EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I don’t know what it is about returning phone calls. I get them by the truck load and still do my best to return them all. (Sometimes it does take a few days.)

Perhaps I have a high level of curiosity, but I have found that you can never tell who has called or what they have called about without actually calling them back. Some of the dumbest messages I have gotten were actually pretty important, and if I hadn’t taken the time to call back I would have missed out, big time.

I would also suggest that one of the most annoying things about looking for a job is all of the individuals in this world who don’t return phone calls. Are they unaware how important it is to call ME back? Now I will grant you that I made a lot of stupid phone calls when I was out of work in 1991 and 1992, but then the knowledge about how to be selective in your calling wasn’t as well known. Perhaps it wasn’t always necessary to call and find out if the post office had delivered my resume, but I felt there was always a chance I might get through and have a real conversation with some recruiter.

Networking was just coming into its own back then, and many of the rules of courtesy and logic were just being developed. So, who knew?

If we all accept the idea that we EXPECT those we call to call us back, I have to ask why it appears that we don’t extend the same favor and courtesy to those who call us?

Rumor has it that many of our members don’t return phone calls. Look, I know it is just an ugly rumor, and I am sure it really isn’t true, but I have to give the benefit of the doubt to one of our members of long standing who claims it is true. His statistics may be faulty, or it could be the fact that he is doing what I have asked of all of you – to call a few new members each week, and perhaps new members at the time he is calling them may not be aware of the rules we follow in our little society.

As I mention from time to time, The FENG isn’t a job listing service. It is a networking group.

EVERYONE who has joined The FENG was sponsored by a friend. It may have been a friend of many years or a new friend, but in keeping with the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish for each other, he/she extended the hand of friendship and presented a gift whose benefits are without measure and yet grow day by day.

If God has smiled upon you and you are presently “between searches,” I hope that you will keep in mind that it is all too easy to be on the other end of the phone at any time and through no fault of your own.

The task we have before us is an enormous one of teaching each other the benefits of making our networking resources available to old friends and new friends alike. The joy that comes from helping those active in their search is one that is difficult to explain unless you experience that warm feeling from time to time. The truth is that there is ALWAYS time to return phone calls, especially if it is from a fellow member of our august body.

We are first and foremost a circle of friends. The links and connections that at first appear flimsy and frail can at times surprise and amaze you how you how substantially you are “joined at the hip” with the rest of the world.

A few years ago I had an exchange with one of our chapter chairs who I was aware used to work at CBS where I worked for several years early in my career. It turns out that he worked with my first mentor there (and I met him at her retirement party), my second boss, and he worked for the person who replaced me in my last job. (I guess that makes us first cousins or something.)

Life takes many twists and turns. Most of what I have learned about members getting to know each other falls into the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

If you want to help build The FENG into an even more remarkable organization than it already is, please keep in mind that each caller is a friend of a friend.

Who knows, they might even become a good friend of yours in very short order. But, you’ll never know unless you call them back.

(By the way, Santa Claus is the person who directly or indirectly introduces you to someone who offers you a job.)

Regards, Matt

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