EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

We are fortunate in the financial professions to be blessed with a very high degree of transferable skills.

Still, the next job for most of us isn’t going to be all that much different from our last one. While it is certainly possible that we will change industries, it is less likely that we will change the skill sets needed in our day to day work.

What typically happens in any recession (Did I say we are in a recession? Not me!) is that certain industries take a downward turn and many of the folks in those industries lose their jobs. It used to be that this was limited to old line industries, but as we have seen in recent years, it can even affect the stars of just last year.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would of course decide that an industry in decline is probably not the place to focus a job search. With all of the talent being downsized, right sized or whatever you would like to call it, if you are from one of the industries affected, you probably are looking elsewhere.

But where should you look?

Here is another area where you have an advantage as a member of The FENG, because the best place to network is in your very own industry. Okay, you don’t want to go back there and in fact you probably can’t. But, where is everyone going? The approach I would suggest is to contact your fellow members of The FENG who have an industry link to you and find out what they are thinking.

Birds of a feather should flock together. The reason is as basic as “two heads are better than one”. (I sure am full of trite sayings tonight!)

Networking is a process of connecting with others in such a way that they will be comfortable sending you to others they know. The more someone is comfortable with your background, and if you are from the same industry they are going to really understand, the more likely they will actually have good suggestions.

The “problem” of finding the right places to focus your energies will yield all of the possible solutions if you talk to the right people. Not only that, but you can try out your own directional ideas on others, who again, really understand what you used to do every day.

As exciting as drastic career change may appear on the surface (I always wanted to be an airline pilot), the truth is that we are not as likely to be successful as when we make a gradual change that utilizes most of our skill sets.

For those tied to geography we have our many chapters around the country. For those who match a special interest group, we have those too. And, all immediately available out on our website: www.thefeng.org. (Knock twice and ask for Joe. Your user name is your email address for the newsletter, and if you haven’t set up a password, try “friends.”)

Regards, Matt

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