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No one ever got strong by lifting a feather. Every work veteran who has survived "a rough patch" was better for the experience. Not that you enjoyed it or want to ever repeat it... but dealing with bad conditions is a vital if not career-essential practical lesson that solid contingency plans followed with calm resolution, patient endurance and unflappable confidence can and will succeed.

Nothing easy teaches you much. Every enterprise needs hardened survivors of disasters. The perspective and wisdom they gained by dealing with ugly realities are essential to maintain positive hopes and to deter despair. While untested novices are prone to panic, seasoned professionals deal with the bad and with the good with steady unruffled competence.

On employment selection projects for new operations, I took pains to assure that the fresh young faces of raw beginners were "salted" with older workers who had experienced plant closings and thus brought very useful perspective to the new crews.

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