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Career tips from Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In'


Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's No. 2 executive and outspoken voice on the obstacles women face in the corporate world, offers a blueprint for change in "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." The book goes on sale Monday. Proceeds will go to LeanIn.org, the nonprofit she's started to help women pursue their goals. Here are five tips from Sandberg's book.

— Sit at the table.

Plagued by self-doubt and "feeling like a fraud," women consistently underestimate themselves and their abilities, Sandberg writes. For a host of reasons, women often hold themselves back by literally not sitting at the table where decisions are made. Instead, they choose to watch from the sidelines. She urges institutions and individuals to encourage and promote women. And she encourages women to sit at the table and raise their hands. Men are already doing it, after all.

— When negotiating, "Think personally, act communally."

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," she writes. This way, women can position themselves as connected to a group. Whenever possible, she adds, use "we" instead of "I."

— Don't sacrifice being liked for being successful.

Sandberg recalls her first formal performance review with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a few months after she started her job. He told her her desire to be liked by everyone would hold her back. He said, "when you want to change things, you can't please everyone." He was right, she writes.

— Take risks.

Risk-taking is celebrated at technology companies from tiny startups to behemoths like Facebook. Sandberg writes that in her experience, 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, she writes, "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.'"

— Make your partner a real partner.

"As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home," Sandberg writes. "I have seen so many women inadvertently discourage their husbands from doing their share by being too controlling or critical." Co-parenting? Mothers should let fathers put that diaper on the baby, even if it's not the right way. Everyone should encourage men to "lean in" to their families.


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