If you’re a young
college student you can, like, totally be forgiven for acting like a
ditz. But once you enter the real world, it’s time to start acting
like a mature, responsible adult. This means dressing and speaking
like a grown up, and making the kind of choices that show you’re a
strong, independent adult who wants to be taken seriously. Your path
to success starts with reading these 11 tips.

1. Improve your
posture

Do you slump your
shoulders when sitting or walk with your head down? Not only do these
postures convey a sense of meekness, they straight up show the world
that you don’t give a shizzle. Keep your shoulders straight, your
head up high, and let everybody know that you’re a big deal. Stay
relaxed though; you don’t want to mimic a marching soldier.

2. Ditch the
multi-colored outfits

Those multi-colored
outfits might look cute, but they also make you look six. If you want
to dress for success, choose solid monochrome colors.

3. Eliminate
“umm” “I think” and “like” from your vocabulary

These filler words
are completing unnecessary and give the impression that you’re not
that smart or clever as you’re. If you are trying to come up with a
response and can’t find the right words immediately, silent pauses
as you gather your thoughts show intelligence and maturity.

4. Speak with a
lower-pitched voice

Studies have found
that people respect both men and women if they speak with a
lower-pitched voice. If you want to show that you’re a leader, your
pitch makes a big difference. Of course, this isn’t to say you have
to have the rich, deep baritone Barry White voice. The key is to
speak with authority.

5. Stay informed
about the news

Brushing up on
current events will benefit you in a variety of ways. For one thing,
you’ll come off as more intelligent. Secondly, it gives you plenty
of conversation starters when you’re socializing with the bigwigs.

6. Make eye
contact

Not making eye
contact leaves the impression that you are shy, standoffish, and feel
intimidated by others. That’s not going to work well if you’re
at, say, a job interview or business meeting. Eye contact tells
others that you are confident and paying attention to what they’re
saying. That’s something they’re sure to respond favorably to.

7. Don’t overdo
the perfume

The point of perfume
is to convince the world that you naturally smell like sweet green
tea. Nothing wrong with that. But if we can smell you all the way
down the hallway, it means you’ve spritzed yourself one too many
times. Remember to be subtle about it.

8. Be an active
listener

You might truly be
the most interesting person in the world with a lot of super amazing
things to share with everybody else in the room. But remember that
leadership isn’t just about commanding the room when you’re
speaking. You should also listen and pay attention to what others are
saying.

9. Buy a
professional-looking handbag

In the professional
world, it makes sense that you would want to maintain a sense of
professionalism in the way you dress, your mannerisms, and especially
with your handbag. A simple, moderately priced leather bag is the way
to go.

10. Work on that
power handshake

Learn to grasp
firmly, two shakes, and release. Wimpy handshakes will reinforce the
idea that you’re a weak, docile girl. No palm tickling either,
although that would be a pretty cheeky thing to do.

11. Wear glasses

Seriously. Even if you have perfect 20/20 vision, wearing glasses will make you look infinitely smarter. Just make sure to choose your words carefully so that nobody sees through your facade. You don’t want to become the next Sarah Palin, after all.

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