Layoff survival guide
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It's hard to open a newspaper or turn on the television these days without hearing about yet another round of layoffs. In November 2008, Citigroup announced plans to cut about 50,000 jobs. Bank of America followed suit the next month, coming forward with plans for 35,000 layoffs over the next three years.

And this kind of trouble isn't limited to the financial sector. In fact, we're seeing it in a wide range of industries. Retailers are tightening up their budgets now that the wave of uninhibited consumer spending has finally started to halt. Small businesses in your city and town are likely laying people off, or worse yet, going out of business completely. Even snack giant PepsiCo is cutting back.

The result is an unemployment rate that stands (as I write this in January 2009) at 6.7 percent—up from 6.5 percent in October 2008 and 6.1 percent in September 2008.

The numbers don't lie: No one is immune to these kinds of layoffs. Many people have already received that dreaded pink slip, and unfortunately, it looks like many more will before this economy starts to turn around.

Of course, you may know that all too well. Maybe you're reading this from your kitchen table, taking a break from surfing the job boards. Or maybe there have already been a few rounds of cuts at your office, and you think your department might be next. Whatever your situation, it never hurts to be prepared.

What to do if you've already been laid off

What to do if you think you might be laid off