Book Review: Where the Jobs Are Now

by Xin Lu on 25 February 2010 1 comment

Currently the unemployment rate is hovering around 10% nationwide, and millions of people have been out of work for months or even years. Where the Jobs Are Now by Joe Watson is a timely book that shows job seekers where they should look for their next position.

One thing Watson makes clear in the introduction of the book is that many of the jobs lost in the recent recession are not coming back and job seekers need to adapt to the needs of the new economy. The first seven chapters of the book profile industries that are rapidly expanding. These industries are healthcare, biotechnology, education, green energy, government, security, and information technology. In each chapter the author gives a detailed breakdown of what types of personnel are needed in each industry, and an analysis on why these industries are still growing despite of the recession. Chapter eight talks about entrepreneurship, and chapter nine profiles a number of professions that are considered recession proof.

My favorite part of the book is that at the end of each chapter there is a personal story from someone who transitioned into the hot field discussed in the chapter. Although the stories are quite different, the job seekers profiled all seem to embrace change. Some of them went back to school, and some relocated to another state to find the jobs in the growth industries. That ability to adapt is exactly what job seekers need in the current environment.

Another theme that repeats in the book is that many skills can be carried across different industries so job seekers should not discount a job listing just because he or she is unfamiliar with the products of a certain organization. The seven growth sectors profiled in the book hire a wide range of employees, and not all of the positions require retraining. One particular story tells of a man who worked in finance for the paper industry for most of his professional career. He applied for a finance job in a biotechnology firm even though he did not know what biotech companies did. He found that his skills were transferable, and this is probably true for many others who are looking for a change to a more stable career.

The key lesson in this book is that job seekers need to find jobs in organizations that are growing no matter what their skills are. The book ends with a long compilation of websites and resources for those who want to transition into a growing industry. I think this book is great for those who need a little bit of direction and inspiration in their job search. It is also a book that gives readers hope that the employment situation will get better.

Have you made a transition to a new career in this recession? How did you do it?

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book and this post contains an affiliate link.

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I'm a defense contractor, so far government jobs are good. If it wasnt for national security my IT job would be off shored in no time.