Grow Your Value | Mika Brzezinski

Summary of: Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential
By: Mika Brzezinski

Introduction

Discover the keys to unlocking your full potential in both your professional and personal life with Mika Brzezinski’s ‘Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential.’ In this illuminating book, Brzezinski explores the delicate balance that successful women must navigate to create value in both their careers and home lives. Through engaging stories, research, and anecdotes, the book dispels societal myths and stereotypes about work-life balance, while offering strategies for understanding and developing your inner value, building your professional brand, and finding peace of mind amidst life’s challenges.

Working Women’s Silent Struggle

A panel of successful women gathered for a White House summit, including Gloria Steinem and Nancy Pelosi. When asked if their careers placed personal strains on them, the women remained silent and uncomfortable. Mika Brzezinski, the moderator, shared her own experiences of feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. The women found it difficult to address the challenges of balancing personal and professional lives, as discussing this topic remains taboo. Brzezinski’s husband and daughters suffered because of her work schedule, and she wanted advice from other successful women who faced similar problems. The personal lives of working women are impacted by their jobs, but they often feel stigmatized for discussing it openly.

Women’s Perception of Success

The societal belief that a successful career takes away from a woman’s family persists despite research proving otherwise. A Pew study in 2013 showed that only 16% of Americans thinks mothers of small children should work full time, while a third of respondents believed that they should not work outside of the home. However, 32% of women desire to work but feel the societal pressure to prioritize their family over their career. Despite women pursuing careers and earning higher scores on language, reading, and math tests, they still carry out most household duties. This leads to a feeling of guilt and the perception of not doing anything well. The solution is to remember one’s inner value, challenge the cultural norms, and encourage equal pay.

Building Your Professional Brand

Building your professional brand requires you to focus on your unique strengths, communication style, expertise, perspective, and work ethic. Your brand is a representation of who you are, and creating a concise elevator pitch can help you stand out and open up new opportunities. Additionally, knowing your inner value can help define what is truly important to you and assist in setting priorities to steer your life in a fulfilling direction. As you progress in your career, it’s essential to continue to add to the foundation of your professional value by showcasing your accomplishments and communicating with others. By building a strong professional brand, you can become a valuable asset in your workplace and open up new doors for advancement.

Crafting a Strong Professional Brand

Developing a unique professional brand requires taking risks, pursuing passions, and aligning inner values with professional values. These principles can be observed from the stories of Nancy Gibbs, Bobbi Brown, and Mika Brzezinski, as shared in the book. Gibbs built her reputation on pursuing her interests and unique perspective, ultimately becoming managing editor of Time. Brown’s mission of enhancing beauty aligns with her professional values, making her cosmetics line successful. On the other hand, Brzezinski’s lack of a distinct professional persona hurt her when she was laid off by CBS. Crafting a personal brand requires clarity of purpose and consistency of message to avoid being replaceable in a competitive job market.

Own Your Value

Women often undervalue themselves and don’t advocate for what they deserve professionally. Even when they do, they may be unfairly labeled as aggressive. It’s important to recognize your own value, promote your accomplishments, and create a strong network of professional contacts. By doing so, you can build your professional worth and achieve greater success. Being a working mother can actually give you an advantage, and instead of chasing happiness, finding peace should be the ultimate goal.

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