How to Land Your Dream Job or Client


I’ve had a variety of jobs in my life given that I’ve worked since I was 16 years old.

My friends were always amazed that I was able to get jobs without the experience that the job description outlined (education and prior experience).

When I connect the dots back in my life and deconstruct what I did, it comes down to the tips I want to share with you today.

Here’s an example of how I landed one of three jobs that I was hired for without the experience they required.

I applied for a marketing director job at the YMCA in 1982.  I loved marketing but I didn’t have any training or job experience.  I was the first person they called to schedule an interview.  I knew that being the first or last interview was key to leaving a memorable impression.  So I choose the first interview time slot.

I wanted that job so badly that I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to get it.

I knew that job would be a steppingstone for my career path.

I went to the library (remember this was prior to the Internet as a resource we have today) and started to study marketing. I learned the language of marketing and began to learn marketing strategies.

Then I asked a friend who was on the board at the YMCA to talk to me about their challenges and opportunities.

From this conversation and my research, I put together a one-page marketing plan to present during the interview.

To prepare myself mentally for the interview, I wanted to use visualization to help me feel calm and confident.  There’s a saying in the personal growth world, “Where the mind goes, the body follows.”  This is the mental training I teach my clients to use and it’s very similar to how athletes train.

The next step was to select what I would wear to the interview so that I could visualize myself in that outfit.

A few days before the interview, I started using Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization Pink Bubble Technique to prepare myself.

In the visualization, I saw myself in the outfit I chose, and I was calm and confident.  I knew that there would be a group that would interview me so I saw myself talking to a group of people who were engaged and smiling.  I listened to the visualization at least five times before I went to the interview.

When I got to the interview, there were 12 people sitting around a large table.  They took turns asking me questions.  I asked them if they would like to see a plan that I had prepared for them.

I pulled out copies of the marketing plan from my leather binder, and passed out copies.  The room was silent. They were stunned that I created a plan.  No one else they had interviewed had taken the time to create a plan.

After the interview, I went out to my car, and slapped my thigh and pumped my fist and yelled, “Yes!”  I knew that I had done an amazing job in preparing and being interviewed.

I won that job over 120 people who had applied.

None of the other people interviewed had done the level of research and preparation that I had done.

This level of preparation positioned me in their minds as the person for the job, and it helped me to stand out from the other job candidates.

These steps can land you that dream job or client:

  1. Start by researching the company or the client.  Find out everything you can about them by reading their web site and materials.
  2. Find someone to talk to at the company that does not do the hiring or interviewing for that job.  Find and talk to people who have knowledge about the company.  Ask to do an informational interview with someone who works there and find out what the the company is like to work for.  You want to  ask what issues or challenges the company has, and where the company is planning to go in the coming years.
  3. Prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview.  You want to prepare key messages about yourself that highlight your strengths and what you can do for them.
  4. During the interview, you want to use some of the language you heard from people who know the company or from your research so that you position yourself as someone who knows about the company.
  5. Develop a one-page plan of ideas or strategy that you came up that shows that you are serious about the client or job.  Trust me – it’s rare that people do this level of preparation but if you do, you will land the job or the client.

Let me know if you use this strategy to land a job or a client.  Did you like this article, then please share it via social media.

P.S. I want to share a great video that I recently watched with Chase Jarvis interviewing Ramit Sethi called How to charge money for something you love to do.

If you want to check out the video, here’s key points Ramit makes at these points during the interview:

  • The psychology behind why creatives are so terrible at pitching themselves — and how to overcome it [11:38]
  • A deceptively simple technique he taught Chase (he uses it to this day and called it “mind-blowing”) that has earned his students hundreds of thousands of dollars [33:22]
  • Transitioning from a 9-5 job to freelancing full-time [45:55]
  • How Chase got paid thousands of dollars for his very first job by positioning himself as a premium product [1:09:13]
  • How to use your first 3 clients strategically to springboard your business [1:20:46]
  • When to work for free — and how to make that free work pay in the long run [1:22:24]

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