EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I’m not sure why human beings resist change. It is truly the only constant in our world.

For almost 6 years I worked for The Thomson Corporation, a company that was really into change. I used to joke that we reorganized every week even when it wasn’t really necessary, just to keep in practice.

Is all change healthy? Probably not. But resisting change is somewhat like spitting into the wind. (And as an avid sailor I am well qualified to explain the unhappy results of doing that!)

Getting unstuck on the way to your next success requires thinking about your career in new and different ways and that is what tonight’s editorial is all about – envisioning change in terms of your own career.

Many of the old concepts about careers are gone. Is it for the better? Friends it doesn’t matter! Careers today are just different and what we need to do is develop an understanding of what IS instead of examining or lamenting about what WAS.

As bad as it is, we have an economy that is the envy of the world, and yet within it each of us is being impacted by changes we find hard to accept.

Is it really true that we may have 12 careers in our lifetimes instead of working for one company and getting a gold watch? I am afraid it is true. One only has to look at what has happened to members of our august body to know that this is a simple truth.

More importantly what I am seeing is that at a time in our careers when we thought we would have reached the pinnacle of our careers, many of us feel as if we are starting over.

That’s not really true. We are not starting over, we are just creating a new beginning for ourselves. We need to become unstuck from the thinking that binds us to our last work experience.

Many of the folks I talk to each week have, like most of us, long work histories with one or two companies. We get so good at what we do that we start thinking that this is who we are. Well, it isn’t! We are a lot of things and we can do many things well. And, you don’t have to do all of them at once.

What we need to do is understand that the next job may only be one aspect of our skill set and that this is okay! With jobs only lasting a few years at best, it is no longer necessary for each job to use ALL of your skills. It would be nice, but it isn’t necessary.

Jobs come and go these days. It’s not that we individually don’t measure up for some reason and we lose our jobs these days, it is in my opinion more that the concept of what is an organization has changed.

The concept of an organization today has yet to develop and adapt to the speed of change around us. By this I mean that organizations have not found ways to lessen their negative impact on the human beings who work for their success. They have not found the ways needed to form and reform themselves, frequently on a daily basis.

And this my friends is what we need to do with regard to our own careers. In today’s world I would encourage each of you to think broadly about your career and your skills and consider how they can be applied to new situations and new types of organizations.

If you were CFO of an insurance company it may be that your next job may not be CFO of a slightly larger insurance company. But if you think broadly about what you do, if you talk to your fellow insurance company financial executives in The FENG, and to all of the individuals related to insurance (this is called networking), new solutions will present themselves to you.

Just like all of you, The FENG as an organization continues to change and adapt itself to serve your needs now and in the future. You need to continue to change and adapt as well.

Regards, Matt

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