EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have observed over my life that most of the people identified as experts are wrong a very high percentage of the time. In much the same way that a clock that has stopped is right twice a day, some acknowledged experts are identified by the media as genius only because they inadvertently made a correct guess at just the right time. Sometimes they have even been right despite themselves, but that never gets discussed.

In addition, I hope you have also observed that the same talking heads who were wrong also have an explanation as to why they were wrong. It is all very amusing.

Overcoming unconscious age bias is extremely difficult. Overcoming blatant age discrimination is even harder. None of us are as young as we used to be, because that isn’t possible. It is also my belief that selling your wealth of experience is to some degree more difficult than selling youth. And, therein lies the challenge.

It is very difficult for anyone, but especially financial folks, to sell something they don’t believe in. I believe that all of you have talents that can be applied to what appear to others (who are young and inexperienced) to be unsolvable problems, because I have seen you do it.

In my consulting practice, The FECG (www.TheFECG.com), in which I have been placing members of The FENG in temporary/interim assignments for almost 20 years, it is rare that a 2 week assignment doesn’t last at least 6 months. Why is this the case? Because once a company finds someone who actually knows how to do something, they find more things for them to do. This is the reality of who you REALLY are. All you have to do is sell it.

When it comes to career advice, I suggest you patiently listen to everyone, but trust your own judgement.

Picture yourself sitting on the other side of the desk, opening your email notes, reading your resume and also being interviewed. If the advice you’re getting from people you are paying to help you doesn’t pass this smell test, consider it a sunk cost.

Every piece of advice you receive from paid professionals doesn’t have to work for you. Listen to all of their advice, but follow the specific advice you believe will get you where you want to go.

Let’s put aside the issue of dates on resumes and leaving off your early work history for a moment and agree on at least one thing: You need a compelling resume.

While it is painful to write and rewrite your resume, there is no alternative. There are thousands of books filled with suggestions on how to write a resume. Pick several of them and read them each at least twice. Leaving the writing of your resume to others is a big mistake. It is a skill you will need for the rest of your working career. Others should only be engaged as editors.

As always, I am available by email or phone to discuss your career issues. I hope you will also lean on your “inner circle of friends” by asking them for their honest advice.

You never know what you are going to hear. One of your friends may even turn out to be an expert.

Regards, Matt

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