Are you about to be laid off, terminated or have your position eliminated? Maybe you're suffering from downsizing distress, pink slip panic, layoff letdown or RIF (reduction in force) rage? If so, you're probably thinking ahead and considering your next job opportunity. Building on a previous column I wrote called "Lifetime Employment Opportunities" (published in the December 2003 issue of DM Review) in which I suggested that there would be a significant need for positions in areas such as business ethics instruction and forensic accounting, I'd like to present new areas where I think there might be job openings or at least opportunities.

Here, in David Letterman top 10 format, are my new ideas for employment opportunities to help you get that next job and recover from downsizing distress - or if not recover from it, at least laugh to help you cope with it.

10. Compliance consultant. Doesn't it seem there are now huge numbers of laws, rules and regulations companies must comply with? There have always been regulations, but it seems as though there are more now, with Sarbanes-Oxley, the USA Patriot Act, SEC rules, etc. If the Federal regulations aren't enough, there are state and local laws, which, if your company operates in multiple states, can really keep you hopping. Surely there must be a big call for consultants to help companies comply with ever-growing, ever-changing regulations.

9. Investigator with the SEC. Speaking of the Securities & Exchange Commission, it certainly seems as though they would be hiring, based on the number of investigations you read about in the newspaper every day. Name ten public companies that haven't been at some point in time, or aren't now, under investigation by the SEC. Okay, name one!

8. Stockbroker for Martha Stewart. I think there may be a real opportunity here, especially if you're not averse to taking a wee bit of risk.

7. Flu shot vaccine manufacturer. It may be a stretch, but someone needs to fix the situation so we have adequate amounts of vaccine when flu season comes around again.

6. Airline bankruptcy trustee. You know, it just doesn't seem as though the traditional airline business model is going to make it. That could be bad because there is the very real possibility it could seriously disrupt your travel habits. However, look on the bright side. Think of the potential need for more bankruptcy trustees! I can just see the ads on late night TV hawking airline bankruptcy trustee training!

5. Public speaking coach for President Bush. Don't worry. I'm not going to bring up politics at all, but doesn't it seem as though this kind of position is sorely needed? Turn all those experiences giving presentations at work into cash. The American public will thank you. And, think of your contribution to American history!

4. Security guard for a professional sports franchise. Lots of opportunity here, it would seem. The Detroit Pistons have probably already increased their staff after the Ron Artest incident; however, there are 29 other pro basketball teams, not to mention 32 pro football, 30 pro baseball and 30 pro hockey teams.

3. Public relations consultant for a pharmaceutical company. Based on Merck's withdrawal of the drug Vioxx, and other issues that seem to arise each week, pharmaceutical companies will probably be looking for public relations expertise to help improve their tarnished images. If you're qualified, go for it!

2. Staff for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Now here is a busy staff. With new, frequent and very public investigations coming out of his office, those of you who like jobs with a lot of visibility should apply.

1. And my number 1 idea for new employment opportunities: Lawyer for either technology company acquirers or their takeover targets. Oracle's recent acquisition of PeopleSoft and Semantec's merger with VERITAS are two examples of the consolidation wave that is building in the software industry. If you're a lawyer or thinking about becoming one, grab that wave!

If you're about to become a corporate casualty, there are many opportunities. You just have to get creative and determine where the greatest need might be!

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