Nicole-WilliamsA recent study by Secret with the Monell Chemical Senses Center found that the smell of stressed women makes them come off as incompetent and untrustworthy.

Researchers discovered that the smell of sweat from stress- which is completely different than the scent of sweat released during exercise or while in a hot place – can change others’ perceptions of the stressed person.

So, according to this news, you not only smell but you may also be hurting your career!

What can a sweaty person do?

In our careers, we are constantly thrown into stressful situations where we don’t feel super sure of ourselves. A normal human reaction is to sweat.

It’s a challenge, but there are ways to boost your confidence. GoGirl talked with Nicole Williams,  LinkedIn’s Career Expert, bestselling author of Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, and Secret’s Career Confidence Coach on how to feel better during those pressure-inducing situations at work (and look good too).

What are some of your best tips to feel more confident at work?

Physically, obviously you need to have great body odor protection. As we learned form the study, stress is the most stinky sweat. I’m also a big believer in a professional blowout. I almost see it as armor.

Also, preselecting an outfit that makes you feel really fearless is a great strategy. I always ask young women what is your go-to outfit to hit the bar and say ‘How do you feel when you wear that?’ The feeling is always powerful or energized or ‘I feel fearless.’ You need to have that outfit in your arsenal for the stressful occasions at work as well.

You want to be able  forget the physicalness of what is happening so you know you look great. You know your hair is fantastic, you know you aren’t sweating etc., and then you can focus 100 percent on what you are presenting.

What are your best tips in preparing for something important at work, like a big presentation or going in to ask for a raise?

As for preparing, you have to do your research and due diligence. If this is a conversation about a raise or promotion, you want to be armed with real data relative to how you have impacted the company’s bottom line. You need to know the revenue model of your company and what your contribution to that model looks like. So many women don’t know how their company makes money and they must!

Women, in particular, can be afraid to think about what they do, because it’s all about loving what they do. But it’s also about contributing. In those raise conversations, money trades for money.

If you have a pitch, you need to follow the company on LinkedIn, do your research, and talk to people in advance. One of the greatest things about technology is you can ask about new strategies and actually get legitimate answers from people. Take advantage of the resources out there!

Can nerves be a good thing? Can you use them? 

Absolutely. You have to know you are going to feel nervous and that that is normal. Whatever it is that your big dream is, you’re never not going to feel stressed about it. You can leverage your nerves!

It’s what helps us to perform to our peak ability. When you aren’t scared, you aren’t at the top of your game. You’re more lackadaisical. In stressful situations, it’s the women who are bored that I worry about.

How can you train yourself to be more ready for an impromptu stressful situation like a sudden meeting with your boss?

You need to think of stress as a muscle. The more you flex it, the better. If you are called into a meeting suddenly and you aren’t prepared, you can call on that arsenal because you have worked out that muscle.

There is also a really physical part of stress so exercise and fitness can help. Endorphins can be so beneficial.

Listening to great inspiring music, thinking back to a great biography or quote can help to mitigate the stressfulness as well.

You can also just practice for these types of situations. Put on your confident outfit and have a friend film you making your presentation. Then study it. You are going to notice a lot of things you shouldn’t be doing with your body!

What are some of your best financial tips?

Edit your friend list. Those fringe friends you’re not really sure you like and want to spend time with? Cut them from your list. Save your social dollars for your nearest and dearest.

Switch from trendy to unique. Keeping up with trends can be expensive. What’s hot today is cold tomorrow, so take yourself out of this race and instead opt for a style all your own. Build up a unique image by purchasing pieces you love, rather than throwing money at each new trend as it comes along. Vintage shops and sites are often perfect for inspiration and quirky accessories to set your style apart, and shopping at sample sales and flea markets can really save you some cash.