Author Ben Cheever knows what it takes to look for - and land - a job.

A couple of years ago, there were too many jobs and not enough talent: We all learned about the talent wars. This year, there aren't enough jobs and too much talent: We're all learning about the talent woes. This environment requires people to come to terms with a dramatically reduced sense of themselves.

Why does the loss of a job also carry with it a loss of self-esteem? Because for many of us, a job is more than just a paycheck; it's also a vital part of who we are. So what's the right response to tougher times? How about reading a book? Not just another book on the color of of your parachute or the inner search for the real you. Instead, consider Selling Ben Cheever: Back to Square One in a Service Economy (Bloomsbury Publishing).

About a decade ago, author Ben Cheever lost his job as an editor and condenser at Reader's Digest. He also happened to be a resident of Westchester - a suburban New York community hit hard by the closing of an enormous IBM plant nearby. In response to his own sudden job loss and to the general unemployment all around him, Cheever decided to write a book about starting over. Where do all the jobless go? What does it take to ½nd a job in a tough economy?

To answer those questions, he spent ½ve years applying for, training for, and - more often than not - getting rejected from many low-wage service jobs. Here, Cheever offers advice on starting over.

1. You are not your job title. It's a familiar observation that we defne ourselves by what we do. "We spend a lot of time at our work. It's diffcult not to invest feelings in something that draws off that much energy," says Cheever. "Where we go wrong now is to identify too closely with a particular employer." It's important to think bigger. "Concentrate on the industry and on your particular skill," he advises. "The job may vanish. The industry probably won't."