Thursday, April 04, 2013

I just finished reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. And I saw her speak last week. In order to understand where this next bit is coming from, I'm going to go ahead and quote myself from this blog. 8/17/2005:
To be honest, I don't think I have very much ambition in life
I have never seen myself as someone who wanted a high power (or responsibility) career. And reading Lean In and hearing Sheryl talk...for the first time ever I'm wondering if that is really me or if that is societal pressure. That sounds silly but - I don't want to be a C-level executive (CEO, CIO, COO) and never have - I just want to do a solid day's work and not hate it. If I can enjoy it a little - bully for me. And if I can get paid enough to live a cushy life - bully for us. (totally off track: how is bully an adjective that means super good but also a noun for jerks who taunt others?). But do I feel that way because I was really just meant to be a cog or do I feel that way because I inherently know I'm a woman and have strong, ingrained stereotypical rules for what women should and shouldn't excel in?

Clearly Lean In was really thought provoking for me. I'm totally guilty of trying to plan my career around whether or not we're having kids - before we have even gotten near having a baby. I'm 1000% guilty of wanting to be liked - I think it's the only way I've ever gotten anything done at work. And on the flip side, I think it's one of the main reasons some of my coworkers slough off my opinions or ideas sometimes. I'm trying to be nice rather than presenting my idea forcefully.

I'm a lady and nearly every single thing she listed as ladies doing to prevent themselves from succeeding, I've done and do on a regular basis. So great, now what? I guess I just hope to be conscious of my wanting to be liked, start to attribute my success to myself, try to speak up, etc.

I didn't expect to vibe on the book as much as I have. I have seen Sheryl speak on many shows (and in person) now and her message is pretty solid (though boringly similar - book selling tours! Talking points! Boring). Do recommend.

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