Dirty Little Salary Secrets

Why do otherwise smart, fearless women screw up when it’s time to ask for a raise? Mika Brzezinski spills the beans on big-time negotiating blunders including her own

By Amanda Robb
Mika Brzezinski More magazine
Photograph: Illustration: Jeffrey Smith

Should women really push so hard? Most of us are not Mika Brzezinski, and in this economy many of us are just genuinely grateful to have a job, no matter what it pays.
I don’t know who you think Mika Brzezinski is, but she wasn’t “Mika Brzezinski” three years ago. I was a part-time fired ex–CBS anchor who went to MSNBC on her hands and knees groveling for a job. When I got a freelance job, I knew my stock was down and my value was down and I had better shut up and take it and just hang on to it. Part of knowing your value is knowing when your stock is down. That is the time to keep your head down and wait for the right moment to climb again. Then go for it.

Any final piece of advice?
Don’t apologize. Start right now. Count how many times each day you start a conversation by saying something like, “I’m sorry, I know this might be a bad time . . . ” Or “Sorry to bother you.” Just cut it out and know your value!


Originally published in the May 2011 issue of More.

Click here to read Mika's Do-Over

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First Published May 1, 2011

Share Your Thoughts!


J 07.01.2011

This article prompted me to read the book. It's is a must read for any lady entering and negotiating her way in the workforce. Babysitters to CEO's should read it. She speaks to high level position women who all share one thing, they experienced the hardships of knowing their value and how to handle the workplace relationship with compensation and the investment they make.

danielle h.06.09.2011

This is an important article for everyone. I am glad she put the book together. I would like to read it. Sharing her mistakes along the way helps the rest of us learn instead of repeat those mistakes.
Being paid as we should and being able to negotiate for that are skills that we could all use more help on. Thanks for the article and book!

Vivia Chen06.02.2011

I've never watched Morning Joe, but I liked Mika's directness in the interview--so much so that I just wrote a post about it in The Careerist. http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecareerist/2011/06/lessons-from-mika.html

I saw Mika on tv this morning talking about her book.
The Dirty Little Secret, from Mika Brzezinski, is to have the last name, Brzezinski!!
Her lack of intelligence simply astounds me.

Chris Caulkins05.23.2011

I think Mika, Phil and Joe should be ashamed of their ludicrous, drawn-out, monkey-in-the-middle histrionics.
Mika's description of her pursuits for another buck, and Ms. Brzezinski's blaming her failed attempts on her “girly patterns,” only makes them seem even more like the Three Stooges.
Shouldn't they be spending their time, absorbing the news, instead of running around calling each other “Motherf-ckers?”

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