Yesterday’s bummer unemployment statistics (8.1 percent, 651,000 jobs lost in February) can cast a pall over anyone’s weekend, whether you’re unemployed or still hanging on to your job.

The New York Times’ Room For Debate blog ran a forum, “What To Do When You Lose Your Job,” in yesterday’s edition.  It put my experiences over the last year in positive perspective and inspired me to keep looking for new career opportunities. 

From Katherine S. Newman:

Teenage kids who learn how to pitch in to the family coffers and help with the care of their younger siblings make a difference. Neighbors, fellow parishioners and P.T.A. contacts who are still working should remember that anything they can do to help their unemployed friends get back into the game is a blessing. Most of all, the newly jobless need to remember this maelstrom was not of their making and whatever they have to do to survive will be honorable.

Michael Melcher:

At the risk of creating a national deflationary spiral, I would advise people to cut their expenses in order to buy themselves more time. (One phrase I am hearing a lot is: “I can last XXX months without changing my lifestyle.” Why are people thinking this way? If you are not earning income, your lifestyle should change.)

Michael Gates Gill:

Make a leap with faith rather than huddle in fear is the single most important piece of advice I can give to anyone seeking a job.

Bob Adler:

I also had a lot of help — my unofficial coach who told me to focus on activity rather than results; my former boss at Chubb who offered me a small project that got me started down the path toward consulting; a friend who gave me a chance to help out at a worthy nonprofit organization. And of course, my wife who stood by me patiently as I floundered around.