Have you been working your butt off applying for jobs? When you finally get a job offer, you might be tempted to accept the terms, no questions. However, you shouldn't just sign a contract out of pure elation. Consider what the position offers in relation to your career, and, of course, how much the job pays. You shouldn't go into a position feeling undervalued, but asking for more money can be nerve-wracking. No big deal though – you can do it! The most important thing you can do is to go into a negotiation with proof of why you deserve more cash.

You will have to be able to articulate your worth. Doing so requires a little rehearsal. If the thought of negotiating your pay rate makes your stomach churn, take a look at these tips to go in feeling confident and composed:

Consider how the company is performing
If the company hiring you is bringing in high profit margins and has seen a significant amount of recent success, it's probably a good time to ask for a higher salary or hourly rate than outlined in the initial offer. Furthermore, think about how the industry you work in is doing as a whole. If you got an offer from a boutique doughnut shop, and the New York Times recently wrote an article about the new doughnut craze, odds are you're working at a business that will thrive in the near future. However, if the chips are down and the company is bleeding, asking for a more money might just put you on the boss's bad side. 

Do your research
Go in knowing the average hourly rate or salary of a person in your position. Have numbers ready so you can show your new boss what other employees in a similar position are making. You should be able to discuss industry norms with ease. Remember not to make demands – negotiating is a conversation.  

Be prepared for your boss to say no
If you talk to your new boss about your salary and he or she tells you no, remember that the conversation doesn't end there. Be prepared to negotiate by asking questions and receiving feedback the longer you're with the company. Inquire as to how you can improve once you start working to get a raise in the future. Keep the tone professional and remember that demands and confrontation will often get you nowhere. Negotiating an increase in your pay offer can take time – be ready to make it a continuing conversation once you've begun working.