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Today’s economic news is mixed. July employment numbers were through the roof. Unemployment remains exceptionally low. But then we read:

• Layoffs are sweeping America as recession fears mount.

• Half of US companies are reducing headcount or planning for this year.

• Seventy-eight percent of employees said they were worried about their job security.

• Apple, Wayfair, and Google are the latest companies to report cuts in August. So how should you respond?

The smart play is to follow the advice of this unlikely group of economic sages — Benjamin Disraeli, Zig Ziglar, Maya Angelou, and my father:

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

If you have not had to look for a job in the last three years, or if you do not have a career emergency preparedness plan, do not delay preparing for the worst.