Planning for the worst: How to prepare for unemployment

Recent unemployment statistics are somewhat frightening: last week, the Labor Department reported that new applications for unemployment insurance had jumped by 38,000 over the previous week. The number of first-time claims, 407,000, was the highest that it's been since immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

While your job is probably completely safe, it's never too early to start thinking about what you will do if the bottom falls out. A little bit of planning and preparing right now can pay major dividends if the worst happens.

Do Your Paperwork: Now would be a good time to drag out your resume and polish it up. Add in all the great things that you've done since the last time that you were worried about your future. While you're at it, you might think about drawing up a couple of different resumes. For example, a skills resume could prove very handy if you are applying for a job that isn't in your current field, but uses many of the same skills. Even a traditional resume can be re-tailored to fit a wide variety of job opportunities, so you might want to give a little thought to whether or not you want your next job to be the same as your current one.