In some ways, high school seems like it was just yesterday, and in other ways it feels like it was a lifetime ago. So much has changed since I graduated from high school that sometimes I take the many things I have learned and the ways I have grown for granted. In July, three of the women on NxtGov’s Leadership Team had the opportunity to serve on a panel for the Women in Politics mentorship program through the California Center for Civic Participation. The mentorship program connects young women and female-identifying high-school students with women who are further on their career paths to provide the students with insight and extra support for their professional journeys. I was joined by Kelijo Boney, Director of Public Recruitment for NxtGov, and Rebecca Moore, Director of Professional Development, to present about our varied career paths and how we came to be involved in State government.
One of the important themes from the Women in Politics session focused on how we can all build and exercise power by being informed and involved in the political process. As a worker in California’s State government, it was a rewarding experience to provide my perspective as both a State worker as well as an advocate for causes that I feel passionate about. After college, I worked in the private and nonprofit sector in various roles, and it was when I came to work for the State government that I felt like my work was making the biggest impact. A number of students remarked on how they had never considered a career working for the government, and how working in a State job in the future could be rewarding and fulfilling. I remembered back to high school and the years that followed and reflected on how it took me another 10 years to learn that same lesson.
One of my favorite parts from participating in the panel was hearing the students’ questions. One student asked about the best classes to take to prepare for a job in the public sector. Another asked whether it was important to specialize in political science to get a State government job. It was so nice as a panelist to be able to tell them: “Do what you love!” The consensus from all three panelists was that there is not a singular path into the public sector -- or into any sector -- and that there are many opportunities to work for the State for any field of study. As of July 2021, there are over 3,000 current job postings on CalCareers from the more than 200 State government agencies, with jobs in policy areas such as environmental science, education, affordable housing, public heath, racial equity, disaster preparedness, fiscal accountability and countless more. Whatever you want to do, there is room in the State government for all skills and passions.

DISCLAIMER: This is an unofficial organization that is not connected to any one government entity.