EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Ever the wise sailor, I always check the weather forecast before going sailing for the day. When out on vacation, the weather forecasts I listen to and study frequently cover a much broader area than I am planning to need for a particular day. I like knowing what the weather is going to be in a big circle around me.

While on dry land an incorrect forecast may only cause you not to take your umbrella, out on the water it can mean the difference between life and death. However, as the expression goes, your results may vary. No matter how good the weather forecasters have gotten in recent years, they are still often VERY wrong.

As we look out across what 2019 is forecast may be, I would point out to you that the “talking heads” don’t really know much of anything. You don’t have to look very far for a perfect example. How with all the data the “rocket scientists” had to work with were they all so wrong about the supply of oil? And, no one seems to know what’s going on with the stock market either.

The secondary issue for each of you is that just as weather is very local, YOUR particular “job market” is also very local. It is not only geographically different than the “average,” it is further affected by such things as your industry background, your areas of expertise, and hundreds of other things.

What you most need to do in the months to come is IGNORE to a very large degree any negative information you read about the economy. The reason I say this is the tendency to allow such “idle chatter” to cause you to lessen the considerable effort you need to expend as a senior financial executive.

Matt’s view of the economy is that there is a labor shortage of people just like us. Consider the fact that it is forecast that 10,000 baby boomers will retire EVERY day for the next 15 years. For those of us who plan to keep working, this is good news!

Let me also point out to you that with the “great recession” lasted almost 8 years. With jobs scarce, people were hanging onto their jobs with a death grip. The result is that there are fewer people at the level just below us who got the kinds of work experiences that we were blessed to have when we were in our late 20’s and early to late 30’s.

The computer is the 6-shooter of the wild wild west. It is the great equalizer. If you have computer skills, unlike previous generations of accountants, you can get larger monitors to make up for your diminished vision. It’s not like you have to be able focus on those small spaces on green multicolumn paper (which even in my youth I couldn’t fit numbers in). Consider the fact that unlike your younger competitors, you actually know what numbers to put on your spreadsheets AND know what they really mean. Is that a competitive advantage or what?

However, let me not overstate my case. You are still going to have to work VERY hard to find another or a better job. But, no matter your local economy, it IS still possible.

The ticket to success is networking, networking, and more networking. (I think I may have mentioned this before.) And, you have at your disposal the world’s best power tool in our Member Directory Search feature to start your networking. You also have LinkedIn to search for non-financial people. Basically, you can’t lose.

When the sun comes up tomorrow, I hope all of you who are active in your search will be hard at it. Trust me, that better job is just around the corner.

Regards, Matt

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