Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Smoothing the way to a new career

Q. I've been fired and I don't have a clue as to what to do next because there are no jobs in my field and I don't know what else I'm good for. Do you have any ideas?

Ans. You're not the only one in that situation today and Gail Geary, a career transition coach and author of the recently- released book "Your Next Career, Second Edition," says shortage of money and time are two of the most common roadblocks her clients face when contemplating a career change. 
 
Here are some of the strategies she suggests for a faster, more affordable career transition:
 
* Do some research to familiarize yourself with the certification, training and education requirements needed to qualify for jobs that may interest you. This research will also open your eyes to the salary range and employment outlook you can expect from working in particular jobs and industries. Geary recommends utilizing resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook or conducting information interviews with people in the types of positions that interest you.

* Consider working in your position of interest as an assistant, apprentice, intern or volunteer. These opportunities will allow you to update or acquire the required skills and credentials to be gainfully employed.

* Look for opportunities through temporary employment agencies, which often offer free training in computer skills. Often, temporary positions develop into permanent jobs.
 
*   Consider self-employment and contract employment as valid career options. Take an entrepreneurial assessment to find out if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. 

Go slow--and smell the roses

Finding the hidden job market