Spoke for quite a while today with the ever-generous JD, initially about a specific position that may or may not open up, but then widening the discussion to search strategies in general. I told him of my growing conviction that the people you work with are at least as important as the work that you do, and he helped remind me that it's a both/and proposition. After all, the best leader in the world would have a tough time making a job like blocking lenses at Winchester Optical seem fulfilling. (Sorry, Mr. Lynch.) So we're back to, "I want it all." :-)
JD's approach -- admittedly from a situation quite different from mine, but still -- was to spend time thinking about those skills he felt were ones he could offer, and also to learn as much as he could about what people needed and what they were like to work with/for, then look for the best fit. Matchmaking 101.
And, like looking for a house, I think one of the keys could be finding ways in which you are different from other seekers.
Another interesting aspect of our exchange was my internal reaction to some of the details of the position discussed at the beginning of our conversation. When the job was described as not having much authority in matters of policy, I immediately thought, "But I LIKE being involved in policy." Liked it at Penn as the coordinator of all advanced standing, and deliberately sought it out while working to help pull together the constitution for the Staff Senate at TCNJ. Good to remember.