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Helene Lerner is the founder of, a site that shares tips on skill building and strategies for women in career advancement. The site offers access to power contacts and an active message board-based community forum, complete with free personalized career coaching by esteemed business professionals. Below she shares tips on what to do if you've been laid off, plus helpful interview tips for your next job search.

What to do IF YOU'VE BEEN LAID OFFHelene Lerner

Helene shares helpful ways to cope with losing your job:

1Feel Your Feelings

Don't deny how you feel or keep it in. In a safe place, perhaps your bathroom, let it out. Be sure to share with a trusted friend too. If writing is better tool for you, by all means use it.

2Don't Take It Personally

In this time of financial stress, many companies are downsizing. And you may be caught in that crunch. Remember, don't take on what is not YOURS. However, always take inventory when you leave a job: how you can improve and what you did right.

3Regroup and Strategize

You have felt your feelings, shared them with a trusted friend, now MOVE ON. Do you need to reinvent yourself - change the type of work you've been doing? Change industries or just jobs? Make dinner for a group of your friends. Tell them the topic of conversation will be YOU, what your next moves might be. There is strength in numbers, but be selective about their feedback.

4'Act as if' You are Confident

Even if you aren't at your strongest, act like you are. No one wants to hire someone who doesn't appear confident. And you'd be surprised, when you start acting 'as if you are,' you are likely to feel that way.

5Get Out There

Go to events. If someone invites you, say "yes," even when you want to say "no." Circulate, circulate, and circulate. Take short-term jobs in the interim. You never know who you will meet and who might introduce you to the very person you want to meet.

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Comments on "Career advice and interview tips"

micheal.smith898 January 30, 2010 | 1:20 AM

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Bryan Rumley March 10, 2009 | 4:58 PM

i'm a male and i have an "Oral Board" style interview in a few weeks from now to become a 911 dispatcher, and i was just trying to find some tips on how i could do really well on it.

Bob Phillips February 27, 2009 | 3:46 PM

I am a male and I have an interview where the attire is "Smart Casual". Can you define "smart casual"? I am applying for a "Building Cleaner" position. How important is it to dress "smart casual" for a "building cleaner" position?

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