Lewinsky Career Challenge
Before Linda Tripp and Ken
Starr entered her world, Monica Lewinsky was headed for a public
relations job at Revlon. She would have been one among many attractuve
young women climbing the corporate ladder, anonymously.
Nowadays, Monica can't just
show up in an employment agency as an ordinary job applicant.
Corporate jobs are closed to her. She lends her name to diet
products, talks to the media, and pitches her line of handbags
on the internet.
You -- and Monica?!
You probably have nothing
in common with Monica Lewinsky, but you may find parallels with
her career dilemma. If your job brings you money, visibility
and status, you will face unique challenges if you are displaced
and forced to start over.
Rick called six months after
he had been fired from a high-profile, high-status, high-paying
job, after twenty years of non-stop success.
For the first six months he had alternated between heavy introspection
("What do I want to be when I grow up?") and frantic
bursts of activity (hiring a resume-mailing service).
"I'm ready to move!"
"Keep your power"
When you find yourself in
Rick's position -- or Monica's -- you need to use your power.
You probably can't walk through the corporate door with a resume,
like most people. You'll need a creative strategy that might
include starting a b usiness, an extensive networking campaign,
or a totally creative, off-the-wall approach.
Can you get a "real" job?
Rick wanted a high-paying
job with benefits and autonomy. He had no idea where to begin
and was astounded to learn that his job hunt might take a lot
longer than the six months he had budgeted.
Working with Cathy, he decided to start a business to create
a cover story -- and then he got hooked.
Guiding Principle: Keep
Rick's business may take
off. He may decide he really likes being his own boss and can't
go back to corporate life. Or a job may appear. Regardless, Rick
regained ownership of his career by proactively taking charge,
not waiting for a magic phone call to make everything all right
Employers want to hire
people who fit their mold. The
challenge will be especially great for high-profile, high-visibility
professionals who have been displaced by forces beyond their
Even if you are not high
profile, you may have an easier time getting clients than getting
a job. You may be competing for increasingly rare senior or specialized
positions in your field. You may be a maverick. You may have
made choices that get you labeled as unstable or unmotivated.
When you don't fit the mold,
you need to think like a free spirit. The old rules won't hold.
You can't be "just like everybody else," no matter
how hard you try.
Monica Lewinsky caught on
fast. She's now hosting a television program. Sure, she's taking
pot shots from the media and from ordinary people. And, wisely,
she ignores them. They're not walking a block, let alone a mile,
in her moccasins...well, stylish sandals.
line: Avoid jumping
ship into an icy sea. Stay on board as long as possible while
you build your own boat. But if you are thrown overboard, don't
wait to be rescued by an ocean liner. Build a raft, stay afloat
and realize you are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*