(By Dan Simmons)

(Editor’s note: This is the third and final part in Dan’s “The Difference Between Wishing For and Preparing For a Better Job” series.)

I’ve discussed your worthiness as a top candidate and the role that geography, relocation, and travel play in your quest for a better job.  But what exactly are you prepared for in that new job?  Have you thought about the details associated with such an opportunity . . . and of course, how are you preparing to tackle those details?

As before, I have some questions and relevant points of interest that will help guide you through the process:

  1. What functions do you wish to perform during the week to receive the paycheck you desire?  This is a very important question.  What is it that you do extremely well and enjoy?  Remember, this must be a marketable skill that brings value to an employer.
  1. How much responsibility/authority do you feel you’re ready to handle?  This could be a larger territory, managing (more) people, bigger budgets, P/L, or being a member of executive management.
  2. In what size company and in what company culture do you feel you would be most successful?
  3. What is your present compensation and what is it that you’re expecting?
  4. Consider the following: base salary, incentive pay, company car, stock options, cost of benefits, years until you are vested in your retirement program, and other perks.
  5. Does anyone else at your address know you would consider a job change, and do they feel that this is a good time?  Why is this a good time?

Once you’ve determined the job, compensation, location, travel you desire, and hurdles you need to overcome and have your family onboard, it’s time to prepare your resume, line up your references, and contact a recruiter in your field.

The next step after that is to get your interview clothes ironed and rehearse the answer to “Tell me about yourself,” so you can ace your interview.

Don’t just wish for a better job.  Prepare for it . . . and then go get it.