5 New Skills Every Woman Needs to Succeed at Work

Posted November 7, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

One of our awesome CGN readers sent this article from Oprah.com and CNN, “The 5 New Skills Every Woman Needs to Succeed at Work.” And while all five skills rock (go over there now and check them out), we’re highlighting just one that really jumped out at us.

Wear a Turtleneck
This one isn’t fashion advice but a success tip from the very successful. Sallie Krawcheck, a former top executive at Bank of America and Citigroup, told me even she got nervous when asking for a raise or something else she needed from her boss.

To make it easier, she practiced in front of the mirror dozens of times, and in front of her husband. And she always wore a turtleneck on that day, because she tended to break out in a red sweaty neck rash when she was nervous. If there are parts of your body that will betray you—a twitch, a tapping foot, a nervous laugh—learn to disguise or deal with them. You need to appear communal and big sisterly, yes, but also utterly confident and in command.

The advice here is bigger than “wear a turtleneck.” The advice is really this: know where your weaknesses are, even when it comes to your body, and think through them before they get the best of you. The woman in the example above knows she gets red and blotchy. For me, I know I tend to sweat when I’m nervous and have learned to wear dark colors to things like big meetings. That way, I’m never thinking about sweat stains when I should be thinking about nailing the meeting.

The more you get in touch with your own weaknesses and natural proclivities, the more you’ll be able to control your presence and the way you’re perceived.

More awesome skills like this one are over at CNN.com and Oprah.com. Check it out here.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."