Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Balancing Real Job Fears vs. Imagination

(Q.2) THESE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS I've felt so insecure because the economy hasn't totally come back and I always have the feeling I might be laid off just because business isn't very good. What can I do to get over this near panic I'm feeling?

(A) BEGIN BY ADDRESSING THE FACT THAT you, like so many others, really may be laid off. If not now, next year, or the next. That's something no one can know, or prepare for. So consider: What's the worst thing that can happen if your fears come true? The answer obviously is that you will have to get another job. That's not the end of the world or the end of your life. So prepare a resume now. Begin networking in the industry and among friends and family while you still have this job for contacts that may help you find a new one. If you do that well, you will get a job offer and you can then walk into your management and tell them you have an offer and ask if they feel your future with them is secure enough for you to pass on it. That's a start. You'll soon get the sense of whether or not you're about to be fired. Or given a counter offer.

Ask DR.JOB Q and A: Don't Ever Assume Failure

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