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on May 16, 2011
I have to admit, I did not have much of an expectation regarding this book. I picked it up at the bookstore to leaf through out of curiosity since I regularly watch the morning show she's on , and at times not really understanding the role she plays. What a surprise this book turned out to be!I could not put it down and ended up buying it and now buying many copies for my friends, mentorees and daughter in laws. I have spent the past 35 years , some would say very successfully, working myself up the corporate ladder, ending up as president of business units and companies. I experienced what she and her contributors have described in this book and I wish I had a book like this to read to 1) understand why I was behaving and feeling like I did, 2) why I let bosses and companies take advantage of me 3)understand better how to get for myself what I deserved....and overall to know I was not alone in this situation.
I think this book is a great resource for every woman, and especially relevant for young women starting out on the corporate ladder, especially when there is so much "fluff" is written on career advice. I admire Mika B's honesty, and her access to prominent women is really helpful in that, their stories may provide the motivation for some women to act on the advice given in this book.
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on October 30, 2011
As a regular Morning Joe watcher, I'm a fan of Mika's and was excited to see what advice her wealth of respected experience would yield for this book. I was so disappointed to find that rather than using her pages to uplift women, she basically aired and re-aired her job grievances over and over again in an ineffective and largely uninteresting read. The book was unfocused and meandering. What I'd hoped would be more of a guidebook for how to determine and get what you're worth was actually a pretty defeatist smattering of high-powered women and their complaints about how men are paid more. Mika didn't actually get to how this is changing every day or give concrete advice for how you move past what roadblocks you may face as a woman in the workplace. An unfortunate use of her visibility as a highly successful woman.
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on November 21, 2015
Sorry, this book just isn't good. It is very short, very repetitive, and it's thesis is: the author is great. Unfortunately, these kind of vanity book deals often do the author more harm than good, and this book is a case in point.
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on July 20, 2011
When I first saw this audiobook, I only saw the title Knowing Your Value in gigantic, capitalized, bold letters. I didn't see the small letters of the subtitle: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth. I was misled into thinking that the audiobook was about knowing your value in general. So I must warn readers that this audiobook is not about that, it's about how women can ask for higher pay in corporate America.

Mika Brzezinski has done her homework. She's talked to major female players such as Tina Brown, Nora Ephron, Suze Orman and Arianna Huffington. She shares their advice along with her own. The main narrative is her own story of struggling for years in broadcast journalism until she landed her co-host position on the MSNBC hit show Morning Joe. Even after that milestone, she was still overworked and underpaid. As co-host she worked fulltime on the show, but the network still made her do other freelance assignments and nightly shifts, while knowing she was a working mother and paying the other male host fourteen times her salary.

Brzezinski shares informative facts and figures. For instance, women tend to think they're lucky when they get a break, ask for less pay (they make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes) and generally operate on emotion and approval (one woman told Brzezinski how she received a pair of nice earrings and plenty of praise for her hard work instead of a raise or promotion). Women also tend to do most of the housework, take care of the family and elders even if they are the breadwinner, and shy away from demanding what they want or need. Besides giving the lay of the land on the gender wage gap issue, Brzezinski gives concrete tips and strategies for how to ask for more pay. For instance, before requesting a raise, hand your boss a single page of all your accomplishments and research what others in your position are earning.

Though the audiobook is informative on a timely topic, it falls short on many fronts. Besides the misleading title, the writing is too simplistic and the same concepts are repeated as if the speaker had momentary amnesia and forgot what she just said. The biggest trouble I had with the audiobook was its reader, Coleen Marlo, who sounded robotic and contrived, similar to a voice on a commercial, nothing like the voice of the author. Ultimately, Marlo's voice didn't come across as sincere (perhaps because her voice and the author's are so different). Since this is Brzezinski's personal story, I found that glitch to be a serious problem. I'm not sure why the author didn't narrate her own book. Brzezinski qualifies as a professional speaker herself.

Still, despite the audiobook's flaws, Brzezinski's cause of equal pay and the gender wage gap is of utmost importance, and one that working women should flag. Such women will find value in the author's words. Perhaps they should opt for her book instead.
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on May 19, 2016
The feelings I felt when reading this book were: understood and not alone. Mika talked about feelings and thoughts that women always have in business but don't connect to being women. For example: I always think "i am so lucky to have a job and get paid this much". Men don't think that- they think "I should get more and deserve more".
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on February 20, 2013
Knowing Your Value: by Mika Brzezinski is a self confession and personal growth story about how a now prominent MSNBC morning show host discovered, demanded, and won compensation more inline with that of her peers. The story is complimented by the personal value stories and insights of over a dozen other leaders.

Why You Should Not Buy This Book

I dislike Knowing Your Value for several reasons. First, the book lacks sufficient method for actually determining your personal worth to an organization. Its premise is that an individual’s value contribution should be based on the compensation of others in similar positions. The shortfall with this argument is that each unique individual contributes differently to the organization and so offers his/her own value proposition. Additionally, there is an underlying assumption that the comparison employees have accurately identified and won their value – a premise that is often not true. Second, the book maintains a foundational assumption that the author was treated differently because she is a woman. While this may or may not be true, the comparison employees identified were noted as contributing significantly greater intellectual and creative works to their organization; suggesting that they were rightfully compensated more. Brzezinski discounts the fact that men, minorities, and other classes of people may also be undervalued, for the reasons she presents, and that everyone should methodically seek to identify and demand their value from employers.

For its shortfalls in revealing how to calculate one’s personal value contribution and its faulted underlying logic and assumptions, I recommend you not purchase or invest time reading Knowing Your Value.

Alternative Recommendation

I believe it is highly important for an individual to know his/her value and to aggressively seek it. Identifying one’s worth is not a matter of simple comparison with others or a fight against perceived discrimination but rather a deliberate methodological evaluation of the value contribution of the individual to the organization followed by the positive assertion of that value to those who can correct any imbalance. Such a methodology is presented by Larry Myler, Chief Executive Officer of By Monday, in his book, Indispensable By Monday: Learn the Profit-Producing Behaviors that will Help Your Company and Yourself.

All the Best,
Nathan Ives
StrategyDriven Principal
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on November 30, 2014
She deals with an important topic (differences in compensation between genders) through the lens of her arrogance and entitlement mindset. While she makes good points(the unfortunate reluctance of women to speak up on compensation issues), her constant whining detracts from them. She first seeks a raise by poking her boss in the chest(yes, physical contact). She so pesters her host so much that he gives her part of his bonus to shut her up, although he passes it off as an investment in her that will bring him dividends). She finally gets a raise by telling her boss that he is acting "like a bad boyfriend.". Really ? She recently said in an interview that there is always more money to be made. Geez. By the way, Joe gets more money because he started the show, it is named after him, and he is the star, not you.
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on December 14, 2013
The experience and many recommendations were not for me. Posture, self image attitudes and one's presentation were great. Tactful but Insistent demand for excellent salary were consistent with a study of one's own worth.
I disagreed with the total commitment to job, but perhaps that's a lesson on what not to do. I recommend it to all professionals, possibly to all working women.
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on February 5, 2014
I did read Mika's prior book, so I found this one to have some redundancy but not anything that should deter from reading. There are segments in this book that I highlighted along the way and now plan to use as gifts for special working woman in my life. There was keen insight to things that I already knew, but fail to embrace more often than not. Once again, a good job on the part of Mika in sharing her experiences candidly and giving insight.
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on November 29, 2013
Years ago I read Hardball for Women by Pat Heim. This is a new and modern look at women's issues in the workplace. I appreciate the focus on value in the workplace and specific strategies around getting what you deserve. Great job, Mika!
This is a good and quick read. I'm looking for a new job, so the timing for me was great.
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