EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

There is no topic that comes up more frequently than how can we keep our alumni members deeply involved in the goings on of our organization.

Among a small number of our members there is a desire to put their whole ugly job search thing behind them and move on with their lives. In some cases they even ask that the delivery of our evening newsletter cease. (I know we put out a lot of email, but there is always the delete key if you don’t have time to read it.)

My guess is that these individuals have not quite absorbed our now well accepted mantra of “all jobs are temporary,” quickly followed by “you are never employed, you are just between searches.” Still, I can understand in part why they might not want to be faced on a daily basis with this reality.

There are, of course, the great majority of our members who fall into the category of “now that I have found a job I finally have time to give back.” These members know that they don’t have to read the attached file to our newsletter and review the job leads each night. All they have to do is read what I send out as email, which includes our “Good News Announcements” and our “Members in Need of Assistance” columns. Reading my evening editorial is strictly optional. (But it is probably a good thing to do if you have the time.)

You staying connected to our organization as an alumni member is key to our success as I hope it is to YOUR success for the rest of your career.

There are lots of ways, once you achieve alumni status that you can continue to participate in our august body, and I hope you will do as many of them as you can.

Each week there is a new member announcement. Since you are not currently looking for a job, is it possible you could close your door for 15 minutes each week and call at least one new member? Remember when you were out in that cold cruel world of job search? How did you feel when alumni members called you with a little encouragement? Instead of the “misery loves company” thought that might cross your mind, here is someone contacting you with nothing specific to gain. And, you have a success model. You are proof of the pudding that “no one is out of work forever, it just seems that way.”

It would also be nice if all alumni members made an attempt to attend their local chapter meeting at least two or three times a year. I know the fear is that everyone at the meeting will ask you for a job, but this is an unfounded fear. They might want to hear the story of how you found your current job, but that is more to see if there are any secrets to the process that they have not yet discovered. I know many of our meetings are scheduled at times that are not totally convenient, but then what meeting is? I am suggesting that you make the time.

Under the category of your own self-preservation as an alumni member and the maintenance of your long term career, it is probably a good idea to “take a day off at the office” from time to time and go through the membership directory for your special interest group or chapter and search for old and new friends to call using our Member Directory Search feature. You just never know what you might learn by reaching out to like-minded individuals.

Those of you who are “practicing” alumni members who would like to share your own approaches to staying involved are encouraged to write something for our “Notes from Members” section. If you have strategies to share, please send them there. The address is the same as for job leads: Leads@TheFENG.org. (If you send them to me it will prevent me from dealing with the 100+ emails I usually have to clear from my inbox on a daily basis.)

As our organization continues to mature we are in the enviable position of thinking up ways to make it even stronger. I hope you will put your thinking cap on and make suggestions, but if you are bashful perhaps you can at least start with the ones I have put on the table.

Regards, Matt

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