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Office Hours Recap: Sallie Krawcheck Recalls How “My 20s Were a Desert”

Career Advice |

LOVE! That was the immediate reaction among Levo employees following our Office Hours Chat with Sallie Krawcheck, former president of Global Wealth & Investment Management for Bank of America, as well as one-time CEO and chairman for Citi Global Wealth Management. Known for her honesty in the workplace, Sallie was candid with us about her career path, namely, her early lack of one.

“If I look at my 20s, they were just a walk in the desert,” she says. “And I remember a few months before I turned 29, I had an infant son, I had no job, I was living in an apartment I didn’t love, and I thought, ‘I can’t believe I have all this education,’ — I had gone to business school — ‘and I’ve just thrown it in the toilet.’ And not too long after that, not at a point when I had sat down and was thinking hard, but actually was peeling a pear in my kitchen, and somehow years of thinking came together. The fact that I loved analytics; the fact that I loved writing; the fact that I loved client work; the fact that, although it’s un-American to say one doesn’t want to work on a team, that for me as a young mother, being on a Wall Street team at the bottom of a heap wouldn’t work; the fact that I wanted to be challenged; the fact that I needed that flexibility; all of a sudden, sitting in my kitchen peeling a pear, it hit me — boom — I should be a research analyst! It took me years to come up with that.”

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the chat took place in the apartment of a Levo employee, and Sallie was game for it all, including an honest conversation about being let go from several high profile positions. Watch her on Office Hours for her advice on navigating that 20s desert, how to handle rejection, give good feedback and more.

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Cannot WAIT to watch this. I've always admired Sallie and followed her career, right from when I was in Australia working in consulting.

Maxie McCoy

Definitely one of my favorites with @SallieKrawcheck ... I loved the way she was able to balance really serious advice and an intense career and still come across so welcoming and lovely!!

Carly Heitlinger

Such an amazing Office Hours. I was seriously inspired and absolutely blown away. Sallie Krawcheck is so smart and I loved how real she was with us!

My favorite part was when we talked about how much time we spent getting ready in the morning.... Whoa. Eye opening!

Jennifer Merritt

Jenn is a writer and editor based in New York. Follow her on Twitter: @jennifermerritt