EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

The official change of seasons

From our daily member newsletter on October 28, 2012

As the days of fall begin to arrive in the Northeast and the trees begin to change colors, it is all very beautiful. However, I know that inevitably the weekend will come when I need to decommission the boat for the season. For those of you who are long standing members of The FENG, you know that in the Bud household, or at least in my mind, the year is divided into only two seasons: summer when I can go sailing, and winter when I cannot. (I try to keep my life simple.) Unlike the spring commissioning which is filled with the promise of warm sunny days, the fall decommissioning is filled with the promise of cold weather. (Perhaps even [ Read more… ]

Passive job searching

From our daily member newsletter on October 25, 2012

I once got a note from one of our members listing several websites with job listings. The question was which ones to sign up for given that some of them had fees associated with them. I will now talk out of both sides of my mouth, so pay attention. Here in The FENG evening newsletter, we make every effort to ensure that the recruiters who post with us contact us as soon as they get a position description by making it free for them to have access to our vast audience. From our members’ perspective, I call it my “first bite of the apple” program. One of our Administrative Assistants reviews every newsletter after it is published and writes to [ Read more… ]

The usual pack of lies

From our daily member newsletter on October 24, 2012

I often wonder to myself how politicians can do so much lying and get away with it. Okay, sometimes we boot them out of office for lying, but we only replace them with new folks who also lie. The truth I suppose is subject to each person’s individual judgment. What one person considers to be an out and out lie, another person might consider to be stretching the truth a bit. To the degree that it suits ones purpose, putting a positive or negative spin on someone’s job performance is what makes politics such great fun. Man is a political animal. When I hear members tell me that they want to find a company that is less political, I say [ Read more… ]

The great white elephant sale

From our daily member newsletter on October 23, 2012

One of the core values of The FENG is our willingness to share job leads with each other. For some reason people seem to overvalue job leads. There are lots of things that are wrong with published job leads. For one thing, it is a fair fight. I much prefer networking where there is often no competition. That said, job leads have value, if not in actually getting a job, in making new friends. A job lead is considered a valuable gift. If you would like to hear about job leads that are out in the market, can you honestly tell me that you are sharing all of the leads you hear about? If you aren’t, why not? Keep in [ Read more… ]

The importance of labels

From our daily member newsletter on October 22, 2012

For those of us who read the newspaper from time to time, one can’t help but notice that just about everyone who is mentioned in any story is given a label. The label selected is usually something very simple such as “a 46 year old truck driver from Illinois.” In this case it is someone’s career. We have learned in short order that this is an older working class individual from the Midwest. In other cases the label selected is one that identifies the individual’s relationship with someone else in the story such as “a close advisor to Mr. Smith.” Labels help us focus our thinking. I think most of us would agree that what particular people say and do [ Read more… ]

Putting your own mask on first

From our daily member newsletter on October 21, 2012

For those of you who have had the pleasure of earning frequent flier miles, I can understand that you may no longer be paying strict attention to the very helpful discussion that precedes take off. Personally, I don’t think that anyone who doesn’t know how to work the seat belt should really be let out alone to wander the earth, but that’s just me. (How does that clip and lever work anyway?) And, who can say they appreciate the crew mentioning that you will soon be arriving at your “final” destination. That said you can always acquire insight even from something as mundane as a legally mandatory drill as takes place preflight. I call your attention to the instructions you [ Read more… ]

What do you do exactly? And, who are you?

From our daily member newsletter on October 18, 2012

The process of self-assessment is never easy. It is sort of like taking out your own appendix, but without anesthetic. As senior financial folks, it is often the case that we don’t have to engage ourselves in the game of “What is it we do? And, who are we?” until very late in our careers. Unlike the denizens of other professions, we tend to stay at jobs a long time and until we hit middle age, many of us have never known a day out of work. As many of you may be aware, I was Chief Financial Officer of an advertising agency for almost a decade. While I could take a few moments to wax eloquent about the difficulty [ Read more… ]

Crawling out from under their rocks

From our daily member newsletter on October 17, 2012

About this time in every recession, the folks who promise to find you a job by waving their magic wand crawl out from under the rocks they call home. You would think that exposure to sunlight would kill them, but like cockroaches, nothing seems to permanently destroy them. Personally, I find it reprehensible that there are organizations in the world who try to sell lifejackets to people who are drowning, especially when the lifejackets don’t even work. If you don’t believe me that all of them are a bunch of thieves, I would invite you to Google the names of their firms and the names of all of the individuals they say are connected to the firm. If you don’t [ Read more… ]

The ingratitude of superiors

From our daily member newsletter on October 16, 2012

As a group I think you will agree that most financial folks tend to be modest. I am not sure, but I think there was a required course on the dangers of bragging back in college, because it is like pulling teeth to get most members to provide an honest assessment of what they did. There were always others at the meetings. It’s as if in our minds our guiding hand and considerable abilities to quantify and analyze the thinking of others, (sometimes publicly, sometimes privately), doesn’t have a direct impact on the results of the company compared to the work of others on the executive team, like those individuals in sales. Is it any wonder that with our sometimes [ Read more… ]

Change – The only constant

From our daily member newsletter on October 15, 2012

I’m not sure why human beings resist change. It is truly the only constant in our world. For almost 6 years I worked for The Thomson Corporation, a company that was really into change. I used to joke that we reorganized every week even when it wasn’t really necessary, just to keep in practice. Is all change healthy? Probably not. But resisting change is somewhat like spitting into the wind. (And as an avid sailor I am well qualified to explain the unhappy results of doing that!) Getting unstuck on the way to your next success requires thinking about your career in new and different ways and that is what tonight’s editorial is all about – envisioning change in terms [ Read more… ]