Leaving the military means encountering many new changes -- you get to chose where you're going to live, what you're going to do, how long you're going to grow your hair! Of all theses changes, negotiating your salary is one of the most important ones that you will now face. As a veteran, you might not have much experience in dealing with your compensation package. It's important that you learn up on this topic because you will encounter it throughout your career and you cannot expect that the initial offering will be fair to you.
If it's your first job out of the military, you might be tempted to accept whatever offer is presented to you. You could be making a mistake that will affect your earnings for the rest of your life. Salaries throughout your career will often be based on what you previously made. If you accept working at a discount to your employers because your new to the industry, you could find it difficult to make up the difference for a very long time. Check out this article to understand why raises in the future, even for your excellent work in comparison to peers, may not get you to a fair wage.
Now when I say salary, I really mean your whole compensation package. This is another thing that not all veterans may realize. You might not always be able to negotiate what you are actually paid. However, your compensation includes things like vacation time, relocation packages, incentive bonuses, healthcare plans, and expenses. Talking with your HR will give you a better picture of the options you have. Consider all of them. You might find something that is important or valuable to you that your employers have not considered. These things might not cost your company as much as a salary increase, and thus, they may be much more willing to make you happy by negotiating in these areas.
Negotiations don't need to be contentious. Rather, both parties, you and your employer, would be served best by maintaining a relationship based on mutual respect and value. You do good work for your company because of how they compensate you and the company receives your continued good service and talents. Heed these tips and techniques and be willing to ask for what you are worth. You deserve it!