Ultimate Job Security Guide

Last Updated Jan 7, 2010 11:50 AM EST

Unless you're a professor with tenure or your boss is named "Dad," you know that true employment security is all but dead. No longer does working hard and doing well at your job guarantee even a modicum of confidence about the future; the Great Recession took care of that quaint notion. Get used to the idea that you could lose your job at any time, for any reason. And if that painful meeting with the HR drone does come to pass, you'll be vying with an army of talented candidates competing for the rare opening — one job for every six hopefuls. According to recent Labor Department statistics, the average search lasts more than seven months.

In this new environment, working hard is no longer enough. You have to take a bird's eye view of your company and industry, spot changes as they occur, and shift your efforts quickly in response. And you need to start thinking more in terms of income security rather than job security; that may mean finding a second income stream or working toward a career change now. Likewise, if you're been laid off or see the writing on the wall, you have to be aware of what it takes to get a job today, from avoiding these resume gaffes to mastering the new job interview process, which has become increasingly drawn-out and intense. In this short video, watch as a career coach teaches executives how to ace an interview. For more advice — and, we hope, a bit of comic relief — follow our Twitter feed of interview goofs. Here's your guide to the new work order: