The FENG is a society of friends. In order to become a member of our august body you need to find a sponsor, someone who will hopefully watch over you. I suppose, it is often only after a few days or weeks of membership that you can fully appreciate the value of this act of friendship.
There are many things we do in our little society that builds on this initial act of friendship.
Each week I publish a directory of new members. I hope that each of you takes the time to review this listing for folks you know, and folks you might want to know, AND that you take the time to write or call at least a few people each week. While this may seem burdensome at times, I would ask each of you to remember that first week after you lost your last job.
If you want others to be a friend to you, it helps to practice being a friend to others. Remember, a stranger is only a friend you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.
Random acts of friendship can have powerful results. If as a new member you received a few phone calls or emails, I hope they had the desired effect of letting you know you weren’t alone. As I say in my Welcome to New Members message each week, you have just acquired 40,000+ new friends. Please don’t make a liar out of me.
Just as friends don’t let friends drive drunk, I hope that you will also extend common courtesies to each other with respect to emails and phone calls.
Messages that begin “Dear FENG Member” may as well be titled “Current Occupant” for the warmth they express. If you want to write to another member, take the time to be personal AND take the time to write a well thought out communication. Everyone has written across their forehead “I want to feel important.” Make those you contact feel important by letting them know why you are contacting them, and by that I mean why you decided to write to them and not to someone else. Letting them know you understand they are rather handsome or particularly smart is a good start, but if you aren’t into flattery, the names of companies where they have worked or where they live is a reasonable way of making a personal connection.
You will note that everything in our newsletter is personal. All job leads are from someone. There are REAL people in The FENG who try to help their fellow members. If you haven’t recently been one of those folks, you can always start now and no one will ever mention your previous dereliction of duties.
On the receiving end, if you are lucky enough to hear from another member by email or phone, and they have actually taken the time to tell you why they are contacting you and given you a way to get back to them, may I ask you to please do so?
Yes, I know you are very busy. But again, I ask you to hark back to those dark days when you lost your last job (or any of the ones before that) and consider what getting back to someone will mean to them. Trust me, if you take the time to help one of your fellow members, you will not only make their day, you will make yours as well.
While you might think that contacting someone with a need will drain you, I know from personal experience that you will instead find yourself energized in a way that is not possible to fully explain.
The FENG is a society of friends. It is not and never will be a fee for service. The “fee” if you want to say there is one is that you extend random acts of friendship to your fellow members at every reasonable opportunity.
As I have often been heard to say, “Every day and in every way, it all starts with you.”
These are difficult times, and everyone needs to do what they can do. If you extend yourself, others will follow your fine example.