EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

As we all blast out of here for the long Labor Day weekend, let me give you a few suggestions to make your “time off’ most productive.

I hope that all of you will be sharing some good times with family and old friends. (All my friends are old, but I digress.) If you are currently unemployed or for whatever reason actively looking for work, keep one thing in mind: Don’t tell any sad stories.

In the movie Patton, George C. Scott explained why America was going to win the war. In brief, Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.

As we do our best to achieve success in the job market, looking and acting like a winner can be difficult. It is just too easy to fall into the “misery loves company” mode. I hope you won’t allow yourself the luxury of falling into that trap. For those of us who are over 40, ALL job markets are difficult. It is a fact of life and there is no sense dwelling upon it, either mentally or verbally. Remember, as Tinker Bell might point out, you need to think happy thoughts if you want to fly.

Number two. Don’t ever ask if anyone knows about any open jobs. This rule applies at all times, but especially during holiday weekends. No one ever knows about any open jobs or firms that might be hiring. If they have heard about any open jobs, it was two weeks ago, but they can’t remember who called or the name of the company. That said, they are sure you would have been a perfect fit. (They love to torture you.)

The question to ask is for names of people who might understand what you do based on your industry or area of expertise. There is NO need for the person referring you to know if they have needs. Networking works. If you connect with folks who have some understanding of who you are and what you do, even if they don’t have any problems they need solved, they may know other people who you can help.

And as far as happy and joyful stories go, how about mentioning The FENG? I would hope if you have been a member for at least a week that you have experienced some of the many joys of being a member. Can anyone believe that there is this crazy guy in Connecticut who sends you a newsletter 5 days a week? Is it possible to believe there is a 40,000+ member organization that lives on voluntary contributions, and has since 1996? (Yes, we have been around almost from the very beginning of the Internet. God bless Al Gore for inventing it.)

Share a personal story about how one of the 200+ members of our Resume Review Committee helped you, or how someone you didn’t know provided you with a response to your “Member in Need of Assistance” posted in the newsletter. Or, how someone you had lost touch with contacted you to welcome you as a new member when your name was announced.

I’m sure you can come up with something. Bring everyone’s spirits up, and you will find that they will bring yours up as well.

Enjoy the time off. I will of course be off sailing.

Regards, Matt

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