My appearance on the TODAY show marked a significant success for me–after only three months as a full-time employee at CBS Interactive, I was invited to do a television appearance. This is huge for a recent graduate, as many work years to achieve such goals.
Yet, as I write this, I hear myself thinking: “Thank CNET for that”, or “I honestly couldn’t have done it with out the help of ______”, or “It must be a mixture of luck and hard work.”
Several months ago, a good friend of mine, Ashley Laurel, asked me “Do you think success is a result of luck, or hard work?” At the time, I diplomatically answered that it must be a combination of both. But later I’d reflect on my classmates’ reactions to my post-graduation career: “Wow, you’re so lucky”, or “How did you get that?” I’d modestly reply, “Well, I feel really lucky.”
What happened there? I neglected to own my success.
As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg points out, women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce. If you ask a man how he became successful, his answer will most likely be “Well, because I’m awesome”, while a woman will quickly attribute her accomplishments to external factors, like the help of others or simply luck.
Truth is, I wasn’t lucky. I did work hard to get where I am. And simply put: I’m pretty awesome.
My success is a result of me–my passion for technology, my aggressiveness in pushing myself harder at work, my personality, and other unique traits.
What would happen if women stepped up and began owning their accomplishments? Saying Yes, I deserve to be here?
This was just one epiphany that struck after watching Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk “Why we have too few women leaders”. She’s brilliant, inspiring, and is an excellent role model for all working women.
Sheryl exposed three lessons every woman should embrace:
- Sit at the table.
- Make your partner a real partner.
- Don’t leave before you leave.