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Career Coach

Five Strategies to Sabotage Your Next Job

Published October 8, 2014 1:12 PM by Renee Dahring

Here are some sure ways to sabotage your next position while job hunting:

  1. Applying for a new job until you are clear about what it would take for you to leave your present job. Employers hate fishing expeditions. Before you start sending out applications ask yourself what it will take for you to make the move. Is it salary or schedule? What exactly is it that you want to change? Before you submit your resume you ought to be certain that the job you are seeking has what you seek. If you need more money and you see a job ad with a similar salary range as your current position it makes no sense to start the application process. If you know the commute is too long before you hit "apply" then it will also be too long when you are offered the position too.
  2. Determine your bottom line, then change it. Employers dislike negotiations as much as you do. If your job requirements are moving targets, don't be surprised if you negotiate yourself right out of a new job. Not only is changing your mind bad manners it makes you look flaky and half-committed to a job change. No one wants to hire someone that seems ambivalent BEFORE they even start working.
  3. Insist on negotiating everything. When we say "everything is negotiable" that doesn't mean we want you to negotiate every item in the offer! They say in a good negotiation neither party will get everything they want - and it's true. A better approach is to direct your negotiating energy towards the ONE thing that will make the job most attractive to you. After all, isn't that what is most important? Let go of the small stuff and concentrate on the one item that will keep you happy. (see #1)
  4. Dragging out the process. Protracted and lengthy negotiations are a no-no. The longer you take to come to an agreement the less attractive your employment prospects. You have heard the saying "out of sight out of mind"? Reply promptly, if you need time to consider then communicate that to the employer and then stick to your deadline. Hint, if you need more than a week to decide you have probably entered diva territory.
  5. Thinking in dollars instead of in percentages. Job seekers get too hung up on the numbers when negotiating salary. It's difficult to get a feel for whether or not your salary counter offer is reasonable if you are looking at only the dollar amount. For example, the employer has offered you $95K as a base salary but you want to counter with $105K. However, If you did the math you will find that the additional $10K per year you are countering results in a difference of a little over 10%. Ask for that much and the odds are your counter will be turned down plus you run the risk of appearing as unreasonable. In this current economy and job market you should limit your requests for salary increases to 3% of the initial offer.


Career Coach : Five Strategies to Sabotage Your Next Job

December 1, 2014 2:00 AM

I disagree on the 3% rule. My own history shows that. What is more important is to have the facts. Know the salary range for a similar job in the same area. You can do a web search to find out this information or just ask around. In addition to that, you should know your own salary and experience level.

Depending on the information, you might warrant more or not more. You have to create a convincing argument on the why, as well. If the hiring company really wants you, you are worth the additional money, can argue your point, and naturally the market is not saturated with your skill, then you can get more. Everything is a case by case basis.

You might also want to consider instead of asking for more money to ask for something in kind. Examples could be extra days off per year, flex time to take care of children, an increased bonus of goals are met, and a whole slew of other things.

Like I said, the key is to know the facts.

I am a professional career coach with Butterflyvista. You can connect with me at

Sarah, Butterflyvista Corporation October 9, 2014 2:29 PM
Santa Monica CA

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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