I'm about halfway through Lean In. I decided to read it because I heard/read so much positive and negative commentary related to what Sheryl Sandberg has to say about women in the workplace, and more specifically, the lack of women in higher management jobs. Given my personal struggle of being a woman in a technical, male-dominated field, I thought I should read it and develop my own opinion.
So far, she's nailed it. I see myself, my career, my struggle with balance reflected in the pages. Before I ever had a boyfriend worthy of marrying, I started talking myself out of applying for certain jobs. I didn't want to travel (hello single woman with no ties, what the f-ck were you thinking?). I didn't want to work overtime (duh, no one does, but sometimes you need to early in your career when there's no one to take care of but you.)
There's another aspect to it though, and that has to do with plain old gender differences. Women tend to be risk averse and feel that they need to have all the skills an attributes of a position down before going for the next level. Men tend to be more confident in their ability to step into the unknown.
That's totally me. The last time a manager position came up in my workplace, I conveniently was planning on taking maternity leave and didn't put in for it. I was frustrated, but secretly fine with the fact that I didn't have to put myself out there to go for a position that I'm not sure I'd be effective in.
Now that I'm back at work, and reading this book, I'm realizing need to stop hiding. I don't want to retire at the level I'm at even though it is a perfectly good position both technically and project management-wise. But it's not me to stay in this position for the next 25 years or so without at least trying to move up in the organization. I've been hiding behind the "work-life balance" argument for a few years. Or, I've been hiding behind the "I need to accomplish A, B and C before I can apply for that job".
It's time to stop being scared.
Don't know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here