You probably already have some idea of what you want to achieve in the States, so that will help to guide you towards where you want to work.

I’d say think about the soft stuff as well as the technical stuff. Maybe this is the Committee that interests you, but will that President or that team allow you to function effectively? Are you comfortable being on board even though you know you won’t be able to toe the majority line?

Also, take soundings from others. Try to figure out where you’re *needed*, as well as where you’d like to go. 40 people is actually a very small number to run a whole government, whatever the nay-sayers on social media think, and we need people with good insight and good work ethics evenly distributed across Committees, if possible.

(On which note, my pet hobby-horse. Please think about putting yourself forward for the DPA or the TLA. These bodies are elected towards the end. This means that – especially at the start of term – people who hadn’t been elected onto other Committees are usually shoehorned into them. That’s not to say they don’t turn out to be good at the job, but this is not the right way to populate bodies that can make decisions with very substantial consequences – for our air connectivity, and for our environment and economy. We need competent people who are willing to take one for the team, who will put themselves forward for those roles alongside service on another Committee.)

Finally, do your research on the actual Committees. By all means, go along to the formal induction events, and talk to the civil servants involved with them – again, this will give you a sense of whether this is a team you can work with. But also talk informally to the outgoing politicians who have served on Committees you’re interested in. Not only will this give you some insight into the political reality, it may help you to understand if the thing you want to do is *actually* part of the remit of the Committee you assume it is, or if you’d be more effective elsewhere – or pushing for change from the outside.