Don't Be a Negotiation Vegan
Is salary just a necessary byproduct you wish would work itself out?
Do you resist quantifying your worth? Don't even want to talk about it?
Of course. You have been peddling yourself and going through the wringer of job applications all the way to getting a job offer.
And you STILL have to defend your value? (Please God no, don't make me do it...)
A lot of people feel this way when they are ready to negotiate their salary. If you have a hard time selling yourself you are not alone.
But don't be a NEGOTIATION VEGAN!
Imagine you are a vegan, and then someone makes you eat bacon. I know some vegans would very secretly be happy about this (sorry-not-sorry), but really, it would make them sick.
This is the career version of the Omnivore's Dilemma. Me or them? If you don't value yourself appropriately, you will just be leaving food on the table for others to eat. Someone is going to get it. Why not you?
If "believing in yourself" is hard for you, don't START there. Instead, get PREPARED.
How much do you really understand about your market value? Where is the point at which you are willing to settle? There are lots of great tips for salary negotiation online (Check out Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You to Be Rich).
The best tip I can actually give you is to generally kick ass when you are working. Don't be good at your job. Be GREAT at your job.
The proof is in the pudding. Perform so well and develop such good relationships that you will ONLY come highly recommended and you KNOW how valuable you are.
If you can demonstrate your worth, it should not FEEL like a negotiation. It should feel like you are simply correcting an oversight, or stating the obvious.
And if that's true, you're not asking for too much. Everybody is winning.