1. Don't be part of the story. Stop reading the papers, listening to CNN and checking on your 401k. Focus on the positives, not the negatives. Even if you are hit by the recession, focus on what you can do, what’s good in your life, not on the doom and gloom the media is pushing.

2. Plan for the worst, and the best. Start budgeting today to build your cash position, and reduce expenses, just in case your salary or job is cut. Keep your resume fresh. But at the same time, plan for the best. Look out for promotion opportunities, work on your own business, and follow your dream.

3. Be real. Know that if want to change jobs it could take much longer to find the next opportunity than in strong job markets. Think twice, and then a third time, before giving up your job. If you don't have a job, think about taking one with less money or prestige. Don't pretend everything is fine when it's not. Ask for help if you need it. Remember, ‘hope’ is not a strategy.

4. Be smart. Look at which industries are doing well and which are not. For example, green companies are expanding while retail is shrinking. Read trend spotters and think about what the future holds. For example, bringing spirituality into the workplace is a growth area. And learn from history. What happened during the last recession, which sectors led the recovery?

5. Be nice. Be nice to yourself and to others. Work places are more stressful than ever. People are worried. Many are suffering. Give the other guy a hand or a kind word when you can. Take care of yourself, your family, friends and co-workers.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and the USA with thousands of individuals and groups. He has successfully coached men and women wanting to change career or develop new opportunities at all levels - including CEOs of major companies wanting a creative challenge, frustrated souls longing to make their dream come true and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job. He specializes in helping people find their unique potential. He loves to transform misfits at work into successful misfits with their dream careers. David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television. David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA. He has dual US/UK citizenship. www.davidcoupercoach.com

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David Couper, the Official Guide To Career Change