EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

If there is any topic I discuss more than any other in phone conversations and in face to face meetings with new members and old members alike, it is the process of creating your very own inner circle of friends.

All you have to do is talk to friends of yours who have found jobs to see how high networking ranks as compared to all other forms of job search and to understand how important it is to create this exclusive and perhaps elusive kind of group for yourself. (And if you do have one, it is never big enough, so read on.)

The first step is to figure out how to use our Member Directory Search feature. It really isn’t all that difficult if you set your mind to it, and if you haven’t addressed yourself to the computer skills related to doing it, now is the time. I’ll appeal to your inner accountant: This tool is free and you can run as many searches as you like at no extra charge. Yes, it is possible to allocate a cost for electricity, but let’s assume your computer is on anyway.

Go to our website: www.TheFENG.org and sign in using the email address to which we are sending your newsletter. In the upper left hand corner you will find Members Area. The second item down is Member Search.

I recommend some simple ways to build your very own inner circle of friends. Basically we are talking about searching for those who have worked for firms you have worked for. And perhaps for good measure, those who live VERY nearby (enter your phone number and exchange and see who comes up). Feel free to try just about any other searchable idea.

This is the easy part. Now comes the hard part.

You need to have a target company list and/or a list of all the firms you worked for or competed with. Why? Because starting with those with whom you have had some kind of shared experiences is just plain smart. An industry link is very important in understanding your background. Those outside of your experiences may not understand the importance of what you have done because they have no context for what you are telling them.

If you are an internal audit, manufacturing or banking person, the Special Interest Groups of The FENG can also be helpful in generating your inner circle of friends.

Even if you would never consider working in your industry again, starting there is also appropriate. The answers you are looking for are hidden among your peers who are also considering their careers. Where are they thinking they can apply their skills? If your industries are in decline, what new industries are they considering?

Another very powerful approach is to use the newsletter is to connect with those who are posting jobs in which you have interest, even if the job is not geographically where you want to be.

How did those folks find out about those jobs? Simple, they have a background link with you and they may be good candidates for your inner circle of friends. You may also be good candidates for theirs as well. Reach out to them. You will be surprised how much you may have in common.

For those who hesitate to call others presumably asking for favors, I would ask you how you felt the last time someone called you for help. Chances are it made you feel pretty good.

Now how can you deny that good feeling to all those members of The FENG you are going to call tomorrow?

By the way, be sure to tell them I said hello!

Regards, Matt

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