EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I don’t know about you, but I have always wished I were a few pounds lighter. That said, no one should suggest to me that this is the reason I can’t find a job. (As long as my clothes fit.)

Gray hair shouldn’t be on their list. Nor should someone suggest surgery to look better. (This one is particularly outrageous!)

Additional bad advice is eliminating all references to any job you had over 15 years ago or removing your dates of graduation from college.

I always pray that all of the above will be relegated to urban legend, but I continue to be proven wrong. Who are these people that dare to dish out such outrageous trash?

Friends, as my dear old Grandmother used to say: “I am who I am.” In short, it is unlikely that I will be taller or shorter, thinner or heavier, smarter or dumber in the next few weeks. (Okay, it is possible I will put on a few pounds, but I am really trying to exercise more and eat less. You will just have to be patient with me.)

If you are seeking a job that can be held by a recent college graduate, any or all of the above advice might have some merit. I hope you aren’t.

As Jack Welch might say, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. If you aren’t, the product you have to sell (that’s you) is going to have some tough sledding.

The job market is not strong for some kinds of financial backgrounds and obviously varies by person. And, although I preach patience, I don’t suggest sitting around and using this as an excuse to do nothing. Accepting suggestions like this from those around you can lead you to believe that this is why you are having a tough time of it.

The real solution is to “stop looking for love in all the wrong places.” At a senior level, in all kinds of job markets, most jobs are found by networking, networking and more networking. The reason is that they aren’t advertised.

If you walk into someone’s office at that fortunate point when you are the solution to a problem with which they are currently struggling, you get hired. Perhaps a little harder than it sounds to accomplish, but this really is how it works.

You do, of course, need to know what you are selling. You are selling your wealth of experience. You are selling “been there and done that.” You are selling your many years of wisdom.

This really should be more than enough. Besides, you look good.

(Please keep in mind that when I tell my wife how nice she looks, she usually suggests that I need to get new glasses. I always tell her that this is only my opinion, but surely it is the only one that matters.)

Regards, Matt

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