Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Global & Multicultural

Sheryl Sandberg’s Top 10 Tips for Women College Graduates

Re-posted from Jenn Tenczar of Undergraduate Career Development on April 30, 2014

“Let’s Dream Big.  It doesn’t cost anything.”  This was Sheryl Sandberg’s, Facebook’s COO and the author ofLean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates, opening message to participants sitting in on PricewaterhouseCooper’s first Women’s Leadership Series webcast that was presented last week.

In her new book, Sheryl outlines the following top 10 tips for women college graduates entering the workforce:

  1. Proceed and Be Bold: for both job search and in your career.  Be Bold in your Job Search:  Apply for that job even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications.  Be Bold at Work: look for stretch projects to challenge yourself.
  2. Shift your mindset to ‘what you can do for the company’ rather than ‘what the company can do for you.’  First make sure you have an error free resume and go above and beyond in the interview process to make a good first impression.  One example that she shared was of a college student candidate who reviewed Facebook marketing materials in the waiting area and made recommendations that she gave to her interviewer.
  3. Wisely negotiate all job offers.  Research highlights that women are 4 times more likely not to negotiate than a man and, as a result, their salaries are lower throughout their careers.
  4. Break long term goals into short term steps.   Long term goals may look daunting, but when you break them down into short term steps, they become more manageable.  Some tips to creating those steps: make sure they are specific and achievable; that you can achieve them within 12-18 months and they should stretch you. Also, be flexible with your goals so you stay open to new paths.
  5. Make sure to sit at ‘The Table’.  Sheryl highlighted a meeting that she attended where many women chose to sit on the chairs around the perimeter of the conference room rather than sitting at a chair at the conference table.  You earned your position and right to be at the Table.
  6. Listen to your Inner Voice.   Don’t let other voices drown out your voice.  By tuning in to what is important to you, you can begin to forge your own career path.
  7. Don’t ask “Will you be my mentor?”  Mentors select protégés based on their performance and potential.  Shift mindset from needing a mentor to excel.  Excel first and then you will get a mentor.
  8. Understand and challenge Gender Bias.  Many times women get a bad reputation for being too assertive.  They are looking for a balance between being seen as confident vs. well-liked.  Understanding where bias shows up and how it works can make a difference.
  9. Make your partner a real partner.  Choose a life-long partner who believes in and supports gender equality and will share in domestic responsibilities.
  10. Don’t leave before you leave.  Don’t make career decisions or assumptions based on family decisions or responsibilities that you don’t have yet.  Keep your foot on the gas.  The more you do, the more opportunities will become available to you.

So what can you do now?  Go to for additional resources.

For more information about PwC’s new Aspire to Lead series or to hear the playback of this webcast, go to

Just a reminder that Babson Career Advisers are available to help you review your job offers.  You can go to Career Connections to schedule an appointment or stop in during walk-in hours, which are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10AM-1PM and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4PM.