Every day you hear of another major company planning to lay off more workers.
It's not a pretty picture, but if you are one of those people who have been effected by this economy, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make finding your next job your highest priority.
You have to take charge of the situation and not sit around feeling sorry for yourself.
Here are seven things that can help focus your efforts to help achieve the goal of find that next position.
Finding your next job is a full-time job.
Do not get distracted because you are at home.
Update your resume.
Even if you are well known in your industry, you need to have an up-to-date resume available that you can e-mail or send when you need to.
Put your e-mail address on the resume, your cell phone number, and make sure all your dates are correct.
Have a positive outlook.
Do not be embarrassed about being out of work, especially in this environment.
You need to hold your head high and be confident in yourself and your abilities.
As you follow up with leads, and network with people you know in the industry, you have to find a way to keep track of this information.
Also, by making daily to-do lists, you can keep track of what you are accomplishing and where you are spending or wasting your time.
Keep yourself presentable.
Make sure you get that hair cut, when you need it, and have the best outfit ready for interviews.
Looking your best will help make the right impression, when that important interview comes along.
Know what you want to do and where you are willing to do it.
Job seekers need to be able to articulate what they are looking for, the flexibility they have in considering other industries, and if they are willing to move for the right opportunity.
Get an accurate understanding of your finances.
You need to know how much you have in your bank account, and how much you can access through credit lines.
You need to determine what expenses have to be paid, and what expenses can be delayed or renegotiated without harming your credit.
The rule used to be that you should have at least six months of expenses in a savings or money market account for emergencies, but most people do not have that discipline.
We have no way of knowing how long this troubled economy will last before we turn the tides and see a resurgence in the business environment.
What we do know from history is that down cycles last for six months to a year or so, and then things start turning around, sometimes very quickly.
Even in down cycles, there are always industries that are hiring.
In fact, when one opportunity ends, another that could be even better may be the one you find.
Remember, Walt Disney got fired from his job doing cartoons for the Kansas City Journal, and filed for bankruptcy, and that was the only reason he wound up in Hollywood.