|Politics, Economics and Philosophy|
|Politics, Philosophy and Economics|
|House of Commons Clerk|
|House of Commons|
|Politics and public affairs|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a House of Commons Clerk in the United Kingdom
My career goals when I graduated
To find a job, ideally in the public sector
My career history
I joined as a Fast Streamer on the graduate programme and initially worked for a number of Select Committees. The House circulates staff through roles on a regular basis, and since joining I have also worked for the Parliamentary Estates Directorate, the Public Bill Office, and undertaken a loan to a central Government Department.
What has helped my career to progress
Being brave, and pushing myself to conquer the challenges that seem beyond me at first.
What surprised me about my career so far
Everything. I would never have imagined working for the House of Commons as a student. I didnt even know it was a job that one could do!
Where I hope to be in 5 years
Probably still in Westminster in some role or other. There are lots of opportunities to progress and work for different parts of Parliament, and to work in Government Departments (as I have done for a period).
My advice to students considering work
Figure out what you're really interested in or enjoy most (whether that's an area of study, hobby, or other activity), and do some reasearch into what roles exist around that area. Talk to people already doing them, and ask how they started. You might not be able to get precisely the job that you want immediately, but if you're guided by what you have interest in, you'll find something that you don't mind getting up for in the morning - and you might be surprised by what is out there.
My advice about working in my industry
The Fast Stream is the most obvious route for graduates into the Civil Service and into being a Clerk. However, there are other routes available. Select Committees sometimes recruit specialists directly, as do other areas of the House of Commons. There are also entry-level positions that come up from time to time - all advertised on the House of Commons careers website. If you have a broader interest in politics then working in an MP's office or for a political party can be a good way in. There are people working here from all walks of life - you do not need a politics degree to apply.
Happy to answer questions on the House of Commons/Parliament, but am not an expert on the civil service in general.
What I do
I am employed by the House of Commons as a politically neutral advisor to MPs about Parliamentary procedure and practice. I have worked on a range of Parliamentary business, from select committees to legislation.
Skills I use and how I developed them
Communication is key to my job. I have to be able to explain sometimes complex processes and procedures to Members of Parliament in a way that they can understand. I also need to be able to process information about a large range of subjects and analyse and apply principles to that information. For example, I might need to read and understand a piece of legislation about a policy area that I've not encountered before, and be able to make a decision on how wide the scope for amendments might be. There is also an element of project or event management - coordinating parliamentary events or select committee business, for example.
What I like most
I get to see Parliament in action on a day to day basis and be close to the key decisions that are being made about the country. This is a job for the political voyeur.
What I like least
The hours can be long, as the House sometimes sits late into the evening.
What surprised me most
Most MPs are really quite normal people.
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