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    This is the time, after all, when most of us shrug off our 10-day hangover and buckle down to thoughts of self-improvement. There are opportunities aplenty, especially if you know where to look and have some—uh, pardon the expression—resolve.

  • This year, there’s something big you need to do. It was probably on your To Do list last year, but you ran out the clock. This year, you tell yourself, things will be different.

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    As 2008 draws to a close, the competition for "Worst Exec of the Year" is probably the hottest it's been for… well… maybe ever.

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    The strategies that help us manage holiday shopping also help us achieve our goals for the new year. Make a gift list prior to shopping. Spend only what you can afford.

  • Let’s just come out and admit it: Many of us hate the notion of a bailout for automakers. If they can't endure a downturn for a few months, why not just let ’em die? These guys brought it on themselves.

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    GM’s failure points are extensive, but nothing is more glaring than its resolute myopia. Throughout its history, GM anointed itself the final arbiter of customer needs and wants.

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    Remember that some groups are tight and willing to help even a stranger from the same group. I know a PhD in biology who got a venture capital job, not by networking with the VC crowd, but by networking with other PhDs in biology who transitioned outside that field.

  • “You’ll never get to the next level in this company,” an exec told one his managers, “because you can’t take an abstract idea and turn it into a business model.” Did you ever get feedback like this? Or worse, give it? It’s time for the annual performance review. Bosses and employees are about to say and hear a lot of crazy stuff.

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    There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. Exhibit A: the unretired. Business Week has a strong piece on the thousands of retired Americans who are streaming back into the national work force, driven there by disappearing 401k’s and plunging home values.

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    Commerce Department officials announced last month that the nation’s GDP fell more during the third quarter than at any time since the Internet bubble shriveled; logically, a precipitous drop in consumer spending is largely responsible.

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    Any organization lacking talent and creativity doesn’t have a whole lot left to manage, and there comes a point where the benefit of cutting costs is outweighed by the harm done to the organization by those cuts.

  • Commentary: All of America now can rest easy: Merrill Lynch chief John Thain won’t get his $10 million bonus after all, having succumbed to browbeating calls for fiscal restraint.

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    You might decide a downsizing is an opportunity to start fresh somewhere else. On the other hand, with many jobseekers flooding the market at the same time, looking for a job now may be extra challenging

  • Rep. Barney Frank discusses the auto bailout issue, while New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says a $10 million bonus for Merrill Lynch's John Thain is unjustified. Following are today's top videos:

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    So now we know. We are in the 12th month of a nasty recession, we have lost billions in net worth, and we have lost at least a couple million jobs in 2008.

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    The first thing you need to do is to organize the current state of your finances. The less financial pressure you feel the better your job search will progress. Calculate your monthly expenses and your available resources.

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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.