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Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth.

Every morning I get up, one of the first things I do is switch to MSNBC to catch Morning Joe.  Now, while I enjoy the banter between the talking heads and pundits, I watch moreso for the commentary and “real talk” from Mika Brzezinski.  I truly enjoy her perspective and boldness.  Though I may not always agree, when it comes to speaking her mind on certain hot topic issues facing the country today, she nails it.

But here’s why I’m writing about her today!  She wrote a book.  A good book!  A book that speaks to the call for women to know their worth and value in the workplace.  This book was in part influenced by her experience as co-host of Morning Joewhen she discovered that she was paid 14 times less than her counterpart, and show’s namesake Joe Scarborough.  While she understood that Joe created the show and came from prime time TV thus meaning she would be paid less than him, Mika felt that the degree to how much less was staggering.  She tried 4 times to correct that issue until she succeeded and from that process and experience the book was born:  Knowing Your Value, Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth.

From Amazon.com:

Mika reveals how these women, including such impresarios as White House star Valerie Jarrett, comedian Susie Essman, writer and director Nora Ephron, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and broadcaster Joy Behar, navigated the inevitable roadblocks that are unique to women. Mika also uncovers what men think about the approach women take in the workplace, getting honest answers from Donnie Deutsch, Jack Welch, Donald Trump, and others about why women are paid less, and what pitfalls women face—and play into—as they try to get their worth at work.

The premise of the book is that women don’t get raises or aren’t paid as much as their male counterparts for the following reasons:

  1. We don’t ask for what we want at work
  2. We feel lucky just to have the job
  3. Women tend to focus on feeling needed and appreciated
  4. We assume that as long as we work hard then someone will notice and due the job of advocating a raise for us

Having just transitioned into a new position myself I can offer the following tips:

Know Your Worth
Understand the skill set you bring to the organization.  Get to know a bit about your predecessor, out shine their strengths and build upon their weaknesses.  How will you bring value to the bottom line?  Are you a diligent worker and do you excel in whatever assignment presented before you?

This involves developing a deep worth ethic that identifies you and only you as the master behind the work your produce.  If not, then work on getting there.  Get to know the needs of your superiors and make sure that at the end of the day, your work makes them look good.  Mark my words, this is key.

Match Skills + Duties + Accomplishments
If you’re up for a review later this year or next year.  Start planning now.  What skills do you bring to the organization?  How do they match up with your job description and what are the resulting accomplishments?  Create a list that details this information in a detailed but concise manner (love the contradiction, right?).

Show your boss, what you do, how you do it and how this improves their bottom line.  At my current place of employment, my admins talked to me about how to ensure a raise from our CEO by the end of next quarter and I advised them on how create a Goal, Plan, Accomplishments spreadsheets which will detail just how much they have accomplished which increases revenue and value.  We check in about this on a weekly basis so this motivates them to work towards a tangible goal.

Stop Apologizing For Who You Are!
Paralyzing Phrases:  Do You Use Them?  An example of this is “I’m sorry, I know it’s not a good time to ask for a raise“.  Trust me, unless your company is about to file for bankruptcy or is selling of assets to make payroll it’s always a good time.  It’s just a matter of knowing your worth but also working with your company on the amount just in case they are in financial trouble.

But sometimes we cut ourselves off at the knees when we shirk value by apologizing for who we are so that we can be liked! This is business.  Not a PTA meeting.  Ask for what you want.  Even if you don’t get it, this will be an awesome exercise in asserting who you are and what you are worth.  Even if they don’t pay attention now, someone will down the road.  Believe that.

Aside:  I just love the cover of her book!  She is WERKING IT!

How are you proving your value in the workplace?  What can you improve upon and where are you shirking your value to those in the position to grant you the raise you want?

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