EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

A very long time ago, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of our Hartford/Springfield chapter. I was one of two guest speakers.

The other speaker was a gentleman from Robert Half who spoke about the local market. What was of particular interest to me was his perception of people who lived in the area and how those who lived in Massachusetts wouldn’t consider jobs just over the border in Connecticut and those who lived on one side of the river wouldn’t consider jobs on the other side, even though all of these possibilities were within 30 miles of their homes and traffic really wasn’t any worse in the various directions.

It got me to thinking about how easy it is to create our own mental blocks to success. It is sort of like that old legal principle of “negotiating with yourself” as explained to me by one of my learned colleagues.

Being open to all the possibilities is not easy for anyone to do, least of all us financial types. We come to the world with very fixed ideas about what will work and what won’t work. In part this comes from our unique ability to analyze just about anything, to in effect break any idea or topic into its component parts and divide and conquer as it were.

In a sense it is easy to see why some things can’t work, but much harder to suspend your disbelief in an idea or even your own abilities and imagine a world that doesn’t yet exist for you.

I suppose that another part of it is more often than not, people in the world of work come to us for OUR suggestions. To put the shoe on the other foot isn’t easy. We feel we need to have an opinion, right or wrong.

Based on our experience, we develop strong opinions on lots of things. It can be very hard to let go. The paradox is, of course, that most financial people believe as I do in our highly transferable skills. We can span industries. We might even be able to span geography.

Personally, I am not a big fan of picking up the family and moving for a job. Family tends to be permanent and jobs as we all know are temporary. Still, from time to time, you might want to examine “the possibility.”

When I was trying to find another job in the mid-90’s, as much as I didn’t want to move, I got the opportunity to interview for a job in Tampa. I went for the interview. Hey, they do have an ocean nearby, and everybody does retire to Florida, don’t they? As it turned out I wasn’t offered the job and thank goodness I wasn’t because the company was sold within months to a firm in Atlanta. Guess what? There is no ocean there, so it would have been goodbye to sailing if I had taken the job.

By the way, I never said I would take the job. I was only considering the possibility. I even went house hunting.

As you move down the road of life in your quest for meaningful employment, open your mind to opportunities that come your way and be a little less quick to dismiss potentially desirable work situations out of hand. You may in fact want to return to that industry you thought you hated, that town you thought was too small (or too big), or that company with the culture you thought was terrible.

You don’t have to take the job. You just should consider it with a more open mind.

Regards, Matt

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