EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Sailing can be a very simple or a very complicated activity. It depends on how you want to approach it.

To get from here to there can be planned on a very simple basis or a very complicated basis. For example, if you are sailing across Long Island Sound from North to South to a particular destination, it doesn’t hurt from a planning stand point to consider the fact that the dominant wind in our part of the world is southwest. In addition, the tidal current which you also should consider runs East and West, so you have to know the state of the tide. At its full force, it can be pushing you in one direction or another at 1-2 knots. You also need to know the general compass heading from where you are starting to where you are going and the distance. I almost forgot to mention that you should check the weather forecast for the predicted wind speed and more importantly, storms along the way.

This is how you begin your planning. If you want to get really scientific about the whole thing, there is a marvelous “little” book called Dutton’s Navigation and Piloting that you might want to pick up at your local marine hardware store. This 600+ page jewel is really hard to do without if you want to do it right.

Of course, as they say, your results may vary. Truth be told, no matter how much planning you do, the actual wind conditions may not be as planned during the beginning, middle or even the end of your voyage. And with family obligations being what they are, you might not even get to leave when you planned.

You might ask yourself why plan at all? The short answer is that even if you are wrong, a little planning will ensure that you get there safely, although you will never get there at the calculated time.

Much the same philosophy can be applied to job search. You can buy a lot of books about the job search process, and when you are early in your experience with this “job search thing” it is a good idea to do so. There are books about the process itself and there are dedicated books just about resumes and interviewing. There are also books about networking. In fact, having been in the publishing business for many years, I can assure you that there are probably books about everything you might ever what to know.

Don’t be like a sailor who spends more time planning than actually doing. While all the planning is good, and fussing over the details of your search is a great idea from time to time, plunging in once you have the basics under control will give you the benefit of making a few mistakes. I hope you learn from your mistakes. If you never make any, you aren’t pushing the envelope hard enough.

Getting your resume to a competent state needs to be one of your first goals. Polishing it on an ongoing basis based on conversations with those you meet is more of a mid-course correction. One’s resume should never be “finished.” It needs to always be viewed as a work in progress.

The same thing is true of your 90-second announcement. Let’s see, I have been chairing The FENG since 1996. My quick guess is that I have probably given my 90-second announcement before a live audience more than 500 times. How can I say this? I am still working on making it better.

When sailing, it is all very well to start the day with a specific destination. The truth is that you have to be flexible. Wind and tide can run against you, as can many other factors. You have to always be mentally prepared to change your mind about where you are going.

Job search isn’t any different. Without a goal, you will wander the earth jobless for the rest of your life. Amazingly, being unwilling to change your job search goals from time to time can cause the same thing to happen.

Getting from here to there and achieving your objective is great when it happens. But, be flexible. Remember, it is actually the journey that matters, not the destination.

Regard, Matt

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