At it's simplest form, a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth in real Gross Domestic Product.
Basically, any period with a high rate of unemployment, inflation and poor wholesale-retail sales can arguably be considered a recession. The good news is that this economic trend is a bottoming-out period, only lasting around a year. Of course, if you've been laid off, that year could feel like an eternity.
Duane Morin of Commute Smarter has written Survive the Layoff - Practical Wisdom for the Unwillingly Unemployed. From gaining a better understand of the philosophy of the transition to reaching out to references, if you've been laid off or feel that you are on the verge, this eBook can be a nice starting point.
Here's an excerpt. The entire thing is downloadable below.
ASAP is Not An Acceptable Timeline
"Naturally you’re hoping to get a new job that starts the day after your current one ends. Barring that, “as soon as possible” has a nice ring to it.
But you also need to think worst case, and ask yourself what your maximum time is. Will you be okay financially if you’re looking for a job for three months, six months, or one year?
This is why your budget and cash flow statements are so important. To begin with, you should know your living expenses for one month. Assume for the moment that you’re not going to change anything. Look at your savings, and determine how many months it will last. Remember to factor in some things that might change a few months down the road, such as health insurance and unemployment income. You don’t want to be hit with a nasty surprise three months from now.
Where does that leave you? Hopefully with a few more months than you expected. If you don’t like the answer, look at the budget and see if you can trim those living expenses and get even more out of your savings.
If your search is going to take several months, the time of year can work against you. Summer is notoriously bad for hiring managerial and executive jobs because the people that make the hiring decisions are off on their vacations. The winter months are equally bad because companies are closing out their financial books for the year and looking to put new hires onto next year’s books.
There’s nothing you can do other than be aware of it."