I suppose that at times being a member of the runaway train we call The FENG would appear not to lend itself to a whole lot of warm fuzzies.
Ah, if only we could return to those halcyon days when there were only 50 of us and on a good day 15 of us would gather around that small table in the Westport library and discuss jobs we heard about.
Friends, although this sounds good, I don’t want to go back. (Besides, we can’t.)
Sure we are a whole lot bigger these days, but like love, sharing the warmth of our friendships with more and more people is INCREASING the warm fuzzies, not the reverse.
Back in those DARK days of 1996 when no one in our august body could get an interview to save their life, and when we sat around discussing jobs that were dead on arrival, things were not better.
There are always elements of any organization that are remembered with misty eyed fondness. Sure it was nice when once a year I could call everyone, but those days are long past. Just the thought of trying to visit ONLY our major chapters next year is something that cannot be done anymore.
But the question is whether the coziness quotient is higher or lower now than it was many years ago?
I would argue it is higher.
Frankly, I hear more reports of old friends reconnecting. I hear more reports of new members getting those delightful welcoming phone calls. I hear more reports of members getting REAL help when they post a “Members in Need of Assistance” request. I hear more reports of the time our members devote to one another in planning meetings. I hear more reports of members taking the time to review each other’s resumes. I hear more reports of members inviting other members out for a cup of coffee.
There are always those who will feel alone in a room with filled with potential friends. The trick is to reach out and touch a few. The warm fuzzies will follow.
Our goal, if I may quote the long time Chair of our Dallas Chapter, Bob Walker, is to find your mirror. Those other members of The FENG who have backgrounds just like yours. These are the folks who are most likely to understand what you do or did every day and to know just how to help, and just who to introduce you to.
You can always moan and groan about how no one loves you, but you will find that members of The FENG don’t need a lot of prodding to show you that they care.
We have all been through this mess we call looking for another job. Helping hands are only a telephone call away. And with over 50,000 other members to choose from, you can’t help but create your very own aura of coziness in very short order.
(I can already feel that warm glow starting!)