Suze Orman
Photo: Marc Royce
With unemployment on the rise and business owners retrenching their growth plans, it takes work to get work. Whether you've been downsized, dislike the job you have, or feel ready to rejoin the salaried workforce after a few years as a stay-at-home mom, getting your next position requires taking focused steps:

Tune up your skills. If you have access to on-the-job training or your current employer will subsidize outside classes, you'd be crazy not to keep upgrading your abilities. Especially if job listings all seem to be citing computer programs that are unfamiliar to you, it's time to head to night school or community college. I know that sounds scary, but by taking action, you take control of the situation.

Tune into old networks. Let the world know you're looking for work. Colleagues and friends are vital job-hunting resources, and you can reconnect with former co-workers and classmates by joining free websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook (no, it's not just for kids).

Tune out the negativity. Finding employment is hard enough these days without saddling yourself with emotional baggage. A bad attitude will come across in the tone of your e-mails, your voice on the phone, and your body language during an interview. No matter how sure you are that you got a raw deal, here's what you need to do: Get over it. The past is past, and you need a future that includes a paying job. Presenting yourself as a talented, upbeat candidate can make that happen a lot faster.