EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

It is of course true that our own self-interest at times quite naturally overrides our concern for others. If I am drowning, I can’t very well be expected to save someone else. It’s a kind of a “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” thing. For example, I find that members are frequently more helpful to other members AFTER they find a job. Now that they are safe, they can attend to others.

When it comes to reasonably well compensated jobs posted in our newsletter, it is slim pickings most nights. I can understand the reasoning of those who respond to everything. They are for good and valid reasons a little desperate. Holding back from the dinner table is very difficult when you are hungry.

Still, one of our founding principles is “qualified members only.” Very simply, if you wouldn’t hire you, please don’t throw your hat in the ring.

Let me assure you that if you are not a close fit, your odds of winning the lottery are less than Power Ball. If you don’t represent some significant fit with the opportunity before you, you aren’t going to be selected. What is worse is that by responding you may create such a “forest for the trees” situation that neither will one of your fellow members win the day. You won’t benefit by piling on, and you effectively will see to it that no one else will. (We could get into the King Solomon baby dividing thing, but I try to stay away from religious arguments.)

At one time saying “qualified members only” had the desired effect. There was a better job market with more opportunities to shoot at and we were a smaller group, so mathematically there were fewer responses. Over the years, 25 responses has shot up to potentially 50+.

Let me make the distinction for you that all job postings are not created equal. My concern here is not with the postings from job boards that members are kind enough to pass along. My concern is when the prestige of one of our members is at stake (including yours truly).

These postings usually include the very obvious “please use my name” clause somewhere at the beginning. Like a yield sign or a flashing yellow out on the road or a falling barometer (I had to get in a sailing analogy…please forgive me), you need to observe due caution.

If you don’t want to show respect for the business relationships of your fellow members and if you don’t want one of your fellow members to get the job, be sure to flood the recruiter with your paperwork. You can see to it that no one wins.

The job market for senior level jobs is always slow, and there are apparently very few recruiters left out in the civilized world. We want them to be our friends. If we are no better than a typical job board, they will go back to their pedantic approach of making phone calls to a few select individuals. If you think you didn’t have a fair shot before, you sure won’t this way.

We count on each other to be smart. The FENG is not unlike the goose that laid golden eggs. We want it to keep doing so. Our networking group is a circle of friends. For postings from friends of friends, keep their feelings in mind and try not to embarrass them.

Regards, Matt

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