Two interesting networking success stories today. To understand this, you need to know that I chair the Raleigh chapter of the Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG), a group of senior financial executives such as chief financial officers, controllers, corporate treasurers and the like. It is a peer-based networking group, with the central activity being the sharing of job leads for 6-figure positions in accounting and finance.
First, one of the members emailed me last week to invite me to lunch. He has been working as the VP of Finance at a local manufacturing company for the last 3 years, a job he found as the result of a job lead that I had circulated to the FENG membership. We’ve never actually met in person, but he is thinking about moving on from that position and possibly buying his own small business. That’s where I come in – he knows I’m an M&A professional and also wanted to simply say thanks for the role that I played in his landing the current job.
We had a great lunch (he paid) and began talking about the type of business he might want to buy, location, size of transaction, industry, and various other characteristics. It turns out that one of my current clients might actually be a very good fit. He has quite a bit of very directly related experience that would help him to hit the ground running as a new owner, and the size and location are almost perfect too. He asked me to send him some detailed info, and who knows? We just might be off to the races.
Second, another FENG member from Greensboro emailed me this morning, saying: “I recently accepted a job as CFO for an Eastern NC company. FENG published the opening. I am grateful to FENG for its support during my period of unemployment, and look forward to helping others in the future.”
In this case, I was having lunch a couple months ago with someone who had given a presentation at one of the monthly FENG chapter meetings late last year. He mentioned a management consultant / executive coach that he works with was helping another client search for a new CFO in the eastern part of the state, suggesting that perhaps someone in our group might be a fit. So I asked for the consultant’s name and number, called him up and explained who I was and offered to circulate the job description. I still have not met this consultant, but have a lunch date with him later this month. In the meantime, he told me that a majority of the finalists for the position came from the responses from FENG members, and as this morning’s email confirmed, the new CFO is one of the FENG members.
Sometimes we start a chain reaction like these examples and never hear, to quote the late great Paul Harvey, the rest of the story. In the first case, it took over three years, but we connected like old friends. In the latter case, just a couple of months.
But even when you never learn the rest of the story, I’m convinced that “paying it forward” as often as possible, is simply the right thing to do and eventually what goes around comes around.
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