EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Sailors are a naturally friendly lot. (Yes, another sailing analogy!) As one of the other couples my wife and I met at a marina pointed out, it would be considered more than a little strange to go to a motel or hotel and start introducing yourself to other people and ask them if they wanted to join you and your wife for dinner at some restaurant.

Yet, sailors do it all the time. When you “blow in” from another harbor you have so many stories to tell and they are harder to share with those who haven’t been through what you have just been through. If it was windy and both of you were hanging on for dear life, you start out with a lot in common.

Within The FENG, we are engaged in what our former president Jimmy Carter might call the moral equivalent of war. (Gosh, was he president THAT long ago?) The process of job search is one filled with highs and lows that are hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been through it. And, although I wouldn’t recommend anyone VOLUNTEERING to conduct a job search, I would suggest to you that, as it has been said, “anything that doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” (Or is that “tired?”)

Anyway, you will find that one of the many purposes of The FENG beyond the mere sharing of job leads is the opportunity to share a little human interaction with others who are just like you.

It isn’t a “misery loves company” thing, but rather the recognition that you just can’t help but have a lot in common with other members of The FENG.

Let’s start with how you got here. Someone sponsored you. That initial act of friendship is what gets the whole process started.

Next we are divided geographically. Most members are near a place where they can go to meet others who are experiencing the difficulties unique to their specific geographic areas.

We are also divided up into Special Interest Groups. These groups exist to gather together those with expertise in areas not common to the entire membership of The FENG. For example, there are only 3,300+ members in our Internal Audit SIG and only 3,200+ in our Retailing SIG. If you were not a member of The FENG, how could you possibly identify so many like-minded individuals as quickly? Well, you couldn’t.

Human interaction – getting members to call one another, meet each other, exchange resumes and build friendships is what this is all about. The structure is designed to make the networking process more effective for everyone involved and to enable you to not only find another “work opportunity,” but also to make true friends for the rest of your life.

After all, there is nothing like a little “moral equivalent of war” to bring you closer to those around you.

If you haven’t been enjoying all the benefits of membership I would ask you to ask yourself what is holding you back?

The gift we give each other each and every day is there for the taking. And, I hope you will reach out and harvest some of this low hanging fruit.

Regards, Matt

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