Perhaps this is a bit of an overstatement, but I am primarily talking about networking within The FENG.
As you all know, we have a Member Directory Search feature out on our website for your information and use. If you become aware of a job at a specific company, the odds of someone in The FENG having worked there at SOME point is a near certainty.
With this aside, I thought I would share with all of you a few thoughts about why networking with your fellow members is so easy if you make any effort to do it right.
If you think long and hard about your background and the kinds of fellow members who are most likely to have something in common with you, you are already well on your way to an easy conversation. Stop me if I am wrong, but us advertising types do enjoy sharing stories about the crazy people who populate our rather small industry.
In much the same way, pick your topic, if you are at all selective in contacting other members, you can’t lose. Retailers, Internal Auditors, Manufacturing types all have stories to share about their niche within the financial arena. Those from our various chapters who have taken the time to attend a meeting or two have found that stories about your commuting or the companies in the area are all easy ways to get a conversation going.
These are all normal course of business kinds of things. You could start up a conversation with someone from your SIG or your chapter in much the same way as you would if you met someone on the street and happened to find out about this coincidence.
The thing that is unique about The FENG is that we have another common bond in our newsletter. My editorials, Good News Announcements, Requests for Assistance are all information we share. The values and knowledge about our many folkways not only provide food for thought, they also provide you with an easy “tool” to start a conversation with your fellow members. We have a LOT of shared experiences.
As they say, if you have some dry kindling all you need is a match to start a fire.
While you will find it easy enough to start a conversation and develop a friendship with those members you actually speak to or exchange emails with, I hope you won’t hold me and The FENG in general to a “100%” standard.
There are those you write to or call who will never get back to you. Why is that you might ask? Well, I don’t know. Perhaps they thought your message was spam. Perhaps they were out of town. Perhaps they didn’t think you had anything in common. Perhaps they thought they couldn’t help. Whatever their lame excuse to themselves, we will never know unless we reach them. In most cases it will just have to remain a mystery.
I hope you will never let that stop you from reaching out to other members. Your success rate will be high. Just don’t ever think it will be perfect. But, it doesn’t matter.
If you make the effort, you will still end up with more networking contacts by starting within The FENG than any other way known to mankind. It is one of those promises I make about which you will never be able to prove me wrong.
I like those kinds of promises.