Using your existing network
For the experienced job seeker
Representing large companies
Extensive experience in industry associations and consultancies can often lead to other government relations jobs. Many of the jobs that will not get advertised are with large individual companies who need their own government relations officers and lobbyists, for example Microsoft has a Brussels office.
Typically, these companies are already members of an industry association and might use consultancies and law firms to represent their interests in Brussels. However, as the importance and awareness of Brussels regulation grows internationally, more and more companies realise the value of being well represented in Brussels, and consider opening their very own office.
It is important to remember that not only EU member states, but also international grass root organisations, large companies, NGOs, industry associations, political movemnets and even single individuals are trying to influence the Brussels decision-makers.
Although companies may not stop using the services of law firms and consultancies, or leave the industry associations that represent them (most large companies choose to be represented through all channels to maximise contact and coverage of the EU institutions and their regulations), there can be interesting opportunities available for policy experts. As companies recognise the increasing importance of government relations, they realise the value of having representatives in a Brussels office (or perhaps their own HQ) coordinating their lobbying strategy, monitoring policy developments, building contacts with relevant MEPs and Commission officials, and liasing with senior officials when they come to Brussels for meetings.
This could lead to some very exciting opportunities - however it will be necessary to use your existing network to find out where these openings could be, as these positions are often not formally advertised.
What experience do company representatives require?
Companies hiring people as representatives are looking for professionals already working in the relevant policy areas and with a Brussels network in those sectors, such as:
- Experienced public affairs consultants
- Industry association lobbyists
- People with NGO experience
- MEP's assistants etc.
If you have industry experience and knowledge of the relevant policy areas, don't be shy. If you sell yourself well, you could be the future Brussels representative of a large company.
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