JOB HUNTING AND CAREER TIPS

One Third of Offices Were Engrossed in Trial Coverage

by Fraser Traverse

Here at Traverse Jobs, we wondered how much the impeachment trial was impacting the offices of our members. Were you getting more done than ever or frozen in place? The answer was, "It depends."

On the positive side, one person noted, “We found a lot more accessibility with staff who were not directly staffing the trial, which created additional work and opportunity for our organization.” But on the flip side, another said, “Impeachment totally consumed Washington and we were hardly able to advance any priorities. It stalled projects that have been gaining momentum for years and distracted considerable attention away from important issues. Hill staff wanted nothing to do with any other issue … Impeachment has set us back several months in terms of workload.”

Here's how the rest of survey looked:

How did the impeachment trial affect focus in your workplace? More than one third of respondents said they closely followed the trial, but 20% said they “did not pay close attention.”

How did the impeachment trial affect your workplace productivity? The overwhelming majority said they got the “usual” amount of work done. Only nine percent said “not much got accomplished.”

Compared to last January, the amount of work produced was greater/same/less? Similar to the previous question, most people said “the same” but 25% felt they got more done when thinking about the post-election timeframe last year. That was when the House had been handed to the Democrats and the government was in a partial shutdown, so business on the Hill was slower than normal as the new leadership got settled.

Did discussions about impeachment cause any uncomfortable workplace divisions (political/partisan)? Fortunately, almost three-quarters of respondents said “Everyone was fairly respectful of each other’s opinions.” About 14% said they agreed not to talk about it, while five percent said there were major differences of opinion that caused difficult/uncomfortable situations.

Compared to last January, what was it like interacting with Capitol Hill members and staff (excluding Senators and those who were staffing the trial directly)? One-third of respondents said Hill staff were harder to reach. As one person noted, “[The] trial definitely impacting getting work from principles in the Senate, but staff continued to be productive.” A. Hill staffer explained, “The front office was more busy with calls and the boss and LA handling impeachment were less available, but no other major changes.”