What am I worth?
One of the most difficult questions I have ever had to answer. When I first left the military I truly believed I was prepared for the next chapter. I developed highly desirable technical skills, built a great resume, had an incredible network & real world experiences that directly correlated to the aerospace industry I planned to enter. I thought how hard could it possibly be on the other side? After 8 years of service, the military lifestyle was all I had ever known. I was never forced to think about what yearly salary I needed to take home, how to negotiate for better pay, or what benefits I wanted from an employer, because the Marine Corps made it easy & answered all of those questions for me. Joining the armed forces directly out of high school I never learned those life skills, so here I was at the age of 27 struggling to fill out the most commonly asked questions on job applications. I knew what my value was in my mind, but I was looking for something to kind of say, hey this is what I am actually worth.
Like so many of you who are currently separating from the military you know first hand just how daunting & lonely the process can be. The feeling of starting from the bottom again, having to rise through the ranks & assimilate to a new culture is absolutely terrifying. Luckily there are benefits, resources & tools out there to help our community succeed. One of those tools is the PSMC or Personal Statement of Military Compensation & I can honestly say it was one of the most valuable resources the military gave me access to. For those of you who have no idea what it is or how to locate it I will post it below, but first I want to tell you how it helped me answer, “What I am worth.” When I was filling out job applications and it asked what my previous salary was the only document I had ever been taught represented my worth was my W-2. Fortunately I had a great mentor who told me about the PSMC, because it accounted for things that my W-2 did not, like basic allowance for housing (BAH), Tri-Care medical & dental benefits, or incentives/special pay. As silly as it sounds, this simple tool gave me the confidence & firepower necessary to negotiate for my true worth when I accepted my first job in the civilian sector.
I would love it if you take the time to listen and share my podcast, “The Unwavering”. If you don’t want to listen or don’t have the time, no worries I truly hope the (branch specific) links for you to access your PSMC help give you or someone you know a better sense of direction (financially) when separating from the military.
*To the incredible men & women of the Coast Guard, I am sorry. I tried to find a link for you everywhere, but had no such luck. If you happen to have it, can you please share it with me, so I can help others?
Army - https://mypay.dfas.mil/ (search for PSMC)
Air Force - https://mypay.dfas.mil/ (search for PSMC)
Navy - http://www.public.navy.mil/…/PayAndBene…/Pages/default2.aspx(this is a calculator)
Marine Corps - https://sso.tfs.usmc.milMOL (Marine Online). Once you have logged in, click on “Personal Info Portal” and your document will be located under the “Personal Reports” menu.