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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You Should Make Demands

Q. I've been looking for a new job since I was laid off six months ago and you'd think I was from Mars the way employers look at me. I'm asking for the same salary I had before my company went belly-up---no more. I'm giving in on several issues they bring up, yet they don't seem to meet me in negotiations. Could I be demanding too much? How much IS too much?

Ans. It's hard to tell exactly what to ask for in these desperate economic times when almost any job is better than no job. Yet you are justified in making some demands. Simply Hired, a company that tracks people like you, just released a report about "Today's Job Seeker". It shows you should want a job that pays well, and that healthcare coverage is non-negotiable. You should be tech-savvy, and not be afraid to try something new. Also be flexible and try to show why hiring YOU will benefit the company, not the other way around.

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