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Oct 25, 2016 08:35 AM EDT

Former Facebook Executive Shares Career Advice College Graduates Must Heed


Debra Bednar-Clark, CEO and founder of career and leadership coaching firm DB+co. and former global head of strategy and growth at Facebook, shares this advice she wished she could have told herself when she was younger. "You are your greatest asset."

During the early years of her career, she admitted she had looked up to her bosses and seniors and tried to see what she could do in order to be respected and be recognized. "I looked to my colleagues and managers and those in senior leadership roles to understand how I should look and act so I could earn respect and fit in, but I learned that no one's going to be better at being you than you,"

"It took me a long time to learn," she said. "Probably 20 years."

She continued to observe the people around her, her leaders, their traits and behaviors and she was able to finally spot one common attribute:

"They had clarity on their purpose and beliefs, and reflected it though every aspect of their being. They acted it, they wore it, and it stood out. That gave them a distinct advantage - they were not devoting any energy to playing a part."

"They knew how to know who they are and I think that's the advantage that allowed them to stand out. Your authentic self is your whole self is your best self, and the truer you are to you, the more success and fulfillment you will receive."

Because of this, she wants to impart to everyone that the ultimate key to achieving success in career is to "bring your whole self forward. Fundamentally knowing who you are, believing in yourself, and showing it to the world is the key to not only unlocking your greatest asset, but the way you can inspire others when they see you living your truth."

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