Before you answer that ad, do some soul searching. Many people have a very narrow window of what they consider to be the right position for them, usually based on prior experience. But if you can’t find something that’s exactly like what you’ve been doing, it may be time to branch out in new directions instead of waiting until that perfect job comes along.

Examine what you set as your framework for what’s acceptable, then step back and assess if there’s a good reason why you wouldn’t expand your horizon in a particular area, be it geographical location, salary, type of position, or title. If you’re looking for an association position, think about broadening your reach to association management companies, conference planning companies, corporations that work with or sell to associations, or publishing companies that are affiliated with events.

Accept that times are different now, and base your decisions on whether it would be harmful to your career in the long run if you were to take a less-than-ideal position. You have to determine whether there’s a rational reason, or if it’s just your ego talking.

Sources: Steven Williams, PhD, director of industry and market research, American Society of Association Executives; Sheryl Sookman, CMP, principal, The MeetingConnection, Novato, Calif.; Jim Zaniello, recruiter, Association Strategies, Arlington, Va.; Barbara Dunlavey, CMP, director of meetings and exhibits, American School Food Service Association, Alexandria, Va.; Dawn Penfold, The Meeting Candidate Network Inc., New York.