As you all know, I get a lot of email. Most of it is actually pretty routine.
There are the inevitable members asking for the user name and password for our website or to have their email address changed. Each week I also get a few good news announcements. (I always enjoy being the first to know. Okay, you can call your significant other first.)
It is rare that I get a note indicating that members are being unresponsive to one another. Yes, I am sure it happens a lot. And, sure, you can write it off to the fact that we have gotten to be a large organization, but frankly, I cannot and will not ever accept that as an explanation.
If there is any complaint that I hear more often than any other it is “I wish they would just get back to me.” The life of those who are active in their search is filled with days of making phone calls and writing letters. Generally speaking, not the satisfying work of making spreadsheets and sitting in budgeting and planning meetings those in the world of work so enjoy.
You would think that since all of us have been unemployed at one time or another, that we would remember how it felt to contact others for help and not receive the courtesy of a response. I can tell you that I remember, and that is one of the reasons that I try very hard to return all my phone calls and respond to all the email I get. (Okay, I sometimes run behind on responding to email, but I really try to catch up at least once a week!)
This is not a job listing service. Yes, we do publish about 400+ pages of job leads each month, but first and foremost, we are a circle of friends.
Just as friends don’t let friends drive drunk, friends also shouldn’t let messages from friends go unanswered.
What I would ask each member of our august body to keep in mind is that each person who reaches out to you is a friend of another member. If you expect the friends you sponsor to receive a warm response when they call other members, how can you not feel it incumbent upon you to act the same way?
The FENG is a sponsorship based organization. Each member of The FENG was sponsored by a friend. We are not a fee for service.
The price you pay for being a member is the joy of making yourself available to other members. Your turn to receive this gift back may or may not ever come. Hopefully not, but the odds are that if and when you need assistance this organization will be there for you.
As I have been heard to say: Every day and in every way, it all starts with you.
Being available and responsive to other members isn’t an “obligation.” It is a gift that you will find to be more rewarding than you can imagine.
Trust me, I’m the poster child on this one.