Ever since Lean in came out I've been wanting to read it but never really got around to it. This Summer at my internship I went into a coordination meeting and everything went well and after the meeting an older woman in the office approached me and my mentor (who is fairly young) and told us how well we conducted ourselves in the meeting. She told us that she's been changing how she acts in meetings since she started reading Lean In and gave us some advise from the book. At that point I decided it was time to stop putting off reading it. Now that I have finished it I can confidently say that there could not have been a better time to read it because it gives such amazing advise on not only conducting yourself once you have a career but also how to get started on the right foot. I thought this book would be a perfect one to share with you guys, and if I have any guy readers out there don't stray away from this book because it seems to mostly reach out to women. There is excellent career advise no matter what gender you are and it might also help you to look at your female coworkers, moms, and significant others differently and help them in their careers as well.
Since this book is a little different than other books I've done in the past (as in there's no plot it's more self-help) I will pose questions that the book made me think about and my thoughts along with the questions.
1. Can you really have it all? (As in a career and a family or social life)
This is something that Sandberg really talked about, like a lot. I think this is something that everyone thinks about even from day one of college. I always see this little diagram and it usually says you have to choose two and the joke with some engineers is that we only get to choose one.
So I've always had the "not being able to do it all" thing in my head. And to be honest I usually choose the social life and grades over getting enough sleep. In the book, Sandberg talks about how this point is mainly talked about in regards to moms having enough time with their children but she says it may be even more important that single people find the balance because their social life gives them the chance to meet a spouse and then have the family to try to balance. This really hit home for me because I've just never thought of that. I've always thought that as a single person my time outside of work isn't really as important as those who have family. I've stayed late at work before with the thought "I don;t have anyone to go home to, I don't have anyone needing me to take care of them". But what I didn't think about is the need to take care of my self. My social life is just as important as other people's lives with their families. So back to the original question of can you really do it all? I have no idea. I try my best to but it's hard when you want to be the best at everything.
2. How are success and likability connected? Should they be?
This was another point that was talked about a lot in the book. Sandberg talked about how women are often harshly judged on how likable they are, where men are not. This really stems from the idea that women are supposed to always smile and be pleasant. This is virtually impossible is you ever want to get things done. How can you argue with someone to try to convey your point and still seem like a sweet likable person? I think likability is really important, especially if you are working in an atmosphere where working in teams or groups is essential, but likability isn't everything, it's just icing on the cake. It's important to be smart, and a good worker, and have new ideas, and to be assertive and strong. I don't have to be best friends with all my coworkers in order to be good at my job. I think this again comes down to a balancing act of being tolerable to work with and getting work done.
3. Are you pulling out of your career too early?
This was another thing that really struck me. Sandberg talked about how women often pull out of their careers before it's even time to think of pulling out. She talked about how women often turn down big projects or promotions or new jobs in anticipation maybe having kids soon or other big events happening soon. She goes on to say that this is too premature and that is the exact time you need to lean further into your career. By leaning in you are giving yourself something that motivates you. You won't be returning to a dull job that isn't challenging you, you'll be returning to a job that is dynamic and exciting and challenging. This will motivate you to return and make returning more fun. This made a lot of sense to me because I am very career driven so taking new challenges would always be a motivation for me to lean into my job and not pull back.
2. What would you do if you weren't afraid?
This one is just for you to think about :)
Have any of you guys read Lean in? If so let me know your thoughts below in the comments, if you have not then I highly recommend that you read it! No matter where you are in your career or what your gender this book will have some kind of advise that will apply to you.
Happy reading! xoxo Natalie
A little about me
Natalie. 26. Mechanical engineer. Mining and Minerals Engineering graduate from Virginia Tech. I love pugs, pink, crafting, feminism, makeup, and reading.