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    When you are laid off, things may seem totally out of your control:  you no longer have use of your office, your income has stopped or will stop soon, your bills continue pouring in and there is no job alternative in site.

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    Time, money and energy are our resources to accomplish our personal goals, maintain good health, keep solid relationships and enjoy life. As we approach year-end, take an inventory of how you are using your time, money and energy resources.

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    Our first prediction is possibly the biggest one of all: There will still be a job market in 2009. Tough call to make right now, we know, but even a crisis spells opportunity of one kind or another.

  • Suppose you get laid off and someone asks why you’re out of work. It’s important that your explanation be impersonal. That means not blaming yourself or others.

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    Who isn’t worried about their job right now? No matter how high up on the organization chart, any executive who isn’t looking over his or her shoulder these days needs a reality check.

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    In the ideal world, you would use December to reflect on goals accomplished and to set the stage for next year’s performance review and bonus discussion. However, if it’s December and you haven’t prepared yet for this year’s bonus, then you need to focus on last-minute moves.

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    It doesn't get much better than receiving a big fat bonus after you've worked hard all year. But this year, the process can be particularly anxiety ridden, given this economy and given that employees are all after those ever dwindling bonus dollars.

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    The key audacity was Rick Wagoner’s claim that he shouldn’t step aside because nobody else would really know how to successfully run General Motors. With a huge salary, big bonus, hot and cold running jets and a constant supply of new cars to drive, it’s understandable that Rick doesn’t want to give up his job. But he should.

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    One of my favorite acting teachers gave an ongoing assignment to think of something good that happened to us each and every day. This was supposed to ensure we were always positive at our auditions, and the tip translates to jobseekers as well:

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    The results of Election Day served as a warning from your twentysomething employees and future recruits; America’s educated young—that they are increasingly cognizant of, and proactive about—the urgent need to address global warming.

  • The New York Attorney General's office is negotiating with top Wall Street firms that received federal bailout money to forego executive bonuses this year, sources close to the attorney general told CNBC.

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    What might have been a somewhat laughable notion even a few months ago—surely conventional wisdom says vacation time is there to be taken, especially when it’s accumulated at the end of the year—is becoming a more serious dilemma for some.

  • Goldman Sachs' no-bonus  move immediately is prompting questions in the investor community about whether or not other banks will follow suit.

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    Chances are good your company is facing some serious headwinds (who isn’t?). Chances are good your boss is looking for dramatic cost cuts. Chances are you may have heard the phrase “top heavy” sometime in the past month or so.

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    As the mess in Detroit continues to get worse, and the Big Three automakers continue to lobby the government for a bailout, it's looking ever more likely that we could be talking about a Big Two before long.

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    There are special considerations when you are unemployed for more than six months. Your skills and expertise are getting stale. Motivation is waning. Unemployment benefits are running out.

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    In case you haven’t walked around the cubicles of your company lately, the minimized screen on most of your employees’ computer monitor is most likely Facebook or some other networking site.

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    Since perception is reality, you have to be savvy enough to harness this information and create a plan to strengthen your weaknesses, as you will no doubt grow as a manager and leader.

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    Tough times are getting tougher. Almost no business is immune. When Google cuts back on free food and Goldman Sachs has to cut its work force and Warren Buffett watches profits drop 77%, it’s a safe bet that we are all in for a world of hurt.

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    Regardless of what they may think of our governmental policies, when foreigners describe “average” Americans, they frequently remark upon our determined positivity. In fact, to the outsider, American rosiness can seem rather naïve, a bit forced and not infrequently annoying.