Career and Internship Resources

Steven Strausbaugh
Dec 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

As I write this, I am on the job hunt. If you’re looking for work or internships in liberty right now, keep reading. I consider myself very interested in the liberty movement and want a job working to advance those principles. I figured I’d share some options that I’ve found to be solid for liberty-minded people such as myself.

First off, as a believer in liberty it is necessary to understand that pure “libertarian” jobs are few and far between. What I’ve come to realize is that specific issues are easier to focus on if you wish to remain pure in ideological work. There are a few staunch libertarian organizations in the current political society such as CATO or Campaign for Liberty and getting jobs with those organizations requires a lot of connections and a little bit of luck.

The best bet from what I have seen is to be willing to compromise a bit. If a free-market organization is hiring or interested in your abilities, don’t be afraid to go work for them even though they don’t advocate for drug legalization or gay marriage or whatever other issues are important to you. You can focus on specific issues at work and then advocate or volunteer for the other important aspects in your free time. Economic matters should be the most important to anyone interested in liberty, since that is where much freedom is rooted. If the government is able to steal money from you to pay for things you don’t believe in, personal liberties are put into question through those measures.

Consider working for organizations that promote free market solutions. The State Policy Network is a great place to look for jobs in state-based free market think tanks. I am currently trying to connect with the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania as one of my options. If you’re interested in grassroots and/or activism, the Leadership Institute is one of the leaders in that area of work. They are big on activism and training conservatives/libertarians on how to effectively win on principle. It is typically considered a ”launchpad” for young careers, so there is a fairly high turnover rate and jobs are consistently becoming available. They also run a job seeker website called Conservative Jobs where you can set up a profile, resume, etc., etc.

Another great organization is the Charles Koch Institute. They offer highly recognized programs such as the Koch Internship Program (KIP), Koch Associate Program (KAP), Liberty at Work and the Koch Summer Fellowship Program (KSFP). I’ve participated in KSFP and had a lot of good experience with it. Have an interview set up with KAP as well. These are good jobs for people who believe in free markets.

The Talent Market is a great resource for free market job seekers and Claire Kittle is a pleasure to work with. These tend to be more middle to high-level positions, but it never hurts to at least put your resume in with them and see what happens. You never know unless you try!

Last but not least, the Institute for Humane Studies. They have a massive amount of trainings held across the country and are full of resources for liberty-minded students and job seekers. They operate a job seeker website called Liberty Guide where you can create a profile, resume, etc. and be on the market that way.

Just wanted to share some of the outlets I am looking at right now. I know a lot of my friends in liberty are looking for jobs and internships in the movement. If you use these links and organizations listed above, you will be off to a good start!

The connections you have in the job market definitely help but in an ideal world they shouldn't matter. In an ideal world your skills should matter the most. So how do we find a good job? Since we don't live in an ideal world we fight to reach our desired position. Here's what you can do to become an Interim CFO and this is just an example. It's really not a coincidence that the best people do get the best job positions.

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