My obsession with Morning Joe started in the most unlikely of places: the gym. I was on the treadmill one morning and my charge-neglected iPhone ran out of power with several miles to go. Faced with the prospect of twenty minutes of mid-run, 6 a.m. silence, I plugged my headphones into a television jack hooked up to one of the gym TVs. It happened to be tuned to Morning Joe and I quickly got sucked in to the smart, fast-paced dialogue. Before I knew it, my run was over and I was hooked on the show.

When I heard about Morning Joe co-anchor Mika Brzezinski’s book Knowing Your Value, I immediately added it to my library list. I knew from reading her first book that the content would be just like she is on the show: straightforward and unfussy. I was also intrigued by the host of admirable characters who offered advice and experiences in the book, not the least of them being Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury Elizabeth Warren and GE giant Jack Welch.

The book surprised me in that it was a pretty easy read (somehow, I’m always intimidated by nonfiction!) but it still delivered some great insights on how all of us, and women specifically, can better manage our careers. Even more than that, by having some highly respectable business people—from Facebook COO (and former Google VP) Sheryl Sandberg to Mika herself—admit to feeling confused, self-conscious, or otherwise unsure in the face of tough business situations, the book made me feel infinitely more confident about my own abilities. And that alone is worth its weight in gold.

My favorite parts of Knowing Your Value:

“I said, ‘Well my boss knows I’m working hard, and he values what I’m doing.’ She said, “You can’t sit around waiting for people to recognize your work, you have to ask for it.’”

“One of the major barriers preventing women from asking for what they need more of the time is their perception that their circumstances are more fixed and absolute—less negotiable—than they really are.” – Linda Babcock

“So why does that matter? It matters because I think a lot of getting ahead in the workplace has to do with being willing to raise your hand and say I want that job, I’ll take on that challenge—or better get, I see that problem and I’m going to fix it. That comes back to self-confidence. When women feel less confident, they take their hand down.”

“The fact that you deserve a raise or haven’t had one in years is not a persuasive argument. What makes a persuasive argument are solid facts and figures about what you’ve done and what other people, with the same skills and experiences and accomplishments, are making for the same job. Let me say it again: You are not prepared unless you know the market value of your contributions.”

When you realize that every raise you’ll get in the future is a percentage of what you’re already making, if you don’t push to make more money right now, the cumulative effect a few years down the line will be enormous.

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