Points to Remember: Although not inclusive, the following points should be considered when conducting a career counseling session.
Don’t sell retirement to a single airman – usually, they aren’t focusing that far down the line. They often want to live for the moment.
TIP: Point out that four more years of on-the-job experience and training will better prepare them for the transition to civilian life. Also, at the end of their second enlistment, they’ll likely have some supervisory and communication skills experience, which are highly desirable by civilian employers.
Maybe the ratee wants a change of scenery – if the ratee wants to try a different job, it’s a lot easier to make that transition while in the Air Force vice starting from scratch in the civilian sector. Also, the variety of jobs offered by the Air Force is probably greater than most civilian firms have to offer.
Young people want friends, especially single airmen with no close ties in the local area. The Air Force gives them a common bond that’s rare in civilian life, and they will build relationships that last a lifetime.
Free room and board - Many young ratees take their dormitory space and meals for granted. The average cost for a decent one-bedroom apartment is typically $600+ dollars per month. And that doesn’t include utilities or the cost of transportation. How much does it cost to eat out two or three times a day?
Married airmen are different.
They’re interested in job security
Even though they’re young, retirement enters the picture. With a guaranteed retirement check, transitioning to the civilian sector is easier.
Medical and dental costs are an issue
Low-cost insurance is a plus
Tax-free allowances matter
VA Home loans help
Remember the “MATTRESS.” The following information should help you “sell” the particular benefit(s) the ratee is most interested in. The list is not all-inclusive; rather, it highlights the major entitlements and benefits of an Air Force career:
Pay is taxable; allowances (housing, food, clothing) are not. Don’t focus on the “bottom line” of your pay statement…
Annual pay raises through 2005 will be .5 percentage point the cost of living index…helping to bridge the gap between military and civilian pay
Remember you have automatic seniority raises throughout your career!