Lean In – Chapter 9

Chapter 9: The Myth of Doing It All

Does it appear that everyone else has their lives together and you are the one running around trying to pick up the pieces? Do you run out of time to get all of the things done on your list? Do you wonder how super mom manages her job, her kids, and her life so perfectly? Sometimes my life feels this way and this dilemma is what Sheryl Sandberg discusses in Chapter 9 of Lean In.

No one has it all. But it’s easy to think that everyone else does, especially when we get most of our information about someone’s life from their Instagram or other social media posts. Learn to make the most of what you have and maximize your time for the most benefits and what makes you happy. Sandberg included this quote by Sharon Poczter, Professor of Economics at Cornell, in Chapter 9:

“The antiquated rhetoric of ‘having it all’ disregards the basis of every economic relationship: the idea of trade-offs. All of us are dealing with the constrained optimization that is life, attempting to maximize our utility based on parameters like career, kids, relationships, etc., doing our best to allocate the resource of our time. Due to the scarcity of this resource, therefore, none of us can ‘have it all,’ and those who claim to are most likely lying.”

Do what makes you happy. Make time for things that you want to do. I used to give up on working out when I was busy with work or school. Now I always make running or working out a priority by trading it off with other things. Does the house always have to be clean? Do I need to respond to this email right now?

The most valuable lesson I learned about doing it all and deciding what mattered happened in graduate school. (Any of my CSAA professors should stop reading right now). At the beginning of my graduate program I insisted on reading every assigned article and chapter very carefully while taking notes. This often caused me to say no to spending time with friends and miss out on opportunities for connections and networking. Throughout the 2 years I learned to discern what was important and what was not. I learned to skim some of those chapters, and I learned above all, as the quote below explains, what mattered and what did not. I was not a “perfect” student that read every single word of every assignment, and I still have a master’s degree!

Every day we make choices about the amount of time we are going to spend perfecting something and where our priorities lie. Dr. Glimcher (quote below) stated for her this meant getting home at a reasonable hour but not spending that time at home making sure the house was clean.

I had to decide what mattered and what didn’t and I learned to be a perfectionist only in the things that mattered

What should your priorities be today? Are you wasting time perfecting something that does not need to be perfect? As Facebook’s wall so proudly displays: Done is better than perfect.

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This post is part of a series on Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

LinkedIn for the #SAsearch

There is a high possibility that you are currently job searching in higher education OR you will be job searching at some point in your life. Because of this, you need to have an updated LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can help in many ways. If you are job searching, the hiring manager and other people interviewing you will probably Google you during the search, make sure they find accurate information by providing it yourself on LinkedIn.Maximize your job search with Linked In

Additionally, job searchers should use the LinkedIn feature to be anonymous and look up the profiles of staff at the institution before interviews. I did this during my last job search and it was tremendously helpful to know background information and previous jobs of the individuals interviewing me. Prepping for day-long interviews is stressful and overwhelming but LinkedIn definitely makes the process easier. Here’s are some LinkedIn profile tips to make sure you do:

  • Use a professional photo, not a cropped one. Ask a friend to take a photo of you if you need a LinkedIn headshot.
  • Update your profile with positions you have held (the experience section). A description or bullet points is not necessary but the more information you provide, the better.
  • Write a summary – this is a way to introduce yourself to others at the beginning of your profile and say whatever you want to say about your interests! I used Joe Ginese’s advice about storytelling when preparing mine, thanks Joe!
  • Ask your previous supervisors or colleagues to recommend you, and pay it forward by recommending individuals that impressed you with their products or services. Recommendations add value to your profile and really show your worth.
  • Join groups related to your professional area. This is a great way to stay updated on new ideas and ask questions of others working in similar positions. These groups are also often used to share job postings.

A few other tips

  • Personalize the message when connecting with people, especially if it is someone you have never met – why should they connect with you?
  • Take advantage of the “Find Alumni” feature, a great way to reach out to alumni and connect with them, especially if they are doing what you want to be doing. (Thanks for the tip, Amber!)
  • Only connect with people you know. I’m torn on this one. I have not followed this advice and usually accept every invitation I receive. The flip side is when someone asks me “How do you know so-and-so or will you connect me with so-and-so” and I have to say, oh I really don’t know them.

Updating your LinkedIn profile is free and something that can be tremendously beneficial for your career. Set aside 1-2 hours and get your profile started up today! I’ve heard various grumblings that “LinkedIn is pointless” or “there is no reason to have a LinkedIn profile”. My question to the naysayers is, how will it hurt you? Drop that attitude today and take charge of your professional presence!

What are some other tips for using LinkedIn in higher education or student affairs? Has LinkedIn helped you be successful in a job search? Make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn and lets continue the conversation. Good luck in your current or future job search.

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Lean In – Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Make Your Partner A Real Partner

There is a long list of quotes I saved from chapter 8; it was hard to pick just one to share (I picked 3, hope that is okay). Sheryl Sandberg’s advice in this chapter is very valuable. Since I do not currently have a partner, it is advice that I can take and really consider as I make future life choices. One challenging thing about being a woman with the drive to succeed and excel is society’s expectations by gender. Sandberg addresses it in many ways, including acknowledging that employers often assume women will not live up to expectations of professional dedication and a man’s success is often viewed, unfortunately, in comparison to his wife.

“I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is. I don’t know of one woman in a leadership position whose life partner is not fully – and I mean fully- supportive of her career. No exceptions.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In, p 110.

Got it? The single most important career decision. Just sort of a big deal…Now how about this:

Lean In Quote - We need more men to sit at the table..the kitchen table"

Are you reluctant to give your partner their fair share of home responsibilities? Sandberg says women should not assign or suggest tasks to their partners. Share responsibility fully. And finally:

“When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In, p 115.

This chapter was a really good reminder not to settle, not to assign responsibility, and to find someone that will be a supportive and equal partner in all areas of life.

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This post is part of a series on Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

My new home – Greensboro, NC

What have I been up to this summer? I moved to the most beautiful one bedroom apartment in downtown Greensboro! I found a place to live in the College Hill neighborhood. It’s an old mill, built in 1893, and my one-bedroom apartment has four interior brick walls. Check it out:

Apartment photo

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Apartment Photo 3

Bathroom 1

Bedroom1

Bedroom 2

I tried to be a minimalist with decorations because the place is gorgeous on its own. If you know me, that was a struggle! So…I will be hosting a yard sale in a few weeks to try to get rid of some of the stuff that did not fit. The bedroom has two closets; it really is the perfect place for me! There are still things to add: a bookshelf and maybe some more pictures on the walls. Check out the Pinterest Board I used for inspiration. What do you think? What else would you add?

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