EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Rising tides

In chatting with members over the past few years, one hope frequently voiced has been a wish that the economy would improve. The basic theory is that a rising tide floats all boats. If I wait long enough, it won’t be all that difficult to find another job.

Unfortunately, wishing won’t make it so. And, our political process is again up to its old antics of creating uncertainty, which is never good for business.

My suggestion is to stop waiting for good things to happen and set about to make good things happen for yourself by rethinking what you want to accomplish with your job search and with your career over the next decade.

Yes, I know a decade is a long period of time. But, if you don’t have a plan, all you are doing is letting the world happen to you.

I was invited to speak at a chapter meeting a few months ago and the question I asked at the beginning of the meeting was what factors the assembled group thought would be affecting the job market over the next several months and years. The usual suspects were listed and enumerated as you would expect from a learned group such as our members.

I then asked what ability any of us individually had to affect any of these factors. The short and long answers were “very little.”

Once you become a senior executive with 20 or more years of work experience, it is my belief that for the most part the only people who will hire you are people who know you, people who know of you, and people who know people you know. And, the way we connect with those individuals is through networking.

Perhaps networking has become an overused word, sort of like “bottom line oriented,” or “team player.” Still, until we find a better word to describe what we need to do, humor me and allow it to describe the process you need to follow.

One thing I can assure you of is that the world is filled with problems that I know each of you know how to solve. I have seen your resumes. And, as skilled practitioners of finance and accounting, there is work out there somewhere for each of you.

After a long job search, it is easy to believe the excuses that people are giving you. The human ability to see patterns, even when there isn’t a pattern, is well known. Instead of believing that you are too old, or that you are over qualified, or any of the other 100’s of reasons why those you are talking to are declining to hire you, understand that what is really happening is that you are simply “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

Among the many trends I see today are members who have several jobs. There are also those among us who have become serial consultants. All these things bring in money. They may not fit the model we have for what we want to do, but it is still work.

Anyone who would like to share their thoughts on how to identify innovative “work opportunities,” is invited to send a few paragraphs to Leads@TheFENG.org for Leslie to publish in our Notes From Members section.

Please have at it. We need new ideas to go with “the new reality.”

Regards, Matt

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