EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have to admit that reading the newsletter most nights is like drinking water from a fire hose.

The newsletter goes out to many audiences. Like the 6 blind men standing around the elephant, each of those audiences has different needs. This being the case, I will try to suggest a few approaches that are universal.

First of all, please know that I love trees. However, if you really want to get the most information out of our newsletter, you honestly need to print it. Back in the bad old days when I got a lot of interoffice mail, I used to read it over the garbage pail. It is a simple fact that, at a glance, you can glean a lot more information from a printed page than you can scrolling through computer screens. While we do separate each lead with +++ and multiple leads from the same search professional with ++, laying the pages out will help you quickly zero in on important information in any lead you see. Location and compensation are always at the top of my list.

Now I will shock you. The least important information in our newsletter is the job leads. What we have going here is an educational not-for-profit. We are in the business of educating you about job search/earning a living and all of its components. Instead of burying you in an 800 page book, we are feeding you ideas each and every day in digestible pieces. Some of them are in my evening editorial. Others are in our Op-Ed section. We also have ideas you can use in the “Good News Announcements.” Yes, these do require a little reading between the lines, but it is worth doing. How are other people just like you finding a job? Is this networking thing an urban legend? The only way you will convince yourself that you have to make the effort is to run a tally count of what folks say was their secret weapon.

The first 8 pages or so of the newsletter is sent out as email. The reason is that our busy alumni members really don’t have time to download the file containing the newsletter, open the file and print it. Perhaps, they don’t want it lying around their offices or being found in their trash. For them, the editorial and good news announcements followed by “Members in Need of Assistance” all go very well with that morning cup of coffee.

I make every effort to make the job leads in our newsletter real and of great value to our membership, and I don’t mean to diminish their potential importance to you. I just feel that if you are going to be successful in finding work opportunities, you are going to have to get very good at it. A lot of the folklore around job search is not specific to “Senior Financial Executives.” Our newsletter is.

I market The FENG to the search community as a valued resource, and it is. Our members for the most part live by our “qualified members only” approach to responding to specific leads. And, as the legend of The FENG spreads, the leads continue to get better and better.

Still, the leads are not only valuable to you from the perspective of being able to throw your hat in the ring, but also as information. Job leads of interest to you can be used to freshen up the terminology on your resume and also to know what is “selling” these days.

So, what you do with the leads section is to skim through for current opportunities first that are a fit and of interest, and later you can go through a group of newsletters to ensure you are communicating through your resume that which is of interest to the “outside world.”

The next use of leads is to make new friends. We have a section called “Jobs to Pass Along,” but this idea is one you can use for all of the leads. We are a society of friends, and if you want to make more (And who doesn’t?), take another pass through the leads and see if there are any that are a fit for someone you know. It could be another member, or it could be someone you would like to have join our “little family.” Lots of folks out there are not yet members. And, “they walk among us.” Use our leads as a tool to build on existing friendships and to make new ones. The only requirement is that anyone you share a lead with is encouraged to join The FENG.

I would just caution everyone that our job leads are NEVER to be sent to other posting boards.

Before closing, I would like to comment on our “Notes from Members” column. A lot of odd ball stuff appears there, but all of it is valuable. We use this section for primarily members’ reactions to my editorials. But, I would encourage anyone who has a significant idea or reaction to anything that is happening in their career or their life that they think others might learn from, please send it in. It could be on how to deal with your spouse during the stress of a search. It could be a great epiphany you had about life in middle age. If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of what you would like to have published, please send it to me first and I will let you know.

So, there you have it. Another educational piece on one of The FENG’s many power tools.

Regards, Matt

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