18 Things You Should Know by Now

Cold-call a client, overcome writer’s block, make a spectacular entrance, minimize your carbon footprint: A cheat sheet for women of experience.

By Rebecca Adler, Marisa Cohen, Lisa Selin Davis, Juliann Garey, Cathy Garrard, and Amanda Robb

"Don’t try to weave this subject into a casual conversation or a boisterous family gathering," Loverde says. "You want to have an adult conversation." Broach the topic by mentioning a friend or acquaintance whose parent had suddenly fallen ill and did (or didn’t) have such a document in place. (You could also use a TV show or article as a jumping-off point.) Another option is to say, "I’m getting my affairs in order, and I’ve been reading up on power of attorney. Do you have any advice for me about how you’ve handled it?"

If your parents agree that it’s a good idea to grant you power of attorney, ask if they’d like to speak with their own lawyer or visit yours together. If they respond that they’ve already taken care of it, say, "Great! Who has the papers?" But if they resist talking about the subject, don’t push. At least you’ve planted the idea, Loverde says. And she suggests telling your parents "I’ll let you think about it, and I’ll call to discuss it in two weeks."

How to Style the Hair on the Back of Your Head

"The back of the head is actually what most people see," cautions MORE‘s beauty and fashion director, Lois Joy Johnson. To improve the rear view:

"Blow-dry with the biggest round brush possible for your hair length; grab a huge section of hair from the crown down, wrap it around the brush smoothly, and extend the hair out from the head, maintaining tension as you sweep the dryer back and forth. Pros advise starting from the underlayers, but I say, who cares if the underneath part is awry?!

"Thinning spots can be camouflaged with multitone streaks and long choppy layers for a permanently tousled look that you casually run your hands through — even in meetings, at lunch, in elevators. No mirror required.

"Or splurge on the Hermes signature half-scarf, a triangle that sits Jackie O-like on the forehead and crown. Add a big pair of hoops and dark glasses. This eliminates any concerns about the back of your head. Everyone will be trying to figure out who you are."

How to Make a Cold Call

We’ve all been on the receiving end of the call: the intrusion you grumpily field at work or in the middle of dinner. Here’s how to craft your opener when you’re on the other end of the line. "First, know who you are talking to, what their issues are, and what they need from you," says Wendy Weiss, a New York-based sales trainer. "Don’t say ‘Hi, I’m Sue, and I sell insurance,’ Try ‘Hi, I’m Sue. I work with a lot of people in your neighborhood, and my expertise is helping people make sure their families are taken care of.’" This also works if you’re fund-raising for a charity; in 1991 Weiss started an AIDS-education dance project. Her phone lead was "We’re the only dance company that saves the lives of children." If you’re asking for an informational interview, introduce yourself, then say, "I’m thinking of switching fields, and I was wondering if you could help me learn more about your industry." Most people, Weiss says, really do like to help. And the ones who don’t are probably just in the middle of dinner.

How to Calm MRI Jitters

Magnetic resonance imaging from closed (read: claustrophobia-inducing) machines were once far superior to the open type, but that gap is, er, closing. "Ask your doctor if your exam can be performed on an open machine," says Dr. Jacqueline Bello, director of neuroradiology at the Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx. "If the answer is yes, make sure it’s a machine with a field strength in the one tesla range." If an open machine isn’t an option, consider the following:

Make It a Mini Spa Visit

No, seriously — take advantage of the fact you’ll get to lie down for a half hour! Place a few drops of lavender oil under your nose and a plastic or foam compress over your eyes. "The coolness and wetness sends a soothing message to the brain," says Bello. MP3 players are a no-go because metal and magnets can’t mix, but most centers will play a CD for you. (MORE reader Denise Foret favors Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" because the machine’s clanking sounds remind her of New York.)

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