EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I know there are still a few unbelievers out there. Yes, they walk among us. Believe it or not, networking is the ticket. If you are waiting to be called and invited to the dance, think again. It isn’t going to happen.

Let me suggest to you that The FENG membership database is the pot of gold at the beginning of the rainbow.

I am fully aware of the fact that everyone else in the world is looking for the pot of gold at the END of the rainbow, but the networking contacts you can make through a series of searches of our database are only a beginning, and not an end in and of themselves.

Our membership directory contains the contact information and work history on over 40,000 senior financial officers. (LinkedIn, eat your heart out.) As far as I know, we are 3 times the size of any other organization of senior financial officers and the largest networking group of our type in the entire world. (And I guess that means we are also the largest networking group of our type in the entire universe, since there aren’t any networking groups on other planets as far as I know.) But fame has no purpose unless I can successfully whack our unbelievers out of their personal funks about the networking process and get them to take our Member Directory Search feature out for a test drive.

Perhaps some of you who have great success working the database will join this little revival meeting under the big tent and write some “Notes From Members” telling everyone how you were sleeping in your car, broke and abandoned by all your friends, and how through the typing of a few key strokes at a public library you found a job paying a $1,000,000 base salary with no measurable responsibilities, stock options, a company car and 8 week’s annual vacation. Did I mention that relocation was fully covered?

How did you do this? By developing a networking list using our Member Directory Search feature. That’s all it took to get you started! I’m sure your details will vary a bit from my suggested story line, but if you would hammer out your opus on your new gold plated company laptop, I would greatly appreciate it. You see, no one believes me, but I’m sure they will believe you. The place to send your story (we do accept fiction) is Leads@TheFENG.org.

And now for a few ideas for using this remarkable feature. Networking works best when you are reaching out to folks who have a background connection to you.

Let’s say you are a Tax professional who has an expertise in working for Capital Markets firms. Duck soup. How many folks do you think are registered for the Tax AND the Capital Markets Special Interest Group? There are only 118. And guess what? They all share your expertise.

Now lets assume you have worked at an importer of women’s or men’s apparel. Well, what kinds of names do the firms in your industry typically have and what are the odds that members have worked at a minimum of one company with apparel in their career? The correct answer is 108.

If you look through directories of these sizes, in addition to making some logical networking connections, you will also discover the names of companies you should consider for your search. You will also see patterns of where people have shifted their careers to escape these industries.

As Yoggi Berra once said: “You can see a lot just by looking.”

So, have at it. Remember, no one is going to do it for you. If you want to figure out the networking process, you are going to have to work at it.

Perhaps you will even find the pot of gold at the END of the rainbow.

Regards, Matt

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