8 great career tips from (nearly) the most powerful woman in the world

Sheryl Sandberg is CEO of Facebook and one of the youngest billionaires in the world. So do we want to know what’s on her mind? Erm… yes! Sit up straight at the back while she updates your status (and we translate).

1. On hard graft:

Sheryl says: ‘Women shouldn’t enter the workforce already looking for an exit. Don’t put on the brakes – keep a foot on the accelerator pedal right up until a decision has to be made.’

MC translates: Just because you might have a baby one day doesn’t give you an excuse to start fantasizing about your maternity leave now.

2. On working motherhood:

Sheryl says: ‘There’s no question that once you have a child you’ve got harder decisions to make – although… I’d like men to have those difficult decisions, too.’

MC translates: Kids ruin your career so it’s only fair they should ruin men’s careers, too.

3. On self esteem:

Sheryl says: ‘At school I was voted most likely to succeed but I begged the woman who did the yearbook to take it out because I thought it would make me sound unattractive.’

MC translates: Now you know, even the CEO of Facebook is insecure!

4. On being liked:

Sheryl says: ‘When I joined Facebook Mark Zuckerberg told me my desire to be liked by everyone would hold me back. He was 23 at the time and it was the most astute career advice I’d been given. It means we women undersell ourselves.’

MC translates: This is why Facebook is so obsessed with the ‘Like’ button. But seriously. Stop being such a people pleaser.

5. On negotiation:

Sheryl says: ‘When Mark was wooing me to join Facebook it didn’t occur to me to negotiate. I thought his first offer was a great offer, I was thrilled and ready to say yes, until my husband said, “You won’t be valued unless you negotiate”.’

MC translates: Even if you’re on $26.2million a year you could always earn a little more.

6. On housework:

Sheryl says: ‘The sexiest thing you can imagine is the husband who gets up in the middle of the night to change the nappies or a husband who does the laundry. You also have to let him… If you want your husband to be an equal partner you have to treat him as an equal. We cannot make progress in the workforce until we also make progress in the home.’

MC translates: Your husband’s doing the housework. So rejoice and stop being so picky about it.

7. On having it all:

Sheryl says: ‘No one ever asks men about work/life balance, it’s just assumed. What I want is to see a world in which girls have the same choices as boys.’

MC translates: The issue of ‘having it all’ hasn’t gone away. But it should.

8. On sexism:

Sheryl says: ‘The reality is that society is sexist, with some deeply held stereotypes that we internalise from a very early age and which lead to future behaviours. It’s a very touchy subject but not talking about it has led to a situation where, here in the UK, women hold just five per cent of the top corporate jobs – and that figure has remained the same for the past ten years.’

MC translates: Just because Peggy from Madmen made it doesn’t mean the feminist battle is won.

Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.

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