In the train wreck of Eliot Spitzer's political career, there are many workplace lessons. And lots of people are talking about Spitzer's career. But what about the call girl?

Ashley Dupre, who was Kristen in bed, was no slouch in the career management department. Sure, her breasts are plastered all over the Internet, but don't be so ignorant as to think you can't learn from someone like her. Here are three lessons.

1. Invest money in your career.
I write a lot about how when you don't have disposable income, you still need to spend money on your career so you can earn more money. I have paid for career coaching with my last dollar. I have bought clothes on credit to look like I belong in the position I was interviewing for. All good investments.

But when I wrote about how I got my teeth whitened for TV even though I was unemployed, so many money mavens complained to me that it was irresponsible spending. People constantly undervalue the return on investment you get from taking risks to invest in your own career.

So, Ashley goes to New York with basically no money, and the first big money she makes, what does she do with it? Breast implants! How smart of her! The implants cost about $3000, but after that, she can make $4000 an hour from guys like Spitzer. She made back her investment in an hour, everything else is profit.

2. Know what you are really selling.
You know why most people have terrible resumes? They can't figure out what they really bring to the table. If you really know what you are selling, then most of your resume is not going to be relevant. But people get mixed up about what they are selling. And they start just selling what they think they should be selling that second instead of analyzing the situation.

So Ashley figured out that she was having sex with the Governor of New York. In fact, a few women in her prostitution ring knew. They could have sold their story to the New York Post, but you know what? They make more money as call girls. It's not uncommon for a call girl to bring in $200,000 a year, and the perks are great—trips to Paris with billionaires, for example.

Once a call girl tells on a client, her career is over. Because, as Melissa Gira Grant points out, call girls aren't selling sex, they are selling discretion. Of course a guy like Spitzer could get a mistress, no problem. He's not great looking, but being the Governor of New York makes up for that. But the mistress is dangerous—she could talk. In a call girl, you buy discretion.

3. If you have two careers, make sure they have synergy.
A lot of people have two careers. It's a way to earn money and do what you love. It's a way to hedge your bets. It's just that you need two careers that somehow make sense together. If you want to be a lawyer, side work as a hooker is not a good idea. But Dupre wants to be a singer. And it's expensive to live in New York to build a singing career. So the hooker/singer combination is a decent idea just on that alone.

But look at the synergy after the Spitzer fallout: everyone goes to her MySpace page to see what she looks like, and then they notice she has music. More than four million people have heard her singing. And at this point, she's earned $200,000 in a month from downloads.

So look, it's not great that Dupre is stuck in court right now. But she did a lot of things right when it came to her career, and to be honest, Spitzer's political aspirations will tank from the call-girl-brouhaha. But Dupre's dreams of a singing career will probably be fine. If she had any talent to begin with.

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  1. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    FWIW – NPR’s interview with Filmmaker Alex Gibney whose new documentary is Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer – . The audio clip is very interesting and gives a more historical perspective than the headlines two and a half years ago.

  2. Independent
    Independent says:

    I like 2nd paragraph line call girls aren’t selling sex, they are selling discretion. I have never seen this type post. Please carry on and thanks for sharing.

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