Five questions to ask before running for office.

Dec. 29th, 2023

Thinking of Running for Office? Ask Yourself These 5 Key Questions First

Running for political office can be an incredibly rewarding experience – a chance to give back to your community, enact positive change, and put your leadership skills into action. However, it also requires major commitment and courage. Before taking the leap to launch a campaign, it’s important to honestly assess your motivations, bandwidth, and personal life circumstances.

Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself beforehand:

  1. Is your family on board? Pursuing office will impact not just you but also your spouse, children, and other family members. Be sure to discuss whether they can handle what could be months if not years of your attention being diverted towards campaigning and eventually holding public office. Their full support is crucial. 
  2. Are you willing to fundraise? Running any successful campaign requires raising money, sometimes substantial amounts. Are you prepared to make fundraising calls, hold events, and ask contacts for donations? You’ll need a solid fundraising strategy and commitment before kicking off your run.
  3. Do you have the time? Modern campaigns can resemble full-time jobs, especially as election day nears. Make sure you clear room in your schedule and accomodate the time spent campaigning, meeting voters, managing staff and volunteers, and more. It’ll ramp up quickly so know what you’re getting into.
  4. Are you comfortable being in the public eye? Once you declare your candidacy, your life and past actions will face heightened scrutiny. You and possibly your family may encounter criticism or even attacks from political opponents. Ensure you have the discipline and temperament to handle life in the limelight.
  5. Why are you running? Candidly examining your real motivations—is it ego? prestige? a social cause you believe in?—will keep you grounded. Your “why” for running and serving in office should align with an ability to handle everything that comes with it.

Asking these questions upfront will prepare you for the realities of running for office and help ensure it’s the right move not just politically but also personally. Being honest with yourself and loved ones about the commitment involved in a campaign will lead to more fulfillment should you take the leap to run.

 

Eric Bloom

With 17 years of experience, I have become accustomed to identifying key issues in order to craft impactful operational strategies, while fostering trust through exceeding expectations. My cross-industry experience (from politics to finance to healthcare to name a few) informs innovative solutions, tailored to address unique concerns and bolster the reach and effectiveness of initiatives.