EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Over the years, I have found that I keep certain CD’s in my car and I play them over and over again. I supposed I shouldn’t admit this to a wide audience, but one of my favorite music categories is sea shanties. (It goes along with my hobby of sailing). When I had cassette tapes, I actually wore out 2 or 3 copies of some of them because I played them so much. Thank goodness CD’s don’t wear out.

That which rings true about our lives is in a career sense our theme song. As I look back over my career, one of the themes is my concern for others in the organization wasting their time on things I could more easily solve for them.

I have applied this principle to the preparation of budget packages as well as to the day to day work that “those who were making the business happen” needed to accomplish on any given day. Since I knew how computers worked (sort of a “one eyed man thing in the land of the blind”), I told my peers to call me if they had problems and before they caused more damage that would take me even more time to fix. They were going to call me anyway, so why wait until they got frustrated?

In this way, I was able to keep the important folks in the organization focused on what they did best so they could earn a little money for the company and, in turn, ensure that I stood half a chance of earning a bonus at the end of the year because we achieved our targets.

Being helpful to others about matters in my areas of expertise has been a consistent theme song of my career. I have been fortunate to know and understand this about myself. Others I fear have not been so fortunate.

Knowing your true self and how you deliver value to an organization is an important part of being successful in your job search. As financial folks, we tend not to change jobs frequently and have little use for thinking about such matters. We do what we do, and the organizations we have worked for have rewarded us for it. Typically, we don’t need to think about it.

When you are in search, you have to know and understand what I call about myself “the Matt Bud thing.” This is what I do, and I tend not to spend much time thinking about it. I just do it.

For those of you who have participated in Myers-Briggs testing, the true thing that happens is you become aware of who you are and how you see the world. It is for many a rude awakening. Rude in the sense that we thought we were someone else.

If there is any advantage to looking for a new job, it is the opportunity to focus on who we are and what we do best. And, what we would enjoy doing. Sometimes, unfortunately, that isn’t what we have been doing.

In any discussion of reinventing yourself, a good part of that is coming to understand the skills and interests you bring to the party. These are things that also can generate high value.

So, hum a few bars and see if you can catch the melody of your own life. If you are doing things that interest you and that make you happy, you will be much more effective in your career.

As I tell clients of The FECG – Happy people work harder. (Duh!)

Regards, Matt

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