Friday, January 23, 2009
SURVIVAL Part 9: Develop Survival Skills
by Jim Davis (Print complete Job Loss Survival Guide)
Developing Your Survival Skills
In addition to being a healing process job-loss grief is also a survival process. It isn't a new way of life that will go on indefinitely. It may seem to take forever, but it will eventually come to an end.
Of course, life may never be the same again. In some cases this change is for the better in every way. You may find a better job, develop closer family ties, and learn that you have abilities that you never even dreamed of. On the other hand, the new situation you find yourself in may not turn out to be what you hoped for. Finances may become strained. There may not be any jobs available that you are qualified for. The only jobs you can find may require you to move or to retrain. If this happens, you may find that the results of the healing of job-loss grief is somewhat like the healing which some people experience after a severe physical injury such as a broken bone.
For example, people who have had a broken leg often experience some pain or discomfort for years after the break has healed. In some cases a person even has to make some permanent changes, such as wearing a built-up shoe when the leg is shorter after it heals or giving up sports that involve running. And all this can happen even when they do everything they are supposed to do for healing to be complete. In a case like this, or with other losses such as loss of limbs or even job loss, successful survivors focus on what they can still do instead of their limitations.
A Real-Life Example
This doesn't mean that they never look back, though. Actually, the past often holds the keys to their success. It may turn out to be like the true survival experience of two private airplane pilots I'll call John Odom and Walter Mathis.
Several years ago, John and Walter were taking a weekend trip, flying a small, rented plane. According to the weather report, it looked like a fairly good day for flying. Unfortunately, about half way into their journey, they ran into a violent storm that they couldn't go over or around, and they couldn't go back because the storm had surrounded them. Visibility was zero, and the turbulence was giving the small plane a buffeting. They didn't have any choice but to try to fly through it, and neither of them was an instrument rated pilot. It was rough going, but luckily they lived to tell the story. Or was it just luck?
It turned out that John and Walter flew a lot together, and since flying was pretty expensive, they figured out a way they could both log flying time. One would always fly "under the hood" which means he wore a device that kept him from seeing out the windows. This forced him to use the plane's instrument panel in order to fly. The other pilot was always alert and ready to take over if necessary. Neither one of them ever dreamed that this would save their lives, but during the storm nature provided the "hood." The training they had done on their own was the reason they survived.
End of Part 9