So your CV made it through the sift, you impressed at interview, but now you have the crucial stage of an offer. Something you have never had to do before as in the Military your payscales are fixed.
This is a true negotiation and here you should consider a number of things:
- Try not to disclose your expectations to either recruiters or hiring managers from the off. Instead use phrases like “it will depend on the exact nature of the role and the wider benefits package”. If the ballpark is right, you need to convince them you are the right person for the job first.
- Try to have a couple of companies interviews simultaneously to allow you to create a fear of missing out for the company you wish to join.
- Ensure you understand the benefits package, depending on your career point you may value flexible working, higher pension or higher salary. Any areas of the package and maybe ones that are not included could often be used to barter with.
- Note your holidays – Most military leavers have a huge amount of holiday that is not reflected in many civilian roles. Try to negotiate additional holidays.
- Don’t allow them to negotiate based on your pension. A lot of Defence companies will know that even at age 40 you may be putting money into your pocket before you get out of bed. You have earned that, don’t allow them to lowball you as you have built yourself a cushion.
- What are you on now? – When answering the question about your current earnings, answer it with a real term figure. You are not going to find a company that will pay for private boarding schools, but you should include things such as subsidised housing and non contributory pension to work out what your real term salary looks like.
- If you make it to a financial impasse you can look to negotiate with non financials – flexible start times, work from home, holiday buy back etc.
- Finally if the role is the one you want ensure you dont play ball too hard.
When negotiating your first salary this can often set the trajectory for future movement onwards and upwards. If you get this wrong you will cost yourself hundreds of thousands in lost earnings over your career.