EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Except for the Lone Ranger, none of us actually has silver bullets in our gun.

I am frequently taken to task by members on the topic of networking. I suppose that to a very large degree I am guilty of touting networking as the ultimate silver bullet to the exclusion of all other methods.

I guess I didn’t realize that I was presenting networking as a “be all end all.” It is, but I didn’t realize I was doing it.

The real truth is that you have to “do it all.”

Back in 1991, I had a very dear friend who ran the Drake Beam office in Stamford. Although I didn’t actually get outplacement, he invited me to use a desk there anytime I needed one and to participate in the various meetings they held. One of the very fine traditions was the “graduation” ceremony that was held each week. At this event each graduate would tell the straight line he took from beginning of job search to end of job search. At the time I knew that the stories told, although not lies, were almost laughable.

The truth is there is no straight line to finding another job. (It is more like a random walk down Wall Street than a straight line.) There are lots and lots of approaches to job search, and unless you do them all you aren’t as likely to “win.” Although the odds are low, there IS a lottery winner each and every day. As they say, tell the guy who won the lottery that he shouldn’t have bought a ticket.

There is a lot of information out in the world. There are Internet leads. There are even still some newspaper ads. There are lists you can obtain that will allow you to do mailings to recruiters. There are lists you can obtain that will allow you to do mailings to known corporations.

I tout networking because, although it is the most painful approach to finding another job, it is the most effective for time invested. Since it requires you to pick up that 400 pound phone, call people you don’t know and ask for favors, I know that if I don’t encourage you to do it, you might not.

In the Ripley’s Believe It or Not of The FENG, there are still members who haven’t tried our Member Directory Search feature to identify networking contacts, and this is the easiest and best resource, at least for other financial people.

It is just plain easier and less painful to anonymously approach people you don’t know. Write them a letter and see if they call. If THEY call you, it is better. Hey, they called you. Now you can decide whether or not you want to call THEM back. The shoe is now on the other foot.

So although I know I am wrong that networking is the only valid approach to job search, I will continue to coach, cajole, encourage, demand and berate you to do more of it, because although it is the hardest approach, it is the most effective.

I tell you this based on reading endless numbers of good news announcements over the past 25 years. Use all the other approaches known to mankind in your job search. Just do them when you have time and not when you can do networking.

Regards, Matt

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