I hope so. I can’t say “yes” from personal experience, because I haven’t got there yet, and I don’t know what will happen when I do.

Maybe talk to some former politicians about their experiences. There are all sorts of factors that might make a difference to how easily you move on to the next stage in your career – whether your retirement from the States was planned (which means you might have had longer to look for another job), or whether you stood but were not re-elected; whether you had continued with some part-time employment throughout the term, and so on.

If you can afford to do so, it is wise to try and save – even just a little – every month, so that you create a bit of a buffer fund for yourself and your family, in case the transition from politics into other work takes a little longer than you’d hoped.  

I’m sure we have all made a few enemies in this job. It shows up our weaknesses like nothing else, because it forces us to make so many decisions on things outside our usual comfort zone, within an endless public spotlight. That doesn’t look flattering on anyone – whether they are the most experienced and expert people within their field, or whether they are just starting out.

But if you gain enemies, you also gain admirers. Don’t forget that. There are people who will have watched your work during your time in the States, who will recognise you as a real asset to the community and will be excited to work with you.

And finally, when the time comes to look for new work, don’t under-sell what you have learnt and done during your time in the States. You will just have spent four years (or more) doing challenging work, managing absurd deadlines, gaining new skills and making connections you’ve never had before. If you can offer all that to a workplace, you’re going to be an asset. Good luck.

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