EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I don’t know what you consider to be junk mail. I view anything I don’t want to get in the mail (including bills) to be unwanted. (Can’t they send my bills to YOU for payment? Okay, you probably wouldn’t pay them and then my credit would be ruined. I guess I’ll have to come up with another plan.)

Anyway, the same principle applies to email. We all get a lot of spam these days. It appears that asking to be taken off their list only serves to confirm your address, and you get even more junk email. Now if only I got offers for things I could actually use, or offers for stuff that REALLY was free. (Fine, this probably won’t happen in my lifetime.)

The problem is people with whom we really don’t want to have an exchange of communication are approaching us all, and, more and more often. It has in a very real sense become easier and easier to communicate. Therefore the perceived value of each communication has declined.

This is the fact of life that all of us need to keep in mind as we are out and about networking. The last thing we want to be doing is trying to communicate with individuals who don’t want to hear from us. When we do this we are increasing the possibility that those we are contacting will consider us junk mail. And, if we take this to a “what is best for the community” perspective, we may in fact be ruining it for others.

This principle is, of course, a corollary of our now famous “Qualified members only” approach to job search.

Qualifying networking contacts is ALWAYS difficult. The reason is that you just never know who can help. Still, the burden is on you, the initiator of the process, to at least TRY to be selective.

We try to make networking within The FENG as simple as possible through the rather detailed membership directory we provide, and the special interest groups we have created. If your directory listing is out of date, or if you should be included in a special interest group but have not signed up, how exactly do you EXPECT to receive anything other than junk mail from your fellow members? That is, if you hear from them at all. (Perhaps you’re not getting enough email?)

The beginning of an effective networking campaign is “finding your mirrors.” This battle cry promoted by our very own Bob Walker, Chair of the Dallas chapter, is an approach upon which you can hang your hat.

Those who have been through what you have been through in your career are MORE likely to be willing to hear from you. You have stories to share. You have individuals you both know. And, you have QUALIFIED networking contacts outside of The FENG that are appropriate for sharing. (Get those baseball cards out, and let the swap meet begin!)

If we each contribute to the process of reducing junk mail and unwanted phone calls, perhaps someday in the not too distant future the world may indeed become a better place.

As I have said before: Every day and in every way, it all starts with you.

Regards, Matt

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