EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

It is a well known fact that men don’t like unsolicited advice. It is for this reason that we used to drive in circles from time to time, even though our spouse quietly suggested we stop at that gas station we kept passing and ask for directions. (GPS has at least solved that problem.) We have even been known to provide a few harsh words to some people who were only trying to help.

As one sets out on a job search, you will find yourself getting more unsolicited advice than you can stand at times. What is particularly annoying is when folks try to give you the SAME advice that someone else just gave you a few minutes ago. Listen, I will get around to putting my email address on my resume when I am good and ready. Honestly, wasn’t that second person taking notes during my conversation with the first person? I thought I was on a party line. (If no one remembers party lines, the story goes that back in olden times before electricity, people actually had to share phone lines and this is what they called them. If you picked up the phone, someone else might be using it and you would have to wait. And yes, it was before Al Gore invented the Internet.)

The worst thing that can happen is to get advice from an expert. How can you say no? Here you have someone who has been kind enough to take a few hours out of his/her day to help you find a job and you find yourself wanting to shout: “Please shut up. Don’t you know they call me “Mr. Knowitall”?”

Well, the truth is that even I don’t make any claims to know much of anything, and I have been Chairing The FENG for over 20 years. Sure I write what I hope is some meaningful advice every night, but I would always ask you to ensure that whatever I am recommending is a truth with respect to YOUR life.

Often times when I will chat with a member, I find I am only confirming information he had already come to believe was correct. That’s okay. I honestly don’t mind.

There is a lot of bad advice out in the world, and it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. What kinds of people is that advice correct for? Most likely there are more than a few, or your friend would not have taken up your time to tell you.

When I am “truth seeking,” the approach I have learned is to do a lot of listening. It has been my experience that if when listening to a stream of conversation you let others “rattle on,” somewhere buried in all that rock and dirt will be more than a few grains of gold.

Even a clock that has stopped is right twice a day. And, when you hear something that is right for you and your life, it just might be a “factoid” so earth shaking as to change your life in some manner. I have had more than my share of epiphanies by trying to read between the lines of what others are trying to tell me.

No one knows the WHOLE truth because there isn’t such a thing. But, there are shades of meaning and variations on a theme that you can get great mileage out of if you only keep your radar unit turned on at all times.

Even your spouse and your children may have an observation on occasion that will cause you to say: “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

So the next time someone offers up some unsolicited advice, take a deep breath, pause and reflect on what they are saying before you take their head off. At least you will have had the chance to hear them out before they never speak to you again.

Regards, Matt

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