Book Report :: Lean In

I finally sat down yesterday and read through the whole second half of this book! It took me weeks to read the first half, mostly because I like watching movies more than reading. Don't get me wrong, I went through the Hunger Games books within days, but something about these types of career-related books makes it tough.

There are tons of reviews on this book out there, good and bad. And don't worry, this isn't going to be a super technical, thought provoking book review. I just thought I'd share my two cents because from what I can tell from this post, a lot of women need a little extra push to "lean in" to the career they have always wanted. Or at least to go out and find what it is you are passionate about.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

I admit that my expectations of this book could be summed up like this: Feminist rich woman tells us to "lean in" to our careers even though we can't all afford a full-time nanny or go to Harvard.

Even though my expectations were kind of true, I thought Sandberg did a good job of admitting she has it easier than many while encouraging you to be ambitious and do what you can in your particular situation.
Sandberg emphasized a lot of things that I do without realizing it. Some examples that stuck out to me were doubting my abilities to take on a new role or responsibility, holding myself back (and not "leaning in") because I want to start a family in the near future, and being worried about taking a step backwards on the career ladder in order to do what I really love.

A few of my favorite quotes: 

"The cost of stability is often diminished opportunities for growth." 

"What I'm arguing is that the time to scale back is when a break is needed or when a child arrives - not before, and certainly not years in advance. The months and years leading up to having children are not the time to lean back, but the critical time to lean in."

"Feeling confident- or pretending that you feel confident- is necessary to reach for opportunities."

"Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder."

Sandberg shares the reasons why women tend to give up their career once kids come along, which I thought was interesting. I have a Master's degree and have always wanted to be independent and work my way to the top. But if you don't truly love the job you're in before kids come along, you're less likely to go back to it.  

Overall, I thought this was a good read for a young professional woman, if you're into books other than 50 Shades of Grey (no judgement here, this book is definitely not my normal thing!) There are definitely some things that didn't apply to me or that I didn't completely agree with, which was okay. She also shares a ton of studies supporting her assumptions of how women act and are perceived in the workplace, which I read at first and then sort of skipped over toward the end of the book.

Has anyone else read this? Do you agree or disagree? 


  1. This one is on my summer reading list...but I've been wondering if it will really apply to me since I am not yet married or thinking about kids. I think I'll give it a go anyway! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks like a good find to add to my collection! Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  3. I read this book a few months ago and I completely agree with your assessment. I really think you need to love your career before you have kids or your going to find every reason not to go back. Not that there is something wrong with not going back but if you always planned on being focused on having a career that can definitely derail it.

    <3, Pamela

  4. I read this book and there were some great take-aways -- i love the quotes that you included. I think a lot of it applies to working women and I appreciated the strong advice :) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  5. My boss gave me this book and I have yet to read it. I will get to it. Thanks for the sneak peak.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  6. I read this book right before I changed jobs a few months ago and thought it had some great tips for young women who want to be respected and taken seriously at work, while still being perceived as "nice" (which is something I've been working on in my own career).


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