Smart, articulate, emotionally mature, business savvy, energetic, process-driven. Great candidates.
When I asked them both what they were expecting for a salary, both wavered and almost apologized for their expectations. And it took them a while to get the words out, and then said they would take less if that’s what this role paid. At the end of both calls, I took a moment to ask if they were open for advice. They were. I gave it. Here is what I said: “You are smart, articulate, emotionally mature, business savvy, energetic, process driven. Don’t ever apologize for your salary expectations.”
I’m not suggesting you should negotiate for the sake of it, I’m simply suggesting that once you know the market value of your role and contributions, then it’s ok to decline a role that is unwilling to pay you that value. That’s not the job for you.