3 Things Veterans Should Do when Receiving a Job Offer

(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris)

This is it, the moment every veteran job seeker has been preparing and hoping for: an employer formally offering them a job. For newly separating veterans, it's a critical moment in making the transition from the military to civilian life and could bring a huge sigh of relief -- but it's not the end of the process.

Before you accept the offer while still in the meeting or on the phone, there are a few important things to consider. Those getting ready to make the transition should think about their career plans. Is this an offer for a job that will use your skills and abilities adequately while challenging you to develop more?

As for veterans who have been out for a while and have a history of civilian jobs, they may have multiple offers. No matter where you are in your post-military career, these are three things to think about and do before accepting the offer.

1. Show Gratitude.

The job offer might have come in the form of an email or it could have come through a phone call or meeting, either on Zoom or in-person. Regardless of how the company extended the job offer, be sure to show your appreciation for it right away. Even if many companies are competing for you, a job offer is always a good thing.

If you intend to accept, remember that you are about to start a negotiation for compensation. Showing your gratitude and thanks will set the tone for the conversation to come. If you're excited about the opportunity, this is the time to put that excitement -- or whatever feelings you have -- on display.

2. Know what you want.

The company may pressure you to answer the offer right away, but it isn't necessary and it's actually common practice to allow a potential employee time to consider the offer, usually a day or two. That time frame allows you to consider if the job's compensation is adequate for the work or to handle other potential offers.

If the compensation package isn't exactly what you need, the time to talk about it will be in a separate meeting. If the employer is open to discussing a change to the offer, knowing what you need will give you a place to start working with the employer. If the conversation leads to a favorable outcome for you, you may want to get the final offer in writing before you accept, so you can see the details of the final, official offer.

3. Respond Appropriately.

If you did have a negotiation that altered the terms of the original offer, be sure to acknowledge the company's efforts on your behalf. Then ask about the next steps, offering ways you can be of assistance to make the onboarding process smoother so you can get to work. It also will be helpful for you to ask what you should bring and what to expect on your first day.

If the company expects a formal acceptance letter, be sure to include a few simple things in that letter, including another thank you, a formal acceptance of the offer and a recap of its terms, including your new title, along with the date you're expected to start working.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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