The job market sucks in a lot of fields right now, I think. I'm one of those "laid off after decades" people (well, 1.7 decades ) - I worked at ONE company as a research chemist for all those years and was laid off almost 2 years ago. Having all of my experience in the "wrong" industry (semiconductors/telecommunications) and being 40 at the time, no one was willing to hire me as a chemist. Frustrated, I decided to use my science background to become a patent agent and go to law school - I did this for a year and a half, after which I found myself completely burnt out. So I quit my patent agent job back in November, finished up the semester at law school, and then dropped out. So, since no one wants an over-40 chemist who still has all the "wrong" experience, I've decided to become a high school chemistry teacher, and am taking my certification exams in two days. (Wish me luck!)
It's certainly tough out there!
Anyway, this is all much more than any of you wanted to know about me.
I think in an economy like this one, you have to be very flexible and think about what kind of jobs ARE available for people with your particular skill set, rather than strictly focus on getting your dream job in your dream industry. I think you just have to be a little creative right now regarding what kind of job you might be qualified for, if only as a temporary stopgap until something opens up in the field you REALLY want to get into.
As much as hate to do it, next week after my exams I'm going to have to get some kind of completely unrelated job to tide me over temporarily.
But hang in there, mabelle - we'll all come out on the other side of this.