EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have given much thought over the years to how sailing is a lot like life. In dreamy meditation at the wheel of our sailboat, I have often thought about the unseen and uncontrollable forces affecting our progress and how through the skills I have acquired at her helm I have been able to make her go where I wanted her to go.

A long time ago my wife sent me some quotes from a lecture she attended and I thought I would expand on some of those ideas for tonight’s editorial. Here are the quotes:

“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”

“Life is a voyage in which we choose neither vessel nor weather, but much can be done in the management of the sails and the guidance of the helm.”

Many years ago I was firm in my belief that I was in control of my own life. (Frequently forgetting the 2 years I was in the Army and not in control of my life at all.) It was only as I have gotten older and lived through raising my children (a job never really done) and being unemployed that I realized how not in control of my life I really was.

Nonetheless, as noted above, although you may not be in control of the major forces in your life, you can through careful adjustment of the means by which you guide yourself through life make it possible to arrive at your destination in good shape (or at least arrive period).

For example, although none of us is in control of the economy or the skills that companies are looking for, there is a lot we can do to make the passage to our next destination (job) as pleasant as possible.

By being a member of The FENG you have lots of other members you can call to get weather reports. (What are the conditions in other industries? What skills are needed? What firms are hiring or need help?)

And when it comes to handling your vessel at sea, back at the shore (chapter meetings) you can discuss with other captains how they have handled various emergencies such as high winds (difficult interviewer questions) or foul currents (phone calls not returned by friends and former associates).

Most important to this sailing analogy is the care of the crew (your family). If everyone isn’t having fun, you won’t either. What this means is that taking care of the crew is your most important job. (You wouldn’t want to have a mutiny, would you?)

So, as you guide your vessel (job search) to its next destination, keep in mind that you have the abilities, knowledge and resources to get there. But, you just have to accept that there are parts of the process that are not in your control.

In the beginning of my sailing life I tried to handle the boat like a car. (Now my son tells me I drive the car like the boat.) It took the longest time to accept that the forces driving her this way or that were out of my control. However, once I recognized that they were out there and learned to read them, I was better able to USE them to go where I wanted to go.

So it is with your job search. There are a lot of unseen forces out there. Learn to master them and use them to your advantage by talking to the other Captains (other FENG members).

Regards, your very own Captain Safety!

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