Just Pay Me
I have been known to go to interviews, not looking for a job, but to make contact with other therapists in the area. When the conversation is steered toward money I usually ask for an exorbitant amount, which is met with mirth and the interviewer says, "No, really, what would it take to have you work here?"
Despite me asking for a lot of money, who do you think they call when there is no coverage available? I even told one large national company, "The more you pay me, the more available I am." Sometimes I will feel a tinge of guilt for asking (and sometimes getting) the amount I ask for but it usually doesn't last long. On the flip side, I have been low-balled by some large corporations as well. They apparently have no qualms with paying me less than everyone else but balk at paying me more even though, in my mind, I am worth it. I worked and never received a check from one place; they didn't seem to mind that but complained I cost so much money when I brought it to their attention the day after payday.
I try to separate what I do as a business transaction. If I can provide a needed service for a company, they should pay what I know I am worth. Since I have other degrees and certificates, those should be worth something monetarily as well. Not every large corporation feels this way. If a new grad with the same license can be paid less and billed at the same rate, guess who saves money? There are companies out there that will pay for the experience and receive loyalty from me until the day I die (or until I get offered more money from someone else).
The other sad part of this story is, if I worked for the same company the whole time I have been in the therapy field I could be retiring in about five years.