Fox News Personality Enjoys Learning & Mentoring Young People
By: Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
While Dana Perino has followed the advice she’s doling out in her latest book, the television personality was busy charting her career path long before America recognized her as White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, and as one of the many female political commentators with Fox News.
A regular at Fox News since 2009, Perino has authored a few books during her 13 year run at the conservative news outlet. Her latest ‘Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)‘ reflects her experiences from a local PBS affiliate in Rocky Mountain, Colorado, to the Department of Justice, and from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to 1211 6th Avenue in New York City.
By all accounts, Perino has played by the rules, befriended fellow co-workers, and never burned a bridge, either in her professional or personal life. All of that is detailed in ‘Everything Will Be Okay’. Perino spent every bit of her free time last year writing. “It was important for me to devote quality time to the book. 2020 was a busy news year. My Monday through Friday is extremely busy at Fox News. So I found myself working on it, mostly weekends during the pandemic.”
She admits, the inspiration for the ‘Everything Will Be Okay’ came from the previous one. “Well you know, the idea for this book came out of my first book (And The Good News Is... Lessons & Advice from the Bright Side), actually it’s in chapter five. I think it set the tone for my new book.”
In chapter five of her 2015 book Perino talks about good habits, having a strong voice, building strong relationships, and finding positive role models. “I’ve had a lot of young women over the years come up to me and say, ‘when are you going to write another book?’. They have so many questions on their career and personal lives. I think it’s the right book at the right time.”
Perino adds, “For me it just got to the point where I said, I do have more to say, and more advice I can pass on to young women, so that is how ‘Everything Will Be Okay’ came about.” Her new release is currently among the NY Times Bestseller list, and has received rave reviews from many of Perino’s contemporaries, including South Carolina’s own Trey Gowdy. “The book is geared toward women, but offers practical advice many young people can follow. I’m glad it’s been well received.”
Perino admits guidelines in her new book mirror her own career path to success. “In many ways yes. I hope I resemble all that I’m relating to readers. It offers lots of practical advice to young woman, advice they can use in the workplace and in their personal lives. How to take their career to the next level. How to reduce stress, and balance work and their social lives. Guidelines I still follow everyday.”
‘Everything Will Be Okay’ covers important topics such as presentation skills and maintaining a positive outlook, but it also touches on things many take for granted, like posture, proper attire, and how they portray themselves in the work environment.
Perino says even the smallest things matter. “Punctuality is important. It’s a great discipline, and it shows respect. Your boss will notice. Everything is essential when it comes to promotions and raises over your career.” She hopes her new book is an easy to read, step by step principle for young women.
While the underlying theme in ‘Everything Will Be Okay’ stems from her Christian faith, Perino emphasizes education is perhaps the most important key in building one’s career. Perino graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Colorado State University at Pueblo, earning minors in both political science and Spanish. She would go on to receive a master’s degree in public affairs from Illinois State.
“I firmly believe education is a gift. If you have the foundation of education in your life, usually you’ll have the tendency to want to keep learning. I don’t necessarily think one has to go on to earn a masters or a doctorate degree, but having a college degree proves not only to be financially rewarding, but allows a feeling of accomplishment and self worth.”
Perino practices what she preaches. “Fortunately my job keeps me well versed on topical matters. But I love to learn new things, and I love to read. This past weekend I read ‘American Buffalo‘ by the host of MeatEater (Netflix). The author is an avid hunter and fisherman. Not past-times I know much about, but I found the book quite intriguing, and educational. I always want to keep learning.”
Aside from family and work, Perino is most passionate about ‘Minute Mentoring’, a pet business project she helped get off ground in 2009. According to their website ‘Minute Mentoring’ is a is a fast-paced, advice-packed, small-group session, for women leaders and young women rising stars. Sessions take place coast to coast, from New York to Seattle, and from DC to Texas.
“It’s very dear to my heart. We copied our format from speed dating. A lot of young people hungry for advice, ask the same questions. I don’t have all the answers, but many of mentors we bring in do.”
Past mentors include U.S. Senators and Representatives, top corporate women, and high-profile women in media. “We offer a broad range. A group of mentees spend time with a mentor, ask questions, and then move on to another mentor. It’s been highly successful, and something I’m very proud of.”
Again Perino has followed her own advice. “I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve ever worked with. I especially had a lot of great mentors during my time in Washington DC. President Bush has always given me great advice and words of encouragement. When I was starting up a new business he said ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’. Perino says Diane Sawyer who went from the Nixon White House to ABC News was an early role model, as well as her mom and other family members.
Beside her deeply rooted Christian faith and strong self esteem, Perino maintains confidence in our country. “If you were born in the United States, you’ve already won life’s lottery, mainly because you’re free. There is way more positive happening in America, than there is negative. There’s a lot taking place in this country right now, but I also think it’s a great time to be alive.”
Has Perino’s new schedule at Fox News presented any roadblocks. She’s now on at 9am for two hours every morning and still sits in on ‘The Five’ late afternoons. “I’m a little busier now, and I’m still trying to figure it all out. But Fox is great. They have always worked with me. Thankfully, I’m a morning person, and now I just try to find some time for myself during the day.”
Her days may be longer but her routine for getting ready hasn’t changed. Perino prides herself on being well prepared and well versed on topical news. “There is no shortcut for preparation.” As too her new morning co-host. “Oh my gosh, I love working with Bill Hemmer. We’ve only been working together for a few weeks, but already I’ve learned so much from him. He’s professional, but always in a cheerful state. Good qualities to have.”
The one thing Perino regrets from a having a busier workload, is having to part with the home she and her husband owned in Bluffton, South Carolina. “It’s not because we didn’t love getting away and enjoying our time there. With my schedule change, having to do the morning show and ‘The Five’, it made it near impossible for us to get there. But I feel like there’s still opportunity for us to come back in the future. I absolutely love it down there.”
While ‘Everything Will Be Okay : Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)’ is a current best seller, Dana Perino adds the simplest things in life can go a long way. “Be punctual. Be courteous. Learn as much as you can. Respect different points of view, and always be a good listener.” Great suggestions from a woman well positioned to offer advice.
For more on Minute Mentoring visit their website at https://minutementoring.com/
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