At the beginning of time here in Connecticut, we spent most of our meeting gathered around the table discussing job leads. The idea of a 90-second announcement followed by fellow attendees suggesting who to call in our august body for networking had not yet been invented.
Since people over value job leads, I thought I would provide my perspective on this important topic.
I don’t claim to know everything. And, I would never stop our chapter chairs from trying things at their meetings. Who knows, they might be right and I might be wrong, but in my humble opinion, job lead information is best shared in writing.
There are several reasons for this. First, speech is the slowest form of communication. The length of time it takes to discuss the important details of any job opportunity is considerable. In my experience from our early days, I also found that the location information was usually the last piece provided. Most of the time, I could have stopped writing almost immediately since I wasn’t interested in moving. Please understand that although I type at least 90 words per minute, I write by hand a lot slower. Since I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time (actually listen and write at the same time), I was kind of at a disadvantage.
Okay, that was pre-Internet times anyway, and the technology didn’t exist to solve the problem at that point in time. The product you see each night that is the evening newsletter has evolved over time.
I would also suggest to you that all information isn’t equal. There is what I call the “white elephant” effect with job leads. Often times the job leads announced at meetings that anyone knew about and could discuss intelligently were fairly old. Were they filled yet? Probably not, but the candidate slates aren’t likely to be expanded if the job is over a few weeks old. They sound good, but you are receiving totally useless information.
And, with all due respect to the knowledge and skills that are clearly present in The FENG, we are a “been there and done that” kind of organization and we are in our best position to be considered for any job ONLY if we know about things early. Sharing old job leads, which is what happens at face to face meetings, doesn’t really benefit anyone. It just takes up time that could be better spent NETWORKING. Requiring a job lead to attend a meeting results in the nonattendance at meetings by folks who might be of interest to you for networking. But, they didn’t come because they didn’t have a job lead to share.
The job market for senior level jobs is always slower than we would like. And, when things are that way, people tend to grasp at straws. I lived through the recession of 1991 and was out of work for almost two full years. I fully understand and appreciate what everyone is going through. Connecticut at that point was going through a slowdown in government contracting as well as other industries and things were very bad. There was basically nothing happening.
It is important that we spend our time at meetings on useful exchanges of information. Job leads, while appearing to be very useful, are less useful long term to your ability to finding a job than providing the time to properly introduce yourself to your fellow members.
If anything works, it is networking, networking, and more networking. Let’s keep the exchange of information that is best provided in writing – job leads – in our newsletter where it can be exchanged on a timelier basis and in a form that is easier for everyone to digest, especially for those of us with auditory processing problems.