The career advice a former Facebook exec would give her younger self -- and anyone else

Debra bednar clark headshotCourtesy of Debra Bednar-ClarkDebra Bednar-Clark, CEO and founder of DB+co.

You are your greatest asset.

That’s what Debra Bednar-Clark, CEO and founder of career and leadership coaching firm DB+co. and former global head of strategy and growth at Facebook, said she wishes she could have told her younger self.

“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,” she told Business Insider about the early years of her career.

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

Studying the leaders around her, she kept an eye out for a consistent trait among them, and found one:

“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.”

For that reason, Bednar-Clark says her best career advice 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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