This month’s tips come from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In”. The book discusses not only empowerment in the workplace, but also serves as a career guide from one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful people. Below are four examples from Sandberg of how women can overcome obstacles. To lend an entrepreneurial perspective we’ve included insights by Start ‘Her Up founder, Jill Fishbein.
Sandberg: Plagued by self-doubt and "feeling like a fraud," women consistently underestimate themselves and their abilities.
Fishbein: Surprisingly, I see this frequently with young women lawyers and those few women employees of companies who get that rare invitation to a board meeting. They just side off to the side, in effect, encouraging others to think of them as not part of the main discussion.
Sandberg: Preface salary negotiations by explaining that you know women often get paid less than men, so
you are going to "negotiate rather than accept the original offer" This way, women can position themselves as connected to a group. Whenever possible, use "we" instead of "I."
Fishbein: While valuable advice, I may disagree with Ms. Sandberg here a bit. If her tip helps you feel more comfortable asking for what you deserve, and then go for it. However, and ideally, you would eventually
feel that your individual contribution stands on its own and you can ask for what your performance truly merits, especially as compared to others.
3. Don't sacrifice being liked for being successful.
Sandberg: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "When you want to change things, you can't please everyone." He was right.
Fishbein: While being liked can’t be at the top of your list, a worthwhile approach is to cultivate a style of delivery that makes your point in manner that isn’t offensive …at least to your ears, since you may face some old fashioned colleagues who think any strongly made point by a woman is offensive.
4. Take Risks.
Sandberg: Risk-taking is celebrated at technology companies from tiny startups to behemoths like Facebook. More men look for assignments that stretch their abilities and are high-profile. More women hang back, especially when they're working closely with men. Women need to shift from thinking 'I'm not ready to do
that' to thinking 'I want to do that and I'll learn by doing it.
Fishbein: I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Sandberg’s advice and the spirit of Silicon Valley this tip embodies!
Full Associated Press Article: Career tips from Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In'