The Next 10 Min­utes Will Change Your Ca­reer For­ever

That’s how long it’ll take to read the sur­pris­ing ad­vice of one of the world’s most suc­cess­ful women: Sh­eryl Sand­berg, COO of Face­book. From where you sit to your choice of ro­man­tic part­ner... get it right and you could boost your salary.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CAREER -

“O n 24 March 2008, I headed to my first day of work as Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of a small com­pany called Face­book. I re­mem­ber feel­ing ex­cited. I also felt a lit­tle ner­vous... maybe even a lit­tle scared about this new chal­lenge. I knew the tech busi­ness well af­ter spend­ing more than six years at Google. I had shared many din­ners with CEO Mark Zucker­berg be­fore he of­fered me the job, and I knew we were in sync about the im­por­tance of Face­book’s mis­sion. My fear was more the gen­eral anx­i­ety you feel over the risks as­so­ci­ated with a new job and the worry that you won’t suc­ceed. I parked my car and went up to an in­dus­trial, open-plan of­fice space. At the time, the of­fice walls were bare. To­day, those walls are filled with posters that re­flect the com­pany’s phi­los­o­phy and en­cour­age em­ploy­ees. ‘Pro­ceed and be bold’, de­clares one. ‘Move fast and break things’, ad­vises another. But the one that would have helped me on that first morn­ing doesn’t make a state­ment; it asks a ques­tion: ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ This ques­tion speaks to ev­ery­one, but I think it has spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for women. Fear is at the root of so many of the bar­ri­ers that women face. Fear of not be­ing liked. Fear of mak­ing the wrong de­ci­sion. Fear of

draw­ing neg­a­tive at­ten­tion. Fear of over­reach­ing. Fear of be­ing judged. Fear of fail­ure. And for those who want to have chil­dren, the fear that we can’t be both good em­ploy­ees and good moth­ers.

I know it’s point­less to tell some­one to be fear­less. But it does help to tell our­selves to fight our fears at ev­ery stage of our lives. Don’t be afraid to of­fer your opin­ion. Don’t be afraid of wait­ing to find a life part­ner who’ll sup­port you in achiev­ing your dreams. And don’t be afraid to be fully en­gaged in your ca­reer, even as you plan to have a fam­ily. By fight­ing th­ese fears, women can pur­sue pro­fes­sional suc­cess and per­sonal ful­fill­ment.

Five years ago, I dived into my Face­book job as fearlessly as I could. And al­though at the time peo­ple ques­tioned why I would want to work for a 23-year-old, no-one asks me that any­more.

It’s your turn now. Please ask your­self: ‘What would I do if I weren’t afraid?’ And then go and do it.

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