EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Although I would never willingly admit it, over the nearly 35 years I have been sailing I have had occasion to go aground. (It is always an embarrassing situation.)

One time I dragged anchor in a storm (that I can assure you was not in the forecast) and the other times I managed to wander too far out of the main channel. The tidal drop in Long Island Sound where I do most of my sailing can be as much as 8 feet. For most of my sailing life I have had boats that draw around 4-5 feet. At high tide you can easily pass over areas that are exposed at low tide. (For those of you not familiar with tidal patterns, there are for all practical purposes two high and two low tides daily.)

If you’re smart, you stay in marked channels as much as possible. That way it is harder to make a mistake. But sometimes you just get distracted. Or, since I have a sailboat, when the wind is blowing from the EXACT direction you want to go, you try tacking your way out of the harbor and attempt to get the most distance to your desired destination out of each tack. (Sailboats can’t sail into the eye of the wind.) Unfortunately, charts are not always totally correct.

Anyway, when you do go aground, your first concern is whether the tide is falling or rising. If it is falling, especially with an 8 foot tidal drop, you need to worry about laying the boat over on its side if you do nothing. Time is of the essence. (See, I even included a legal term in an editorial largely about sailing!) If you act quickly and don’t do something stupid like try to drive through what you assume is a small shallow spot, you may even be able to power off. Heading back the way you came sometimes works. Turning the boat broadside to the wind so she heels over a bit to reduce your draft also works sometimes.

While you CAN wait for a rising tide, it is rarely the best option.

I know all of you are wondering how I am going to tie this to job search. Well, here it is.

Those of you who are currently active in your job search who are waiting for the job market to improve so you will have more job leads to chew on are doing the equivalent of waiting for a rising tide.

While the economic news is encouraging, the reality is that the structure of the job market in PUBLISHED jobs has changed as evidenced by the lack of jobs in our newsletter, unless, of course, all of you are holding out and not sharing your leads. (At one time we had as much as 100+ pages of leads on Sunday evenings.)

Waiting for job leads to appear is called passive job searching, and as I tell my wife all the time, government studies have proven over and over again that passive job searching doesn’t work. (By the way, when I use this line of argument, it is because I don’t have any supporting data, but when you claim you saw a government study most everyone believes you.)

Lots of things are disrupting the traditional job market as we have come to know (and love) it over our early career. Huge numbers of traditional recruiters, both retained and contingency, have left the business. Newspaper job ads haven’t been significant in an eternity. The job boards have pretty much trashed themselves by allowing anyone to respond to any posting and by not making any attempt to vet the jobs they post.

Whatever you are planning to do with your career, you would at ALL times be best advised to just get about doing it. And I hope that your primary activity is our enduring mantra of NETWORKING, NETWORKING AND MORE NETWORKING.

When you are hard aground, not much else works.

Truth be told, there may not be a lot of PUBLISHED jobs out there in the world, but my reading of the newspaper every day tells me that there are still a lot of PROBLEMS in the world of business, ones that all of you are uniquely able to solve.

All you have to do is go out there and find them.

Fair winds always, Matt

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