Originally Posted by Connemara
This is how I've always approached it. Politics tends to be the former. People always say "Just gotta pay your dues early on." Not in NY. The NY Legislature, plus the Executive branch, have thousands and thousands of appointee gigs. And then there are the lobbying, PR/communications, etc. jobs. If I had stayed in Ohio politics, I'd absolutely agree with your caveat.
Based on limited knowledge of politics, you'll eventually need to go to law school. It seems like many pols need the income of a lawyer to support them while they work part time gigs as state senators and the like.
As for your OP, I started out in Chicago at a benefits consulting firm in 2000 making about 50k all in. It was the worst job I ever had. It was 80 hrs a week, I hated myself, and I gained 30 lbs.
If you want to be a player be a lawyer, an accountant, or a corporate banker (not even necessarily an investment banker). You build a ton of connections, your work will always be in demand (even during down times) and you will almost always make a ton of money.