In today’s mail came a note from one of our new members that warmed my heart.
He forwarded a note to me with a copy of his resume and as I scrolled through his message I smiled to myself in pride at what a remarkable organization we have created for ourselves.
I didn’t actually need yet another copy of his resume, but the story of why he sent it was what was important. It seems he had been in touch with his chapter chair and special interest group chair to make them aware of his joining and he had also been in touch with Jim Saylor to ask for a peer review of this important document from our esteemed Resume Review Committee.
As I explained in my note back to him, the most difficult task that any of us in the leadership of The FENG face is getting members to ask for and accept help.
Yes, you are pretty much expected to do most of the hard work of finding another job yourself. Still, there is a lot of help ready, willing and able to lend a hand, and not just from the visible leaders of our organization. Each of you is empowered to do many things as well.
Each member of The FENG is available, of course, in their own good time, to offer to other members some portion of the gifts of friendship, support and advise that they have received over the time they have been members.
From time to time I mention the fact that we are first and foremost a circle of friends. And when it comes to friends there is no favor too small or too large that you cannot ask. That does not mean your request will always be granted. Some favors are just not possible at certain points in time for the members you have contacted.
Just as I hope they will be patient with you, I hope you will be patient with them and understand.
That said, I hope you will summon up the courage to ask for some modicum of assistance as you need it, even though you don’t really need it. A paradox I suppose, but it will help the rest of us feel good to be able to help, and that good feeling is what builds the folklore and culture of this unusual and remarkable organization.
To give another person “the shirt off your back” is, of course, just a figure of speech. Still, we live in a world where you don’t even have to meet face to face to provide support. We have phones and email (that remarkable invention that makes all this possible). And if there is one thing that is inexpensive, yet of great value, it is the gift of friendship.
Just as The FENG is designed to make your job search easier, the building of this organization through a process of friends inviting friends inviting friends makes it okay to ask. Each person you call, each person you meet is a friend of a friend.
Putting yourself in the debt of others isn’t painful or something to be avoided. After all, you will have many years of membership to payback each and every favor many times over.
And, you will get great pleasure doing it.