EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

A long time ago I got into a discussion with another captain about the wisdom of setting two anchors.

It may sound silly, since I am known on board my sailboat as Captain Safety, but I have never set two anchors. And, even though I have read a lot about it over the years, in most cases I don’t think it is smart to do. There are conditions when it is appropriate, but I try to be tied to a dock or safely at home during those times or I avoid anchoring in the kinds of places where it might be necessary.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a speech a cousin of mine gave at a family gathering many years ago. It seems that he had a closely held belief that his wife and his mother-in-law were never wrong. (After all, this is what they always told him.) So, from time to time when they would argue about something, he would find it very confusing. How could both of them be right if they were arguing?

Those of us who are engaged in the process of trying to earn a living, when unemployed or about to be unemployed, are very much in the same set of circumstances as my quandary about setting two anchors or my cousin. Clearly everyone who is giving you advice can’t be right.

When I give my job search classes I try to present the reasons why I think things work without saying with absolute certainty that any 90-second announcement or resume is perfect. The truth is that parts of everyone’s two major pieces of communication are right and parts could be made better. The question is whether or not they communicate the true value that you represent.

As an outsider, i.e. not inside your body and not able to absorb the full essence of who you are in the time allotted, NO ONE is in a position to judge the merits of what describes you best other than YOU. The mechanics of creating that image for the outside world is in your hands. And, all DECISIONS about what is true and correct really need to be made by you.

All those of us on the outside can do is provide you with TOOLS to shape your message. We all come to the party with knowledge about what works for us. Your goal is to acquire tools and advice and then in the quiet of your own thinking decide what is true.

In order for you to deliver “the message” it has to come from you. If you do it right, it will become a part of you and it will be your message. And, that is where you need to be.

Read ALL of the good books on the job search process. Listen to ALL of the experts you can find and hear them out.

You will find that this learning experience will change you AND your thinking. At the end, you won’t know where the ideas of others that you have absorbed and your own ideas end. This is the happy result I wish for all of you.

As captain of your own ship you need to be fearlessly certain in your own mind that the course you have set is correct for the conditions you are experiencing and the conditions you expect during your voyage.

Unfortunately, fair winds and sunny skies are not always what you encounter. However, if YOU are in control, an inner calm will prevail even in the worst of conditions.

I know — I’ve been there.

Regards, Matt

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