What I Learned By Losing My Skydiving Helmet

Back when I was quite a bit younger, I tried my hand at skydiving.  (Actually, it was really only parachuting, but skydiving sounds all the more adventurous and dangerous, doesn’t it?)

As the story goes, there were six of us in a small, single-wing Cessna plane with the passenger seats removed.  I volunteered to be the first to jump because I was afraid that if I saw the others go first, I might get “cold feet”.  So, when the instructor told me that it was time, I climbed out of the plane onto the step, and awaited the signal to leap backwards — the actual jump.


A funny thing happened just after I jumped, though.  My helmet came off and was now travelling earthward, without the benefit of its own parachute.

Two lessons from that day can also be applied to your job search:

1.    You can’t change the past, so make the best of it.

I was never going to get my helmet back, so I focused on the new experience of floating to earth.  Similarly, your past jobs are all behind you.   But, you can use the job search to focus on rediscovering many of the accomplishments achieved and skills learned, which you hadn’t had time to think about when you were in the thick of things.

2.    Storytelling is a great skill to develop.

And, once you’ve made a list of the accomplishments and skills mentioned above, you’ll want to present them in an interesting and engaging manner.  This is where storytelling techniques come in.  Practice recounting your stories with friends and family, asking for honest feedback on how to improve your presentation.  This is great practice in advance of a successful interview.

A job hunter should develop a file of at least twelve accomplishment stories, framed to be presented using a P-A-R approach.  (I’ll be sure to cover the use of  P-A-R, or the Problem – Action – Result method, in a future blogpost.)

Step Upp to Overcome barriers -- Take action!Do you have at least twelve accomplishment stories written down, and committed to memory, in preparation for your next interview?  If not, you should start preparing them today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *