Paint on a smile

Published on May 25, 2023 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Human Interactions Networking Old Friends

During the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, a great opportunity will be presenting itself to you in the form of gatherings of those who know you (and presumably love you).

In order to enjoy the greatest benefit, you need to paint on a smile. I don’t care if you have been out of work 3 or more years or if you are losing your job in June, being down in the dumps or coming off as a “sad sack” won’t help your cause.

In the opening scene in Patton, you may recall that George C. Scott explained why America wasn’t going to lose the war. Very briefly, Americans love a winner and won’t tolerate a loser.

No matter what the reality of your personal situation is from your perspective, no one needs to know. They may ask, but you don’t need to tell them. Spare them the gory details.

That said, if you have been at your job search any length of time, you should be easily able to come up with at least a dozen stories of human kindness that you can share with those gathered around you. These kinds of stories are always well received and will be welcomed conversation.

For those who have not yet fully absorbed how to network, don’t ask anyone if they have heard about any job openings. It is total non-starter of a question and one that generally draws a blank stare or the single word no.

You are looking for networking contacts. If you can’t recite your target company list from memory, bring it with you. Uncle George may not know someone from Revlon, but he may play golf with someone from a small cosmetics company that you haven’t heard of.

I won’t bore you with variations on this theme. Well known companies create images and ring bells in the minds of others. Enough said.

As a member of The FENG, you are a winner by definition. Be sure to present yourself as one. We are the largest networking group of senior financial executives in the entire world, AND you were accepted into our august body.

If you need to, start your stories with a short discussion of who we are and what we do. Our organization evokes warm feelings that will help you get what you need: more networking contacts.

One other favor, please relax and have a good time. Matt’s prediction is that the summer months are going to be filled with many opportunities and you will need to be rested to take advantage of them.

Regards, Matt