Advice from Facebook's COO

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says put your foot on that professional gas pedal and keep it there.

by Caroline Dowd-Higgins • Member { View Profile }
Caroline Dowd-Higgins

It takes courage and conviction to seek out your career destiny so it doesn’t happen by default. So many people let the momentum of a job take them on a path that leads them to a place they have no desire to go. Power is not given but taken. You have the power to take small and incremental steps on your personal career journey to lead you to where you want to go.

I’m the first to tell you that it’s not always easy but it is certainly doable. The first step comes from articulating what you want in your professional life. Say it out loud, write it down, and then start to own your aspirations by telling others. Before you know it, people will start to surface that can help you on your customized career journey. You will attract members of your personal Board of Directors when you start to envision what it is you really want in life and there is no better time to start than now!

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, gave an inspiring graduation speech at Barnard that lives on in the blogosphere. She told the young graduates to be ambitious and self-confident and to “lean in” to their careers, especially since control was theirs for the taking. Life will present many choices during your lives and career paths can be circuitous and change but if you “lean back” and let things just happen by default you lose the power of choice you so richly deserve.

According to Sheryl: Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision that honors you.  Be excellent at what you do and “lean into” your career with confidence and the power to control your professional destiny.

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