A piece of the military to civilian transition that is rarely considered until it one is faced with it is negotiation of salaries for veterans. Military job seekers may want to review these tips from Tom Wolfe, Career Coach:
What is the corporate culture? Although you can attempt to negotiate an offer, there is no requirement for your potential employer to agree. Corporate culture comes into play. Some companies fully expect to negotiate and the first offer they make is not their last. This is often the case when the job requires effective negotiation skills, such as sales or contracting. Other companies are like those old Saturn dealerships: you get their first, last, and best price upfront. It would be prudent to have advance information on the company’s culture on this issue.
What is your leverage? Why are you asking for a higher offer? That’s easy – you want more. Well, we all want more, but that is not a valid reason. To an employer, when you ask for more money, it means that you believe you can add value in excess of what the company is offering. How do you know that you can produce that added value? Where is your proof? You need leverage and your desire for more simply does not carry enough weight. Do you have higher offers to do similar work? Have you made cost-of-living adjustments? Is there something in your background that they missed? No, my degree is not complete, but it will be by the time I start working here. How about your current salary? Is that leverage? Be careful. Let’s say you are a helicopter pilot and the Army pays you an additional $600 per month for that skill. If you are interviewing to be the Channel 9 Eye in the Sky, you have leverage. On the other hand, the manager at the distribution center could care less about your stick skills.