From Rejection to Pay, Hoda Kotb Has Career Lessons You Need to Hear

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  • From Rejection to Pay, Hoda Kotb Has Career Lessons You Need to Hear

Money aside, Hoda likened the decision to taking a great leap off of a cliff. “You know what’s going to happen if you stay safely. If you jump, you’re not sure. It may be amazing and it may be horrifying, but you don’t know,” she said. “When I was standing on the edge when that job came at NBC, it was like ripping my heart out. But I knew that if I didn’t do it, I would wake up every single morning and think, ‘I wonder if I had taken that Dateline job…’ And I couldn’t wake up like that every day, so I took it and I took the pay cut.”

In fact, if there’s a lesson that sticks out the most from hearing Hoda tell her story, it’s her take on salary. “I never did anything or took a job for the money,” she declared. “I always thought if you take a job for the money, whatever your job is, you’re only going to be happy every other Thursday on payday and then you go back to a job you don’t really love that much.  I didn’t choose the profession for that reason and I think if you do, you’re probably making a mistake because you’ll probably be dissatisfied ultimately.” 

“You just realize in your life, you have to do something because you love it,” she noted, “And if the money comes, great. And if it doesn’t and you can still pay your bills, you still get to be happy, so I never moved for the money.”

While money has not been a motivator for Hoda, that’s not to say it doesn’t matter. In fact, it took her a long time to get the paycheck she deserved. “I think I spent most of my career being paid less than my male counterpart, without question,” she said. “And then later, you start to say, ‘Well, wait a minute. I think I actually deserve this, or I can ask for this.’ And it took a lot. I wish I didn’t waste so many years either not paying attention—and remember, I’m the kind of person, if I can pay my bills, then I don’t want more. I don’t have that thing. So, it didn’t bother me that way. But, I think you should get paid what you’re worth. Simple as that.”

Does she feel like she’s at that point now? “I feel like it took a long time,” she told E!, “but I feel like, yeah, definitely.”

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