10 Things Valerie Plame Wants Young Women to Know

Valerie Plame | SantaFe.com - June 13, 2015

Santa Fe resident Valerie Plame has seen some things. She made world headlines when she was outed by the US Government as a covert CIA agent, a political scandal known as "The Plame Affair." Her autobiography, Fair Game, became a motion picture in 2010, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. SantaFe.com figured she has some words of wisdom to share, especially to women. The following beacons are what Valerie Plame wants young women to know for sure:

1. Hold on tight to your girlfriends.  
Boys may come and go, but once you find your tribe, stick with them. There is nothing like a girlfriend of long standing who knew you when…and who will get you through in inescapable curveballs of life. 

2. The "real world" is not that much different than college (or high school for that matter).
Once you graduate and escape the nonsense you think only exists in school (like egos, cliques, drama, popularity contests), you'll discover that same nonsense exists at work…it may just be dressed in business attire. Rise above it.

3. Your employer is not responsible for your success -- that's all on you.
Other than your mother, the only one who cares about your career is you.  

4. In business negotiations, act like a man.  
Know your worth, ask for the promotions and raises, and yes, to use Sheryl Sandberg’s phrase “lean in.”

5. Take really good care of your skin.
No kidding.  Start now.  It doesn’t have to be expensive products, but conscientious care will pay off in the future. You’ll thank me for this.

6. Go ahead and occasionally splurge on that Fashion Must-Have.
If you fall in love with that one perfect and high quality little black dress, bag, or pair of shoes, and can't stop thinking about it…buy it.  Your bank account will eventually absorb the loss, and it will most likely be a Go-To item for years to come.

7. Move your body…daily.
Notice I didn't suggest you "go for a run, hit the gym, or do a tough mudder.”  If any of that is your thing, by all means, go for it. But find something that makes you happy and gets you moving, even if it's just for tiny chunk of your day (walk the dog, do yoga, play tennis with friends, or simply sit on your bedroom floor and stretch). 

8. Be aware of your effect on others. 
Think, act, and live consciously.  This is not obvious.

9. Laugh.
As often as you can, laugh with friends, with family, with your significant other (laughter can sustain a relationship), and when necessary, with and at yourself.  

10. Don’t be afraid of being afraid.  
That is, don’t be so frightened of failure that you miss the opportunity to soar.  And promise yourself to learn from your mistakes.