Look out! The unemployment rate now stands at a 16 year high. And the official figure doesn’t even count those who have given up on the job market or settled into part-time jobs. So, if you suddenly find yourself without a job, at least you’re not alone.

Your current state of unemployment doesn’t have to be the end of your career, however. You can survive this minor detour and find a way to make your layoff payoff.

Here are some dos and don’ts to help you surive unemployment:

DO make job-hunting your job. Now is the time to update your resume or CV, create a digital resume, reach out to networks, attend networking events, contact a headhunter and sign up for online job boards. It’s harder than ever to find a new job, but there still are jobs to be had. You can’t expect one to fall into your lap, though. You have to go out and get it.

DON’T sit back and feel sorry for yourself. Thanks to the miserable economy, being unemployed is nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s just a fact of life, no matter how talented or qualified you are. Stay positive.

DO take the opportunity to enhance your skills. Rather than spending your free time on the couch, you could be spending it in the classroom. Taking courses in your field or earning additional certification will make you that much more marketable to potential employers.

DON’T burn bridges with your employers. Having a glowing recommendation from your former supervisors can only help you. Additionally, if your company weathers the current economic crisis and you are still out of a job, staying in touch, and in good graces, will keep you high on the list for rehiring.

DO curb your spending. Since there’s no way to predict when or if you will find a new job, you can’t afford to keep spending like you did. Cut back on any luxuries you can live without like gym memberships and eating out.

DON’T get too comfortable. Not having to wake at the crack of dawn to get to your office can spoil you quickly. Resist the temptation to stay in bed with the morning shows. Stick to your normal routine so it won’t be a shock to your system when you’re working again.

DO take an interim job to tide you over. It may take a while to find a job that’s comparable to the one you lost. In the meantime, stay busy and earn income in a job, even if you're overqualified for it.

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