Fellow WalletPop blogger Lita Epstein's new book Surviving a Layoff could not be better timed, as our national unemployment rate climbs and our personal wealth evaporates. For a comprehensive and practical blueprint to guide the newly unemployed, this book can't be beat.

I speak from experience, having been downsized just a few years ago. The typical layoff process that Epstein describes in detail are almost point for point my experience, from the climate leading up to the decision to the process of disengagement to the grieving and emotional struggles that follow.

The strength of the book, however, is not descriptive, but prescriptive. The book is divided into week-long chapters that lay out in detail what the disenfranchised should expect and what he/she should be doing to move forward. People in this situation need the kind of clear, short-term goals that she describes, from creating a resume to taking stock of contacts, from reaching out for support to identifying personal strengths and enthusiasms.

She also explores career paths beyond working for others. The sections on the options of consulting or establishing one's own business provide alternatives worthy of consideration.

Most people who have been laid off or downsized find that, down the road, they are better for having been forced to reboot their careers. However, when it happens, one can feel at sea, struggling with the question "what do I do now? Surviving a Layoff provides clear, timely and useful answers and a blueprint to guide the laid-off back to land of the gainfully employed.

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