OK, well done and welcome back!
Now it’s time to think about money. It’s important to thoroughly assess your financial needs. If you have a family, this is best done in consultation with your spouse, and those of you with spouses probably already understand that.
Consider what you need to maintain your current lifestyle, or even improve upon it. How much income do you need to be happy and pay your bills? Until you know that, it will be tough to know if the job you are seeking is the one for you or the job you are being offered will meet your financial requirements.
Remember that pay is only part of the equation. You need to also consider benefits such as health care, time off and 401(k) options. To calculate the civilian salary you’ll need to earn, visit the Military-Civilian Pay Calculator.
Learn the Marketplace
Now it’s time to look outwardly to the marketplace. Take the time to research the industries you are interested in pursuing and the companies you are considering. Research, research, research! Read the local papers (typically Sunday and Wednesday editions offer job opening information) for information and insight on what is happening in the business world in your area.
Learn which companies are doing well, who is in trouble, who is being bought and who is being sold. Why is this important during the job-search process? First, you probably prefer to land a position with a firm that is flourishing, not floundering. This requires homework, but there are many sources of information for you – starting with the Internet. Secondly, this type of information can be useful during the interview process. Demonstrating some depth of knowledge of the prospective company, its standing in the industry, its client list and recent accomplishments will go a long way in separating you from your competition.