Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

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Like Kelin, I’m surprised I hadn’t read this book already. It feels like I’m behind the times.

But that’s okay. This book is relevant to my life at this exact moment. I recently accepted a new job and am completely overwhelmed. Apologies to Matthew, who keeps having to read my panicked texts and Facebook messages about what a huge mistake I think I’ve made. You, sir, are a saint. In short – I haven’t been sleeping well and I’ve had wild anxiety. At the end of the day, I silently lean my head against the cold bus window and hope I’ll like it more tomorrow.

I came from an office full of empowered women in leadership positions who were actively mentoring me. I loved it. While I was doing work that I found interesting and the work environment was beyond stellar, there wasn’t a lot of room to grow in that position. I was offered a job that sounded like a great opportunity, and actually, it is. All of the positives that made the new job sound like a great opportunity still exist. But I’m doubting myself. I’m doubting my ability to do this job. And Sheryl Sandberg did a hell of a job contextualizing all of that for me, which was honestly frustrating. I don’t want all of my job-related stress to be related to the gender thing. I’m an empowered feminist, damn it!

But I’m working in a hallway where most of the decision-makers are men and most of the support staff are women. The gender gap is profound. I don’t know whether that can explain away all of my doubts, but it did have a calming effect. Like Kelin, I related less to the parts of the book about family and marriage. Of course. That’s not where I am. This – this hallway desk with a circa 2003 desktop computer – this is where I am. I’m trying to figure out if it’s where I want to be, and I appreciate Sheryl Sandberg’s insight as I decide whether my reticence is rooted in fear. Am I interested in sitting even kind of near this table? I need to think about that some more.

Books read – 9

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