Project Wonderful

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Rules for Savvy Campaign Staffers

A former boss/wonderful advice giver of mine sent these to me a couple of years ago. So far this is best selection I have received on making the campaign lifestyle sustainable. Enjoy!

1.Choose your candidates carefully. Do your research, make sure you’'re taking a job that you can live with on key issues and staff personality. Also make sure the campaign is funded well-enough to actually pay you.

2.Build your personal budget. You can’t accurately gauge what you can
live on if you don’t know how you’'re actually living.

3.Get your offers in writing. Best way to do this is to confirm the offer, start date and salary in an email. Gives you something to fall back on in case you get suckered into an unscrupulous campaign.

4.Negotiate. You won’t get rich, but you needn’t always negotiate only for money. Ask about healthcare, mileage, cell phone reimbursements, housing or even just a couple of weekends off during the course of the campaign. The most effective negotiation is done before you start with the campaign.

5.Find a suitable living situation. The campaign should help.

6.Keep every receipt. Many expenses are tax deductible when you live on the road. Easiest thing to do is to keep them all and let your accountant figure it out at the end of the year.

7. You cannot afford to eat every meal out or drink every night at a bar. Eat breakfast, pack a lunch. You will save $450-$500/month by trimming how much you eat out. And while grabbing a beer after work is a staple in the campaign lifestyle, it doesn’t need to be every night and it needn’t always be a bar.Grab your friends and a sixer and go to someone’'s house. Savings here are is closer to $200/month.

8. You cannot afford to buy every coffee by the cup. Get a French press and make your own, or convince your office to get a coffee maker. You'’ll save close to $150-$200 per month.

9. A good campaign office will have three basic appliances: a refrigerator, a microwave and a water cooler. A great office will have a coffee maker.

10. The three NEVER's: Never pass up an opportunity to get a good night’'s
sleep, never pass up an opportunity to eat a free meal and never, ever put anything campaign related on your credit card!

Rule number 10 should be etched in stone.

40 Days Until Election Day!


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