Know Your Worth

Sheryl Sandberg

So—I just joined the Lean In organization founded by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

Now, I’m reading more of the press surrounding the organization and its founder. It’s really interesting to me how the media focuses on Sandberg’s message as coming from a “billionaire.” And, because of this, how can women possibly relate?

#1. I can.

#2. I don’t care how much money Sandberg makes.

#3.  It’s not the money, it’s the message.

#4. I think the message is important: know your worth.

What really strikes me is Sandberg talking about taking the position at Facebook—how she was ready to take the very first offer on the table. It was her husband who stepped in to do the negotiating. Obviously, Sandberg did not know her own worth.

I get this. I’ve had to learn this the hard way over the years. It was always difficult for me to understand my own worth. And, judging from the many women (and men) with whom I’ve worked, it doesn’t come easy to others either.

The interview with Ms. Sandberg brought me back to a time many years ago, when my boss at Sony wanted me to take on a large department because the person they hired was not working out. In fact, he was failing so miserably, my boss was extremely anxious for a sure thing to replace him. That sure thing was me.

I had the leadership skills, the operations skills, the client service skills—the big 3. Plus, I offered my boss something beyond value: peace of mind. He knew he could trust me.

I probably could have asked for just about anything to take my boss’s pain away. Instead, I focused on the few, insignificant things I didn’t know—not my ability or my value.

I wound up taking the job for a fraction of what my predecessor made.

So, the next time you’re faced with an opportunity, know your value. Know the worth you bring to the table.

Then, not only lean in, but ask for and get what you’re worth!


Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan

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