Military Transition Roadmap – Step 7

Negotiating The Offer

Step 7: Negotiating The Offer

Why is Negotiating The Offer Important?

Negotiating an offer of employment is important in making sure you are getting compensated for the experience you will bring to the role. The most common component negotiated in an offer of employment is salary. Your ability to negotiate your starting salary is based largely on how well you did in the interview.

Basic components of an offer:

  • Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package


There are 3 salary points to consider;

  • Base salary
  • Midpoint
  • Top of the range

The 3 salary points of a position allow for raises based on performance. Starting at the top of the range means you can immediately fill all requirements and come with more expectations. Starting at the base or midpoint allows you to grow and learn in your new role which can lead to salary increases later on, be realistic about where you are.


The bonus structure is generally tied to the level and function of your role. It is only occasionally negotiable.

The important part of any bonus is knowing:

  • The average payout
  • How much is tied to your performance
  • How much is tied to the company’s performance

Comprehensive Benefits Package

An employer will usually offer medical benefits through health insurance. Not all health insurance plans are the same.

Comprehensive benefits package generally offer:

  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short-term or long-term disability insurance
  • Paid vacation time
  • Paid holidays
  • Sick/personal leave time
  • Retirement savings plan
  • Profit sharing
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • And more depending on the company

Some elements can be negotiated, and some elements are directly tied to your position level or job function.

When to negotiate?

If the job meets your criteria, but the compensation does not, then it is time to negotiate. Treat it like a counteroffer. You will need to write it down being clear and specific on which components need to be increased. You will need to clearly communicate your value in a counteroffer.

Counteroffer Tips:

  • Make sure you speak with the recruiter or hiring manager
  • Show your gratitude for the offer and excitement about the role
  • Highlight your ability to make an impact
  • Be clear and upfront with your counteroffer


  • If the first offer was below 20% of what you were looking for, an increase of 5% to 10% might be the only realistic option
  • Your personal expenses and needs are not a factor here, only the value you bring to the role

Counteroffer Example

I am excited about this role and very grateful for the offer, I have confidence that I can drive results. I am eager to join the team and if we could get to [desired dollar amount] as a base with the sign-on we discussed, I’d accept and be willing to start right away.

Not Every Job Offer needs to be Negotiated

Consider 3 things before negotiating an offer:

  • Does the offer I received meet my expectations? – If the answer is yes, there is no need to negotiate an offer.
  • Am I currently unemployed and do I have the financial security to wait for another offer? – If the answer is yes, I am unemployed and no I don’t have the financial security to wait for other offers, then you might want to take any offer you get.
  • Is my current job in jeopardy? – If the answer is yes, then consider your options if you should negotiate any offers.

Why doing the exercise is important?

Understanding what is negotiable will make sure you are happy with the offer you have accepted. Keep in mind what components are generally negotiable so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities you may have had.

It is important to be prepared if you are going to negotiate an offer. You will not only need to be clear in what you are asking for but be able to reiterate your value and show that you are their best hiring choice. Doing the work upfront will help you navigate this portion of the hiring process with ease. Use our Counter Offer worksheet to help you navigate an offer when you get one.

Review Past Exercises

Defining Your Focus

If you need to complete updated compensation information for the role you applied for.

Research what the low level, mid level, and high level compensation is for the job you applied for. What are you willing to accept? What components do you need to negotiate to reach your ideal offer?

What Makes You Great

This will remind them of why they want to hire you and how you will be a good fit for the team and will contribute to company goals, making you the best choice for the job.

Communicating Your Value

Sometimes you need to remind yourself of your value as the negotiating process can be hard. You are asking them to compensate you for your skills and experience earned over time.


Download the Exercises

Step 7: Create A Counteroffer

Step 7: Components To Negotiate