In today’s unpredictable economy, all professionals should be prepared to react quickly and positively should their employment become unstable. Even those who feel most secure and consistently perform at high levels are vulnerable to threats beyond their control, like a company downsizing, filing for bankruptcy protection or going out of business altogether. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job or how hard you work.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has shed 4.4 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate to nearly nine per cent. But the lay off numbers are not bad as they seem.

Unfortunately, the hemorrhaging doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Economists agree the labor market’s pain will likely continue into 2010. Some firms’ layoff strategies actually end up hurting the business.

Everything you need to know about:

How to handle a layoff in Canada

Recession or not, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead for potential career derailments before they happen. Preparing for a layoff can help ensure you have enough money saved to live on while you’re unemployed, give you an advantage in finding a new job and minimize the stress involved in this painful situation. Here are steps you can take to help keep a layoff from hitting you too hard.

1. Stay in the game

Always have a passive job search in progress. Keep your r



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