get in touch with me directly at email@example.com.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Operating Director - Michael Page Policy & Regulatory Affairs