As a career-minded woman, I’m always interested to learn more about the successful career paths of other women in different industries. So, when Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” came out, I purchased it right away. I wanted to know what this woman—the COO of Facebook—had to say about work, life balance, and moving up the corporate ladder.
I loved the book. I know it’s been considered controversial, but I didn’t think that was the case. Maybe because I’m the target market for her words of wisdom? I don’t know. However, I did think there were some great takeaways in there, especially as it pertains to growing your career.
Here are some professional development tidbits that I got out of the book:
1) Don’t leave before you leave. Sheryl talks about women leaving the work force after children a lot. Not because she’s opposed to it. She simply says not to mentally check out of your job way in advance of starting a family. Or even close to starting a family. Doing so can cost you promotions and new opportunities. Leave, both mentally and physically, when and if you actually make that decision. Until then, commit to your career.
2) Support other women. There’s been an underlying culture in the work force of women not supporting one another because there is a bias out there that in this “man’s world” there’s only room for a few females at the top. Not so! By helping each other, we all win.
3) Lean in. Lean into your job and your career. That means taking the “stretch” jobs, pursuing new challenges, and relying on your partner for more help at home.
There’s a lot of talk out there in the working woman’s world about how you can’t “have it all”. However, you can get closer if you have a supportive spouse and network of friends. I know that I have felt more confident going after new roles at work because I have a support system in place in my personal life. It seems that that is the key to excelling at work, taking on new jobs, bigger paychecks, and more responsibilities.
Have you read Sheryl’s book? What are your thoughts on “leaning in”?