Years ago, I was pushed out of a Vice President position because I was making too much money, and I lost a big client. I had poured 13 years of hard work into a small company that was growing exponentially. I cut my teeth on that job. I gave my all—and they gave me a chance. I rode it to the top. God, I loved that company and all that it had been for me. How do you find a job after 13 years in one place?

I did what I knew how to do. After reading dozens of job ads, I wrote one. I fashioned the perfect job description, typed it out, and carried it in my planner. Each morning, I would look at the job ad and think, “This is the perfect job for me and it’s out there.”

I chose a new, side-line function and started going to meetings. Rather than networking in my world of advertising, I sought out two similar professions—marketing and sales. I attended, as a guest, meetings for the American Marketing Association and the Sales and Marketing Executives. I wasn’t exactly qualified, but I had skills that were similar. I was bright, cheery and fun. I laughed and talked with my new friends, and exchanged business cards.

Over salad, the man next to me asked, “Where do you work?” Without hesitation, I said, “Well, I’m in an advertising agency now, but I really want to do marketing for a professional firm—you know, attorneys, accountants, or architects. Something like that.”

Well, I’m recruiter and I have your job. That was it. I had an interview within 2 days, an offer within 2 weeks, and a new job—about 12 weeks after writing that short, succinct “Perfect Job Ad.”  My new salary was about 20% more than my old one—the then HUGE sum of $50,000 per year. I eventually made more than $200,000 from that conversation over salad and hot rolls. What can you learn for this?

Be specific in your job search. Dream up the perfect job and pursue that. Write it out and carry it with you. After you read it 30 days in a row, you’ll begin—like a moth to a flame—to move toward people, events and conversations that will get you closer and closer to your perfect job.

Be targeted in your networking. If you are looking to work with equipment leasing in a bank, find a way to network with leasing professionals, bankers, credit union employees, and manufacturers who need leased equipment. There’s a professional gathering—a monthly meeting or conference—for everything! Get on line and find your perfect audience. Then, show up and work the crowd.

Speak exactly what you want. When you are networking, tell others what your perfect job would be. The more specific you are, the more they can help you. If you’re not sure, choose one option and speak it until another option feels better. No one is keeping score—you can change your mind daily if you wish. As you speak your desired job, it will become more and more real to you.

Ideas fly in when we’re specific. Notice that if you are looking for beige carpet for your house, you start noticing carpet ads everywhere. You drive down the street and see a flooring store you never knew was there. People start spontaneously talking about their flooring projects. We find what we seek. We are very powerful that way.

I wish you a $200,000 dinner. Soon.  (Maybe you’ll be able to make that in two years, instead of the 4 it took me!)

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