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In addressing her audience at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of ‘Morning Joe’ on MSNBC, emphasized a singular message for current and aspiring female professionals:
Always know your own value, and never let anyone else assign it for you.
Brzezinski frequently highlighted this point throughout promotion of her book, titled “Knowing Your Value,” at the park’s amphitheater on Monday, March 12.
After a humorous introduction that saw her point out the amount of Democrats, Republicans and Independents present in the audience, Brzezinski laid out the challenges inherent for women in the workplace, using her own experiences in media as reference.
One such challenge is that women have difficulty recognizing the value that they can bring to the workplace. This lack of recognition, Brzezinski points out, will not only make it easier for women to lose their value, but for others to define it for them.
“I found out the hard way that it is very easy to lose your value,” she said.
In order to maintain that value, Brzezinski emphasized that women should (1) never miss their moment when their stock is up, (2) always do your research, (3) never play the victim and (4) to not worry if people choose not to like you.
In explaining the first point, Brzezinski recalled when she refused to read a Paris Hilton news piece despite repeated prodding, as she thought that the item was not serious news. This action impressed her superiors, who in turn offered her a separate show.
“Thank you so much,” was her response, a reply that she admitted was a mistake. Women tend to be grateful for merely achieving success, without using it as a springboard for greater opportunities.
“Women are trained to be grateful and to do it all, but it is so girly to miss the moment,” she commented.
Brzezinski then mentioned the importance of doing research, especially so you know what you are getting into when you sign contracts and make agreements. She admitted to not knowing this early on, which led her to sign a contract where she would become one of the lowest paid staff members there.
She then mentioned that women should never play the victim in the workplace, and to not worry about the opinions of other individuals.
“It should never matter if others like you,” she pointed out.
In further explaining her fourth rule, Brzezinski singled out the differences between men and women in terms of negotiations. Women, to her, tend to be more emotional and feed into their own insecurities.
She also encouraged women to apologize less during discussions.
“All women should remove the words ‘I’m sorry’ from their vocabularies,” she stated proudly.
“You should know your value and be proud of it! In fact, I am 44 years old and I am only now just learning my value.”
Brzezinski concluded her speech by thanking her employer, Phil Griffin from NBC, for allowing her to present her opinions to others.
“I am proud of my story, and for my employer for allowing me to tell it,” she said.
Brzezinski then took questions from the audience. The members used this opportunity to obtain her opinions on various topics, such as the standing of women at work as well as her role on Morning Joe.
One questioner openly wondered why Mika appears to play a secondary role to her co-host Joe Scarborough during the ‘Morning Joe’ broadcasts. She reminded the audience that while Joe appears to shoulder most of the responsibility, she handles most of the action behind the scenes and plays a key role in the program’s maintenance.
“I am happy where I am on the show, and I don’t mind being #2,” she said.
When one audience member requested her opinion regarding the controversy surrounding the contraceptive provision in President Obama’s health care law; she answered by stating that while she is a strong Catholic, she is also the type of individual that does not impose her views on others.
Another questioner wanted her opinion on the employment landscape for young people. She responded by noting that individuals in their 20’s are not yet in position to heed the advice mentioned in the book.
“For those of you in your 20s, you should dial it back a bit,” she pointed out.
“You can’t own the place just yet.”
After all the questions were completed, Mika thanked the audience for their attendance and reminded everyone present to be aware of their own worth.
“If you fail to recognize your own value, you will not know it from anyone else.”
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/wacphiladelphia/