Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Negotiating employers 'like sharks'

Q. Everyone says it's important to negotiate benefits and salary when you finally get a job offer, but I think it makes a difference whether you're already employed and looking to better yourself or if you're out on the street-as I am-and need any job as a lifeline. How can I possible negotiate for a higher salary when I'm desperate? I'm ready to grab anything.

Ans. Unfortunately, employers recognize your desperation and, like sharks, go for blood. According to Lee E. Miller, author of "Get More Money on Your Next Job...In Any Economy," (McGraw Hill, MH Professional $14.95) the only difference in negotiating with or without employment is psychological. "You can negotiate if you know how," he contends. It's all about self-confidence. You have to pump yourself up. Make a list of your accomplishments and keep them in your mind during talks. "The single reason people get hired id enthusiasm-they're confident they can give something to the boss," he adds.


When pals become subordinates

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