EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

The beginning of time itself

From our daily member newsletter on November 12, 2018

I know you will all find this hard to believe, but there was a time when The FENG only had 20 members. In May of 1995, I was invited by Ed Devlin, the then Chairman, to join what was at that time The Fairfield County Financial Executives Networking Group. (Ed had recently taken over from Don Gonsalves who started the group in 1991.) Being a bit of a computer expert, especially compared to Ed, I volunteered to act as social chair and take in resumes, adding them to what we now know as our membership directory. Believe it or not, we actually discussed job leads at meetings as there was no evening newsletter. Some of our founding members such as [ Read more… ]

I know this will come as a surprise

From our daily member newsletter on October 30, 2018

From time to time I give a presentation to the Westport Chapter about how to use our website, and in particular how to use our not so new Member Directory Search feature. Based on the great interest of those attending, apparently there are quite a few members who haven’t taken the time to explore our rather remarkable website. For those of you who are totally asleep at the switch, our website is located at www.TheFENG.org. It is very difficult to sign in and get your password – NOT. All you have to do is enter your email address for the newsletter in the white box in the upper right hand corner of your screen and your password in the next [ Read more… ]

The importance of labels

From our daily member newsletter on October 21, 2018

For those of us who read the newspaper from time to time, one can’t help but notice that just about everyone who is mentioned in any story is given a label. The label selected is usually something very simple such as “a 46 year old truck driver from Illinois.” In this case it is someone’s career. We have learned in short order that this is an older working class individual from the Midwest. In other cases the label selected is one that identifies the individual’s relationship with someone else in the story such as “a close advisor to Mr. Smith.” Labels help us focus our thinking. I think most of us would agree that what particular people say and do [ Read more… ]

Putting your own mask on first

From our daily member newsletter on October 18, 2018

For those of you who have had the pleasure of earning frequent flier miles, I can understand that you may no longer be paying strict attention to the very helpful discussion that precedes take off. Personally, I don’t think that anyone who doesn’t know how to work the seat belt should really be let out alone to wander the earth, but that’s just me. (How does that clip and lever work anyway?) And, who can say they appreciate the crew mentioning that you will soon be arriving at your “final” destination. That said you can always acquire insight even from something as mundane as a legally mandatory drill as takes place preflight. I call your attention to the instructions you [ Read more… ]

Creating an inner circle of friends

From our daily member newsletter on October 8, 2018

It is a sad fact of life that no one ever has enough friends. Men in particular (and our membership is 90% men) seem to have a difficult time making friends. The whole “guy thing” sort of works against us, I suppose. Men are supposed to be strong and never need help from anyone. Remember when we didn’t ask for directions at the gas station, even when we were hopelessly lost? It’s a good thing most of us are technically competent and can work those wonderful GPS units. It is great not being dependent on other people, don’t you think? What I would like to suggest to all of you is that you set a numerical goal for yourself. See [ Read more… ]

Working your contacts

From our daily member newsletter on October 3, 2018

I would be the first one to agree that finding ways to keep in touch with your business contacts during a job search is more art than science. That said the old saw “out of sight, out of mind” applies here. At the end of my two year job search which began in 1991, I had about 1,400 index cards with the names of those I had contacted for one reason or another. I also had these names in a database of some kind as I recall, but nothing as sophisticated as is possible today with contact software management software. The reason I had all of those names on index cards was so I could carry them with me. (Hard [ Read more… ]

The benefit of the doubt

From our daily member newsletter on September 17, 2018

The FENG is a networking organization. I hope none of you are fooled by the volume of job leads we publish. The actual purpose of our little circle of friends is to be helpful to one another as often as possible in this struggle we all face to earn a living. In my role as Chairman, I am always searching for ways for you to think about the many folks who might contact you from time to time with no further verification of their credentials than that they are part of our extended family. When you are the “giver,” it is hard not to be a little suspicious of those contacting you. After all, they are asking for access to [ Read more… ]

The ultimate scam

From our daily member newsletter on September 4, 2018

I was recently reminded of one of my favored approaches to networking that I discovered in the early 90’s. (Sometime in the late-90’s I stopped calling some of the things I was doing “scams” and started calling them “approaches,” which for some reason those in polite society found more acceptable.) Anyway, the problem circles around trying to find reasons to be in touch with the “regular” contacts on your networking list. As you make the rounds during your search, you are frequently in the position of the copywriter for news radio shows who has to keep freshening up the copy just in case you are still tuned in. The “new and improved” resume that you are taking the time to [ Read more… ]

Please, no sad stories

From our daily member newsletter on August 30, 2018

As we all blast out of here for the long Labor Day weekend, let me give you a few suggestions to make your “time off’ most productive. I hope that all of you will be sharing some good times with family and old friends. (All my friends are old, but I digress.) If you are currently unemployed or for whatever reason actively looking for work, keep one thing in mind: Don’t tell any sad stories. In the movie Patton, George C. Scott explained why America was going to win the war. In brief, Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. As we do our best to achieve success in the job market, looking and acting like a [ Read more… ]

Networking is easy

From our daily member newsletter on August 22, 2018

Have you ever had someone call you up to network and actually been able to help them in some way? I have to ask. How did it make you feel? My guess is that you felt pretty good inside. Perhaps you were only able to point out a typo on their resume, or perhaps you were only able to give them a kick in the you know what or a pat on the back. Still, it can’t help but make you feel good to know you helped in some way. Why is it then when the shoe is on the other foot that some members of the world’s best networking group (that’s The FENG), hesitate to call other members, let [ Read more… ]

A rhinoceros and a piece of paper

From our daily member newsletter on July 29, 2018

Many years ago, my son and I were rowing out to our mooring to go sailing with my father-in-law. My son, who was probably 8 or 9 at the time, asked my father-in-law if he knew the EXACT difference between a rhinoceros and a piece of paper. After several totally wrong guesses, my son gave him the answer: You can’t make a spitball out of a rhinoceros. Fortunately, my father-in-law was wearing a life jacket because he almost fell into the water, he was laughing so hard. The EXACT difference I would like to address tonight will probably not cause you to laugh quite as hard, but it appears to be a distinction that is lost on most people, so [ Read more… ]

Meeting the RIGHT folks

From our daily member newsletter on July 15, 2018

Being successful at getting meetings with potential decision makers who don’t have a job right now, but who might make one for you after they meet you, is why networking is the most successful approach to finding a job. Frankly, this is how most business is really done at our level. If you have only gotten interviews through ads or recruiters you are probably wondering how do those lucky dudes do it? How do they manage to get in front of the right people and sweet talk them into offering them a job? Keep in mind that you are not a pea in a pod. You are a unique accumulation of talents acquired over a number of years. If you [ Read more… ]

Unsolicited advice

From our daily member newsletter on June 17, 2018

It is a sad fact that most men don’t appreciate getting unsolicited advice. That said, there are even those among us who reject advice they have asked for out of hand and in a dismissive way. The giving and receiving of advice is always a delicate balance. Even though probably 75% of my mail comes in without an outgoing signature and I could pull my hair out over it at times, I still write “May I suggest….”, when I should say “Haven’t you heard me mention this before?” (I try to keep my suggestion about providing a FULL outgoing signature from being mentioned in my editorials to only once or twice a WEEK. Perhaps I need to pick up the [ Read more… ]

A fine line

From our daily member newsletter on May 20, 2018

The difference between being viewed as possessing dogged persistence and being an outright pest is hard to define. Like beauty or obscenity, I guess we know it when we see it. I have had many jobs over the course of my career, some paid, some volunteer that have involved collection work. When I was Treasurer of my congregation for 4 years, one of my jobs was to collect outstanding dues owed by members. It was delicate work. In the urban legend in this world, those who didn’t pay on time or not at all were suspected of trying to get away with something. The truth was enough to break your heart some nights when I made phone calls. Very few [ Read more… ]

Networking is easy

From our daily member newsletter on May 15, 2018

Perhaps this is a bit of an overstatement, but I am primarily talking about networking within The FENG. As you all know, we have a Member Directory Search feature out on our website for your information and use. If you become aware of a job at a specific company, the odds of someone in The FENG having worked there at SOME point is a near certainty. With this aside, I thought I would share with all of you a few thoughts about why networking with your fellow members is so easy if you make any effort to do it right. If you think long and hard about your background and the kinds of fellow members who are most likely to [ Read more… ]

Networking-A lifetime activity

From our daily member newsletter on May 14, 2018

I was fortunate to speak with two of our more experienced chapter chairs recently who each in their own way in our wide ranging conversations reminded me of the importance of networking as a lifetime activity. I suppose to a degree, networking doesn’t come naturally to us financial types. We are by our nature “nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel” kinds of people who prefer “real” work to making phone calls and appearing to ask for favors. (What would we need a favor for anyway?) Over the course of my career, I was always a pretty social person. On a regular basis, I tried to meet the friends I made at my various jobs for lunch, and/or I [ Read more… ]

Keeping hope alive

From our daily member newsletter on April 26, 2018

Whether you are currently working and hate your job or are currently in active search mode, the most important job you have every day is maintaining an optimistic view of the future. The stresses and strains of a job that is winding down may at times seem beyond bearable. Back in 1991 during the last several months before the advertising agency where I was CFO lost our largest account, the back biting and back stabbing among the “leadership group” reached incredible proportions. So too, job search itself is filled with highs and lows. The highs are always diminished by the possibility that the job offer you fully expect to get never comes. The lows when you have no interviews scheduled [ Read more… ]

Bashfulness is not my strong suit

From our daily member newsletter on April 24, 2018

Hard to believe, but bashfulness is apparently a quite prevalent condition among our membership. Yes, these same individuals who in prior lives as bankers were cutting off lines of credit or foreclosing on hapless widows have a near terminal fear of picking up the phone and calling other members of The FENG. Some other members in our circle of friends were known to have cut off customers from needed supplies because their credit didn’t pass muster. Others have been known to ruthlessly cut budgets despite desperate pleas by deserving managers. Yet these folks have the same condition as many others in our august body of “Near Terminal Bashfulness.” I have done a lot of research on this subject and have [ Read more… ]

Everyone wants to help

From our daily member newsletter on April 22, 2018

I know that some of you who have been at job search for a period of time may find this hard to believe, but everyone wants to help, it is just that they don’t always know how. I see it all the time at chapter meetings. Each person does their 90-second elevator speech, but rarely do they make clear how I can help them. Sure they might make a request, but it is not always something I can wrap my mind around. Many years ago I had lunch with Ted Stone, one of our members of long standing. It was a networking lunch of the first order, because Ted came prepared. He had with him one of the most powerful [ Read more… ]

The original conversation killer

From our daily member newsletter on April 5, 2018

My wife is a speech pathologist by education and early work experience. One of the things that drives her crazy is one word answers. Her approach in teaching speech has always been to ask questions that create a conversation. The only way to get the kids she was working with to improve their speech was to get them to talk. You can see how one word answers wouldn’t further that goal. In the context of networking, asking someone if they know about any open jobs is a one way ticket to a very brief conversation. Have I heard about any open jobs? Sure, but it was two weeks ago. I don’t remember very many of the details, but I’m sure [ Read more… ]

Watching your back

From our daily member newsletter on March 27, 2018

It would be great if we could all see behind us while at the same time looking forward, but it just isn’t possible. And, sometimes just looking forward is hard enough. We have all heard about the “buddy system” that swimmers use. And, of course, having someone “watch your back” is a concept we are all quite familiar with. One of the problems The FENG has always tried to educate our members about is the mistaken belief that job search is a zero sum game. While it is certainly true that only one candidate is going to get the job, the goal is to ensure that one of our members is that person. I hope that it is you, but [ Read more… ]

Two peas in a pod

From our daily member newsletter on March 25, 2018

One of the great mysteries in this world is why any two people would network. Yes, I know this sounds like heresy coming from someone who has built his entire life on networking, but it is actually a very good question, and one that members who have not been exposed to “the truth” often ask. I don’t know if it is still true, but at Dallas chapter meetings members are encouraged to find their “mirrors.” I guess if you are standing side by side, you won’t look exactly alike, but face to face you appear to each other to be spitting images. Of course, Bob Walker, Co-Chair of the Dallas chapter isn’t talking about someone who LOOKS like you, but [ Read more… ]

Time is of the essence

From our daily member newsletter on March 22, 2018

For those of you who have had the honor of dealing with legal matters, you know that the phrase “Time is of the essence” is frequently used in contracts. The idea is that if you want to get the deal done, you better move quickly. (In other words, you will need to get off your duff.) The world today moves at a furious pace. No longer, for example, can we blame the postal service for not delivering that analysis that was due, or even blame the fact that we missed the Federal Express pickup. Most things today move at the speed of the Internet, and that is a fearsome and frightening standard by which we have to live our lives. [ Read more… ]

An inner circle of friends

From our daily member newsletter on March 12, 2018

If there is any topic I discuss more than any other in phone conversations and in face to face meetings with new members and old members alike, it is the process of creating your very own inner circle of friends. All you have to do is talk to friends of yours who have found jobs to see how high networking ranks as compared to all other forms of job search and to understand how important it is to create this exclusive and perhaps elusive kind of group for yourself. (And if you do have one, it is never big enough, so read on.) The first step is to figure out how to use our Member Directory Search feature. It really [ Read more… ]

The 400 pound phone

From our daily member newsletter on March 4, 2018

Just as an experiment, I unplugged my phone from my desk today and took it upstairs and put it on our bathroom scale. (My office is in my house.) I am sure the scale is wrong because I couldn’t get the scale to even register the weight of the phone. But then, the scale is generally used to calculate my weight, and I guess the phone doesn’t weigh as much as I do. If a phone did weigh as much as most folks seem to think it does, it would probably crush my desk or break my toe if I accidentally dropped it. I don’t know, perhaps the part you put up to your ear is heavy. Or, is it [ Read more… ]

Asking for the world’s smallest favor

From our daily member newsletter on February 22, 2018

Although most of us have acquired enough manners over the course of our lives that we know enough not to ask a stranger to give us his/her seat on a bus or train, when it comes to networking, I find that many folks don’t know when they have overstepped their bounds. The approach I would suggest to you is what I call “asking for the world’s smallest favor.” The silence is palpable when you are face to face with a networking contact and you ask for something you shouldn’t. It is much harder to see this same “stormy silence” through email when often times it is a non-response. The first “smell test” on a favor you are about to ask [ Read more… ]

Listening & throwing up

From our daily member newsletter on February 21, 2018

One of the many skills we always need to be polishing as financial professionals is our listening skills. The problem begins with the fact that as financial professionals we are more comfortable receiving our information in written form. Put us in a “selling” situation, especially over the telephone, and our listening skills may not be serving us very well. As we all get into personal selling, and that is what networking is all about, we fall into a syndrome called “throwing up on the customer.” Briefly what happens is that we are so into our sales pitch about ourselves that we forget to listen. An additional element to be considered is the normal human reluctance to “do business” with strangers. [ Read more… ]

Call me Mr. Know-it-all

From our daily member newsletter on February 14, 2018

One of the most endearing qualities of us financial folks is that we almost always have a firm opinion about everything. And, if we don’t have an opinion about something, we figure we can reason one out. (Hey, just take the facts and multiply by two!) It is sort of part and parcel of who we are. Nothing wrong with it, per se, but it does get in the way of getting advice from others, which is an essential part of the networking process. Believe it or not, APPEARING to be open to new ideas is a lot harder than it sounds. (Or, I’m not as stupid as I look.) For example, members will often announce at meetings that they [ Read more… ]

Geese and golden eggs

From our daily member newsletter on January 28, 2018

I am sure that I don’t need to repeat the fable of the goose that laid golden eggs, so I will move right into the analogy. The goose is The FENG (also a living organism) and the golden eggs are the ability to network with other members. (If networking isn’t true gold, I don’t know what is.) In order to keep our goose laying golden eggs, all we have to do is treat it well. And, that is why I always recommend being VERY selective in developing your mailing lists of your fellow members of our august body. We need to exercise due care because what might appear to save you time can easily diminish the value of our circle [ Read more… ]

Making networking benefit YOU

From our daily member newsletter on January 23, 2018

I am always trying to explain networking to users. Tonight I am going to try to explain networking to givers. The common misperception is that networking is a give and take. You give to others and they take. Nothing could be further from the truth. Networking as I suggest it be practiced in The FENG is a process that should benefit YOU as much as those to whom you give networking contacts. How so? Let me explain. If you are contacted by someone who has a background connection to you, your goal is to present them to someone you know will be delighted to hear from them. Not always easy to figure out, but if the person contacting you is [ Read more… ]

Getting back at it

From our daily member newsletter on January 14, 2018

Okay sports fans, the new year has begun. It is now January 14th and time is slipping away. At the moment this year promises to be a good one for employment. (Then again, the light at the end of the tunnel I am seeing could be a speeding locomotive.) Although you have to “do it all,” I would suggest that your area of greatest focus needs to be networking, networking, networking. (And then, if you have time, more networking.) Networking within The FENG needs to be conducted with research and careful thoughtfulness as to the time of other members. I have in recent weeks seen several inappropriate approaches. As much as I encourage members to communicate with one another, please [ Read more… ]

Networking by brute force

From our daily member newsletter on December 12, 2017

From time to time, someone tells me that networking as an approach is falling into disfavor. (If it does, we will have to change the name of our networking group, and I am at a loss as to how to come up with another name!) When people talk about networking in this way, the networking that they are talking about is the kind that John Lucht discusses in his book Rites of Passage as “the NFL approach to networking.” This is where you hold someone down and refuse to let them up until they give you three names. (Or maybe four!) This brute force approach to the gentlemanly game of making genuine business relationships for the future has never worked [ Read more… ]

Building friendships-a lot of hard work

From our daily member newsletter on December 10, 2017

The definition of networking I use is: Networking is a process by which you can create meaningful business contacts and relationships to further your career and enhance your professional life. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most difficult, networking is a 5. Building friendships is a 10. I know that many of you have become better and better at this “networking thing.” The constant “nagging” I do in our evening editorial I hope has had a significant impact on your daily activities. And, I hope you are enjoying the rewards as well. But, being one who NEVER leaves well enough alone, I thought I would share one of the deep dark secrets of effective networking – some [ Read more… ]

It could be Santa Claus

From our daily member newsletter on December 7, 2017

I don’t know what it is about returning phone calls. I get them by the truck load and still do my best to return them all. (Sometimes it does take a few days.) Perhaps I have a high level of curiosity, but I have found that you can never tell who has called or what they have called about without actually calling them back. Some of the dumbest messages I have gotten were actually pretty important, and if I hadn’t taken the time to call back I would have missed out, big time. I would also suggest that one of the most annoying things about looking for a job is all of the individuals in this world who don’t return [ Read more… ]

Call me Mr. Know-it-all

From our daily member newsletter on December 5, 2017

I know we don’t mean to do it, but as financial types who come to our decisions the hard way (usually the long scenic route), we often react to information being presented to us by others in a dismissive, “oh, I knew that” manner. I suppose there was a time in my life when I actually thought I did know everything. As the Chief Financial Officer of a top 50 Advertising Agency back in the 1980’s, I was expected to know the answers. People looked to me for solutions to problems. There was a constant parade of folks trooping through my office all day long trying to persuade me about this or that. Talk about “analyze this.” As I have [ Read more… ]

Words are important

From our daily member newsletter on December 4, 2017

The words we use when referring to others are important in that they affect our thinking and ability to problem solve. I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I usually refer to “members of the search community” or to “search professionals.” I sometimes refer to them as “recruiters.” Although even they refer to themselves as “headhunters,” I find that term less than professional. Another potential trap we might fall into is the use of the word “gatekeeper.” It brings up visions in my mind of my being on the outside looking in and needing the permission of some imposing individual with a spear or something even more threatening blocking my path. While in many cases our ability [ Read more… ]

Staying close to home

From our daily member newsletter on November 9, 2017

With the holiday season coming up fast, it is perhaps the time to repeat the simple advice that now is the time to be out and about making phone calls and trying to get in to see people. One of the great misunderstandings about networking is that things slow down during the holidays. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure there are those who will be taking vacation time, but most road warriors greatly reduce their travel schedule and stay close to home. There are inevitable parties and social events that require their attendance, and being out of town would just be a bad idea if they plan to stay on speaking terms with their families and friends. For [ Read more… ]

Networking, networking, networking

From our daily member newsletter on November 5, 2017

For those of you who are new to networking and for those of you who think you know everything about networking, I thought I would take tonight’s editorial space to distinguish for you the 3 kinds of networking. (And, no, I won’t have a Rick Perry brain freeze on the 3rd one.) The first kind of networking is identifying new networking contacts. The recommended way to do this at networking meetings of all kinds is to introduce yourself to people you don’t know. Remember, strangers are only friends you haven’t met. It really is pretty painless. You just say: “Hi, I’m Matt Bud.” (Be sure to use your name and not mine.) Step two of this is to ask a [ Read more… ]

A lifetime commitment

From our daily member newsletter on November 3, 2017

It is in some ways a shame that the idea of networking has gotten itself so tightly connected to job search. One of the reasons that I call members who have found new jobs is to remind them to continue networking. Sad to say that many people allow themselves to get so absorbed in their new jobs that they get disconnected from their network. I often refer to The FENG as a circle of friends. I also refer to those with whom you have the most in common and with whom you should stay in contact as your “inner circle of friends.” However, to describe it as “your very own insurance policy” puts it in the context of job search, [ Read more… ]

Meetings all over the place

From our daily member newsletter on October 31, 2017

As I was scrolling through the newsletter the past few weeks, I couldn’t help but be struck by all of the chapter and special interest group meeting announcements. I just wonder if ALL of you out there in the land of The FENG are taking advantage of these great opportunities to meet really nice people (fellow members of The FENG) and to experience the warmth of the friendships that are part and parcel of being a member of our august body. If you haven’t ever been to a meeting, I could try to make you feel guilty by telling you how hard your area chairs work to put on these events, but I haven’t found guilt to be as motivating [ Read more… ]

Working the room

From our daily member newsletter on October 30, 2017

I suppose that one of the most difficult things for us social butterfly accounting types is going to networking events and working the room like a politician. As with any other activity, a little preparation can go a long way in your ability to maximize the value of any potential networking event that you might attend. Let’s me suggest you start by registering for the event as early as possible. Most networking events publish a list of attendees and if you don’t register in advance, you won’t be on the list with all of your contact information. As an additional benefit of registering early, you get a printed badge that is easy to read instead of a cheesy hand written [ Read more… ]

The New York minute

From our daily member newsletter on October 8, 2017

I don’t know if all of you are familiar with the concept of a New York minute, but for all intents and purposes it is generally accepted to be a micro second. For your further edification, a Google search turned up the following: New York Minute: A New York minute is an instant. Or as Johnny Carson once said, it’s the interval between a Manhattan traffic light changing to green and the guy behind you honking his car horn. It appears to have originated in Texas around 1967. It is a reference to the frenzied and hectic pace of New Yorkers’ lives. A New Yorker does in an instant what a Texan would take a minute to do. The term [ Read more… ]

Some dumb ideas actually work

From our daily member newsletter on October 5, 2017

Back at the beginning of time itself when my good friend Ed Devlin was running what was to become The FENG, he invited me to join. (I don’t know what he was thinking.) Seeing the networking opportunity for my own job search, I immediately offered to act as social chairman for our small gathering of senior financial executives and bring a membership directory to every meeting for distribution. (It wasn’t all that hard as there were only 15-20 of us.) As the meetings I attended became more than a person could count on one hand, I had the occasion to speak with Ed about how to increase our membership. We had both experienced the committee review method and found it [ Read more… ]

Making small talk

From our daily member newsletter on September 21, 2017

I have never considered myself a social butterfly, but I guess for many of us financial types it is difficult to start a conversation with someone we don’t know. If you give a little thought to conversations you have had over your life with people not known to you, you will fondly remember the favorite topic most of those discussions began with was the weather. (As you know, everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it, but I digress.) If weather isn’t the chosen topic, traffic, sports (How about those Yankees?) will all suffice. Religion and politics are generally not good ideas for conversation openers with strangers. I suppose the reason that one might start out [ Read more… ]

People don’t go there anymore

From our daily member newsletter on September 20, 2017

Yogi Berra has been known to have said some pretty amusing things. One of my favorites is: “People don’t go there anymore, it’s too crowded.” We all know what Yogi means by all the things he is claimed to have said and it tends to bring a smile to our face, or at least to mine. But, with this particular one, the reverse is also true. If everyone thinks that no one is going to show up, or that a meeting is not going to be well attended, they simply won’t go. And, presto, the meeting isn’t well attended. A self-fulfilling prophesy. Some of our chapters have a reputation for energizing meetings. Some chapters seem to have trouble getting that [ Read more… ]

The fall networking season

From our daily member newsletter on September 6, 2017

As you all know, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the season we call summer. So much for lazy days at the beach and relaxing vacations. It is time to get back to work. If you are “between assignments” it is also the unofficial beginning of the fall networking season. Yes, I know that there will be football games on TV, but it is also the season of getting out and about, making new friends and hopefully finding a source of income. (We used to call them jobs, but I don’t want to get carried away with myself.) While it is probably best that you didn’t call anyone on Tuesday and even maybe today, tomorrow is a good day [ Read more… ]

Networking and holiday weekends

From our daily member newsletter on August 31, 2017

Tonight’s editorial will be short, but hopefully important. How can I say this? Holiday weekends are great networking events. Consider you will likely be with family and friends who actually care about you. If you are currently between assignments, you will have to initiate the conversation. Everyone will assume that you are in a sensitive mood and they will be afraid to bring it up. So, you have to bring it up. A great story to begin a positive conversation about your search is to let them know you are a member of the largest networking group of senior financial officers in the entire world! (There we go being modest again.) Share a story with them about how a member [ Read more… ]

Precision in your communications

From our daily member newsletter on April 30, 2017

Perhaps it all started with the telegraph. (Hey, they were charging by the word.) Or, was it the CB radio? Somewhere along the line we have all come to believe that brevity, even when not entirely correct, is somehow okay. Today’s communication formats such as the various smart phones don’t lend themselves to being complete or correct. There is even an available statement you can add to your outgoing messages from these devices that highlights the fact that it wasn’t sent from a regular computer. (I guess the expectation is that folks on the receiving end will therefore be more forgiving.) I won’t even get into Twitter. (140 characters is really constraining.) It is sad, really, that we allow these [ Read more… ]

Sharing our knowledge

From our daily member newsletter on April 23, 2017

From time to time, I write an editorial that generates very thoughtful responses from our members. I hope that all of you appreciate those individuals who write in as much as I do. It is an important part of The FENG, that we each take the time to share our knowledge with one another on topics large and small. There are so many ways to share our knowledge. If you are bashful and not interested in communicating with a large audience, there are local meetings and those weekly new member listings where you can pick up the phone and TAKE THE TIME to share what you have learned with one individual at a time. That is as important as writing [ Read more… ]

Stress reduction in networking

From our daily member newsletter on April 19, 2017

I suppose it is hard to believe, but those on the receiving of networking calls actually experience more stress than you do. Yes, I know that picking up that 400 pound phone isn’t easy, but neither is responding to phone calls from those who have been trained in the NFL approach to networking. (That’s where someone tackles you and won’t let you up until you give them 3 names.) Is it any wonder that your phone call or visit can strike fear in their hearts? The stress comes from the fear of disappointing you and/or disappointing the friend who sent you their way by appearing not to be able to help you. If you want the process to work as [ Read more… ]

Thanksgiving!

From our daily member newsletter on November 20, 2007

I hope that all members of The FENG are off on Thursday (and hopefully Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and that you are planning to spend time with family and/or friends or both. These times of celebration are important in so many ways.   They are, of course, reminders of times gone by. Some good times. Some bad times. Some in between times.   First and foremost, I hope you use this first long weekend of the fall/winter season to recharge your batteries. Summer is over. The vacations we took are a distant memory. So, think of this as a mini-vacation.   If you are active in your search or thinking of looking, don’t miss the opportunity this holiday represents to [ Read more… ]

Starting A Consulting Company-Emotional Intelligence & Walt Disney

From our daily member newsletter on November 13, 2007

From Jerry Mills, Founder & CEO of B2B CFO®, Jerry writes:   Matt Bud was kind enough to publish an article I wrote named Emotional Intelligence, on October 18, 2007. I want to thank the dozens of FENG members that wrote emails regarding the article. The emails came from as far away as Germany. Many of the comments were similar to the following:   “Thank you so much for forwarding your article on emotional intelligence. It came at a time when I needed it the most and am very grateful for the reminder. Normally I can overcome the negative and get back to the positive, but I was having a harder time with it this week. The frustration of job [ Read more… ]

Dream a little dream

From our daily member newsletter on November 7, 2007

Up until the age of 46 I didn’t spend a single day unemployed. From the time I got out of the Army in 1971 until 1991 I only changed jobs twice. It doesn’t give you a lot of time to think about your career or to consider that you might be doing other things.   During the two years I was out of work I did a lot of thinking and I tried a lot of different things.   I suppose if I had found a job immediately my life would not be what it is today. I would venture to say it is better than it might have otherwise been despite the “years from heck”. As you know, all [ Read more… ]

OUR SPONSORS:

cfo