The Mark Carney method of absolute refusal, followed by a massive pay increase

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Mark Carney is to become the new governor of the Bank of England. He will serve a five year term starting July 1st 2013, after no more than a month's holiday after leaving his current role as governor of the Bank of Canada.

“I am honoured to accept this important and demanding role, and to succeed Sir Mervyn King with whom I have worked closely over these past five years and from whom I learned so much," said Carney today. 

And yet, only four months ago, Carney told the BBC he had no intention whatsoever of accepting the role of governor of the Bank of England. When pushed by the BBC's interviewer to clarify his position on the governorship he said his response was both, "no and never."

In the circumstances, today's revelation represents something of a U turn.

Careers consultants say candidates should not make Carney's mistake. Namely: on no account should you publicly rule yourself out for a role. And if you do, you should stick with your decision.

"Never go public with your lack of interest in a role," says Robin Linnecar at career coaching firm Praesta. "If you're refusing a role because you have issues with the current structure or management and those issues are overcome, it only will raise questions about your change of heart," he says.

Michael Moran, chief executive of careers firm 10 Eighty says you should always go with your first instinct. "If you think a job isn't for you, it probably isn't," he says. "Go with your gut reaction."

If you think that a job might be for you if only it paid more, you should specify your number rather than refusing it outright, Moran adds. "It's always better to say I would like to do this role, but you'll need to pay me X," he says.

Carney's negotiating success

In private, this is what Carney appears to have done. The Financial Times reports that he had a few sticking points in accepting the job in London: his wife (an anti-banking eco-warrior) and his children; both were very happy living in Canada.

To help Carney overcome these issues, the FT says the Bank of England will pay him £480k plus a 30% pension contribution. Poor Mervyn King was only getting £305k. The BofE will also pay Carney's relocation and housing expenses, although it won't apparently pay his school fees.

Carney's public denial that he had any intention of taking the governor's role may not have constituted careers-negotiation-best-practice, but it seems to have delivered what he wanted.

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