My two pieces of advice which might seem obvious but bear repeating are:<quoted text>
My company was aquired in early fall 2008, so I know were you are at.
Rumors are probably running wild, but ask HR if they are going to do a Reduction in Force (RIF) and if they will be offering outplacement services. That will have been negotiated as part of the aquisition. Try to be discreet in your job search just in case.
Our shop laid off people in waves. Everyone did not get RIF's at once.
LinkedIn is great but face to face/phone call to aquaintance networking is better. Industry groups like FruitFly Farmers of Florida ( or whatever field you are in) are excellent sources of information. Informational interviews are a good way to practice while not having to actually ask someone for a job. Professionals tend to get a kick out of making an intoduction or passing along industry gossip.
Read Bloomberg.com - its fre. WSJ is subscription only
Join LinkedIn groups. Post answers to comments. Headhunters look for people who are "out there " and assertive in their field, not just applicants.
If Sam offers substantive suggestions on job search or head hunting, pay attention.
I lent my outplacement stuff to my BIL who was RIF'd last year but can get it back to give you specific suggestions,if you want.
1) Trust no one in your office with whom you do not have a close personal relationship. This is the epitome of "every man for himself" time. People might seem like they are being helpful, but be skeptical, they are likely very interested in getting a leg up on their future competition for a job and not so interested in actually helping you.
2) As soon as you can, go on a couple of interviews for jobs you don't care about for practice so that when a job you do want presents itself, you are ready.