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How should I approach the salary question?


Gerald Boston Fort Benning, GA

I am potentially interviewing with a Defense Sector prime for a BD position. They know exactly how much a retired colonel makes.

26 October 2018 3 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Matt Cox El Segundo, CA


Great question. I recommend that you compare the fringe benefits - the intangibles. I am certain that your military benefits as a full bird well exceed those offered by the aerospace industry. Dollarize the differences and add that to your salary history. If challenged, don't apologize, you and your family received these real and tangible benefits.

Let me know if you have any follow ups.

Thank you for your service.

Matt Cox


Cavett Ishihara Lehi, UT

If it is a recruiter, I always respond, "Isn't that the hard question for both you and I?" We laugh, and then I ask, "What is the tolerance in the solicitation?" They answer with a range every time. Pick a median value and they will send your profile off for review.


Liz Campanelli East Brunswick, NJ

Dear Gerald,

First, many thanks for all those years of service!

I am a layman, and regrettably, I am not familiar with all the military jargon, but I'm very good an translating it once I know what it means. Many folks out here are savvy in the language, but many are not. So if you can identify BD, that would be a start. In meantime, once we have that in place we can do some research on position salaries. There are guides out there including 'Glassdoor'.com which provides salaries based on jobs and locations. When you are interviewing or ready to discuss salaries, know what the job is worth in the marketplace and set your 'target' salary. My target salary is $xxx,xxx or whatever it is based on your experience and your research in the job market field. I hope this helps. Let me know if I can do anything else to help. Good luck!

Liz Campanelli

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