Over and Out

YOU KNOW THE STATISTICS, but you never thought it could happen to you. You’ve lost your job. Don’t panic, advises outplacement pro Harry Dahlstrom in “Surviving a Layoff,” a slim but surprisingly comprehensive guide to dealing with one of today’s most common problems. “You’re not alone,” Dahlstrom writes. “On average, over 500 companies have a major layoff every month and 90,000 people lose their jobs.” Although every page of his 48-page manual is crammed with valuable job-hunting tips, we particularly like the section on switching to a new line of work. Dahlstrom recommends starting with the following steps:

  • Think about your hobbies, interests, special skills, and things you’ve always wanted to do. Can you turn any of these into a new career?
  • Try taking some of the free aptitude tests available on the Internet. The results will give you an idea of which careers might match your personality type.
  • Learn more about new occupations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, available at www.dol.gov or your local library.
  • Set up “informational” interviews with people who work in the field you choose.