For years, so-called job search advice gurus have pointed to government jobs as sanctuaries of stability and security. After all, they said, the government rarely shrinks and always grows. They are less picky about performance, and you are guaranteed pay raises just for sticking around. Well, as events are proving in California and other bankrupt states nationwide, the security of government jobs is not as sure as it used to be.

The California state government will begin laying off 20,000 government workers starting today in an effort to respond to falling tax revenues and a $42-billion budget deficit. Layoffs will include workers in health and human services, corrections, and other agencies that receive money from the state's general fund. So, you thought government service was bad now? Wait until they take 20,000 more workers off the job. People will be camping overnight just to make sure they get their registration renewed. That is, until they realize that car registrations have gone up to $250.

This same trend is continuing in other states that have watched their breadwinner businesses fail while taking on additional debt to fund state projects. In fact, the majority of the states in the union are bankrupt, facing a crisis similar to California's.

So, it's time to face the facts: government jobs are not secure. Government jobs, in the end, are paid for with taxpayer money. When a recession hits, taxpayer money goes down. The result: government jobs are just as vulnerable as other jobs. It just takes a little while longer.

The lesson: its time for us to rethink all of our preconceived notions about jobs and spending and security. One thing is for sure: this recession will change the rules for everyone involved and those who survive with their shirts will be those who learn to rely on their own merits.

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