The fine art of commiseration

Published on Sep 19, 2022 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Human Interactions Networking

It is, unfortunately, far too easy to fall into the trap of having a negative conversation with other members.

While it is very important to have empathy for others, to get into extended discussions on the state of the world and how everything is hopeless benefits no one. The world is what it is. If I may quote from the movie “The Deer Hunter,” Robert DiNiro was heard to say “This is this.”

The job market is what it is and each of us in our own way is what or who we are. (If you aren’t confused yet, please call me because I think I am starting to confuse myself.)

Anyway, the point of all of this is for each of us to work very hard in our personal communications with others who are job searching, to emphasize positive activities. Within The FENG we have over 35,000 resources. 35,000 friends isn’t a bad start any day of the week.

The approach to job search that is tedious but is most productive is networking. Identifying other individuals who can fully appreciate your many fine points can either be viewed as a difficult or an easy task. I suggest you instead think of it as a challenging one.

Start with all the companies you have worked for over your entire career and comb through the full membership directory of The FENG using our Member Directory search feature. The procedure is to save each of those files to your hard drive. I will appeal to your inner accountant: there is no cost to running as many directories as you like. (If you get over 100 results, there is a tool just above the Chapters/Special Interest Groups section called “Records Updated After.” Set it for one or two years back and you will only get folks who are relatively current and most likely available.)

Not enough names yet? Well, who were your firm’s competitors? See, the odds are that any of the folks you contact will either know you, know of you, or you will know folks in common. This networking process will put you in a comfort zone because there is so much less to explain about who you are and what you do. Furthermore, they will likely know who to introduce you to.

When you talk to fellow job searchers, your goal is to engage in a little “idle chatter” and then start them on projects that will be beneficial to their efforts. You will be amazed and astounded how many members haven’t gotten around to using our Member Directory Search feature, or who haven’t tried some valid approach for many months, like being back in contact with folks they talked to early in the process.

Keeping yourself and getting others to be proactive isn’t easy. But then, if it was easy, anyone could do it.

Instead, I have assigned this task to each of you. Have at it! As they say, “can’t never could.”

Regards, Matt