Part of the lecture I deliver to new members who call me is that The FENG is a networking group, not a job listing service. I then add that they shouldn’t allow the fact that we are publishing about hundreds of pages of job leads each month confuse them about our true purpose.
In the beginning (when God created heaven and earth), it was my closely held belief that the existence of our job sharing would ensure that most of the good news announcements would indicate that the lucky person got the job from a posting in our evening newsletter. Alas, it has not been so.
Sure, over the years I have seen some improvement in this statistic. And, I do work mightily to curry favor on our behalf with the search community to encourage them to post opportunities with us. Our sterling reputation has gotten more postings and gotten them to us earlier in the process. As a result we have been winning more assignments.
Still, a careful reading of good news announcements indicates that networking wins hands down as the most likely approach.
So, what is the value of all of the postings that you slog through each morning? Is it a waste of time or what?
Actually it is a good use of your time, but not for the reasons that would appear to be most obvious.
Most of us have not changed jobs frequently in our careers. It is this lack of experience that requires us to really think about what we can do in the outside world. Job leads provide you a very real window into what kinds of hiring are currently being done and what skill sets are in demand so that you can “Think like your customer.”
Job leads can also provide you with the names of individuals in our august body that you should contact for networking purposes. A two step logic applies here. If a recruiter called another member about a job in which you have interest, there is a high probability that you have something in common with this other member. Duh! (Perhaps a little networking is in order.)
There is also the logic of practice makes perfect. Just as I would encourage you to go to all the networking meetings you can possibly attend to practice your 90 second announcement and to explain what magic you bring to the party to anyone who will listen, you also need to practice your writing skills by responding to real job postings. Without this “off Broadway” practice, when the real thing comes along, you won’t be as polished as you should be and you may not win the day as we all know you should.
Job leads aren’t a “be all, end all.” They are only a beginning and a tool for you to use in your quest for that perfect job.
Read them. Analyze them. Respond to them if they are a fit. But, please understand that your greatest power tool is The FENG membership directory and the individuals who populate it. They are most likely your ticket and your key to that next job.