What should you know to prepare for possible layoffs?

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What you should know if you lose your job

PHOENIX - Whether the stimulus bill passes in Washington or not, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said it does not do enough to create jobs.

More Americans than ever are facing the possibility of unemployment, including here in Arizona where 138 Department of Administration employees will be laid off on Friday. 3TV tells you what you need to know before that happens.

Losing a job is one of life's true traumas. In today's economy it is also a reality. 3TV talked to a professor at the Thunderbird School of Management in the Valley who recommends you prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

"We all got complacent in our jobs. We came to the same place every day," says Cory Clapsaddle. He is one of millions of Americans who have lost their job as the deep recession drags on and on. Now he spends much of his time playing video games. It is a trap one local professor says you can avoid simply by being prepared.

Thunderbird Prof. Roe Goddard says, "Where is the growth in any economy there is always advancing and declining sectors. The key is for you to know. Find an advancing sector you have a heartfelt interest in."

Advancing sector in this case means a new trade or career. Prof. Goddard suggests four steps you can take to find a career you want to explore.

The first step is to get help from a career counselor. Career management is a very hot topic now. Another good idea is to go to the public library and ask for any one of dozens of new books to help you determine a new career path.

You can also seek training from public entities such as community colleges which often offer low-cost training.

Perhaps most importantly is do not be afraid or proud to get help. Prof. Goddard explains, "Because in this competitive day and age it's not just having the training, it's not just showing up at the door, you know, its kinda of like having that inner wherewithal such as you are competitive, it is something that you're thirsty forthat you do desire."

Now another major corporation, aircraft parts producer Rockwell Collins announced it was laying off 600 employees. Goddard sees some good emerging from all the bad economic news. He says, "There's a certain human benefit to being hungry. I believe it's motivating. It creates a sense of urgency. It focuses you."

Focus is important. Goddard thinks this recession will last another two and a half years.