Two Words: Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky. Two words I’ve never used in conjunction with job searching or hiring an employee. This blog, however, is all about her career path AFTER the ‘scandal’.

When Monica Lewinsky set out to accept her intern position with the White House, I’m pretty sure she had an idea of what she wanted to do with her career (would she have gotten the internship otherwise?!). I’m also pretty sure NONE of what she thought she would accomplish, she did.

As a matter of fact, Ms. Lewinsky was called before a grand jury and testified live. In person. Splashed across headlines around the world. When it was all over, she wanted to fade into anonymity, but alas, it was too late for that. Her career in politics was all but over.

But, was her career over?

According to Wikipedia.org, Monica Lewinsky has had a pretty varied career since the scandal. Granted she has legal bills, but she had a pretty good career right out of the gate. Here are some highlights:

Interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20/20, coming in as the highest rated news show of its time. $100,000 for selling the rights to the interview.
Cooperated with Andrew Morton on the writing of her biography. $500,000 for her participation in the book.
Cameo appearance on SNL (no fees reported).
Became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig for a $1,000,000 contract (only paid her $300,000 and pulled the advertising campaign because she was ‘too controversial’.
Created and sold a line of handbags under the moniker The Real Monica, Inc, sold at Henri Bendel, Fred Segal and The Cross (no profits reported).
Appeared on MTV’s The Tom Green Show and worked as a British Correspondent for her own show called Monica’s Postcards, reporting on US culture and trends (earnings not available).
Appeared on America Undercover regarding the Clinton Affair since she was no longer bound by the immunity agreement terms (no earnings available).
Participation on Mr. Personality, a dating show on FOX Television Network, V Graham Norton, High Chaparall, The View and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Here’s the twist. For approximately the past ten years, Ms. Lewinsky has decided to remove herself from the spotlight. She moved to London and studied psychology, obtaining a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics, with a focus on studying the effects of publicity on trials. She closed her handbag business and tried to avoid any publicity. It was hard to do when some of the items involved in the scandal went up for auction. As recent as last month, Ms. Lewinsky wrote an article for Vanity Fair discussing her life and the scandal.

Despite all her initial successes, Monica Lewinsky has been unable to find secure employment since 1997. She also hasn’t had a meaningful personal relationship, which was part of her ‘lifes’ plan’.

What does Ms. Lewinsky have to do with YOUR job search? Everything. She should serve as a reminder that we are in fact judged by the company we keep, and the choices we make. If something seems off about the company, or the individual you are interviewing with, move on. If you are asked to do something that crosses boundaries, don’t do it (report when possible). Even if your heart (?) is telling you one thing, but your brain says it’s wrong, don’t do it. Choices we make in choosing a career, or even a job, can have dramatic effects on the rest of our lives.

Before you make a decision that can have a profoundly negative effect, think it through. Talk to someone. If you’re too emotionally involved, find someone who’s not and talk it through. Not everyone will have the successes and notoriety that Ms. Lewinsky had. Most will go completely the opposite direction (and still not be able to attend London School of Economics) and will have a terrible time rebounding. We ARE judged by the company we keep, right or wrong. It’s what you do with it and how you handle it that sets you apart.

Previous Comments

employment websites says:
March 23, 2015 at 11:48 am

Remember you have to be NOTICED before you will win the

interview. Be prepared will help you accelerate your job search.
Those who are playing tennis, golf, and in the same book club may provide assistance for
you.

peter schneider says:
April 8, 2016 at 11:34 am

As well as answering the ‘whatever happened to’ question, this essay offers very wise counsel. Thank you for taking the time to write it.