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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Jobs Open in 'efinancial' Field

Q.1 I added IT courses to my business major so that I can find a job in the "efinancial' field. Now I hear that hiring is expected to fall during the next year. Do you have any statistics?

Ans Fortunately, tracks those job opportunities by markets and reports that while recruitment markets were sticky this past year, with candidates reluctant to move and time to fill lengthening, jobs were difficult to fill. Looking to 2013, the report finds the skill sets that remain most in demand are risk and technology, followed by  sales, and compliance. So it seems your training will fit right in. The only downside is that most employers seek people with 2-5 and 6-10 year experience brackets, up considerably compared to last year's outlook, and opportunities for entry-level positions provide a slightly weaker outlook.

Q2 I keep hearing that I must be careful about what I write on my Facebook pages while I'm looking for a job, but everyone I know is writing everything they do and think all day and I wonder if it really is as important as people claim.

Ans. Indeed it is if you are seeking employment. It can help or hinder your search unless you use caution. Recruiters use social media sites to get a really good profile of people they recruit., a resource for online schools, launched a new infographic titled "Social Resumes" about how social media is changing job recruiting for both  job candidates and recruiters.  It shows how you can use social media sites to craft this online presence, highlighting their volunteer work, membership in professional organizations and work experience. Just remember to leave out whom you dated last week, and what you ate for lunch today.

Q. 3 I have changed my gynecology/obstetrics practice many times since I started, mainly because of rising overhead and insurance costs. After 20 years, those skyrocketing costs forced me to eliminate obstetrics and hospital affiliations ten years ago. Soon after, I moved to share offices with another gynecologist. I now work three days a week only with gynecology patients. Now my office partner is joining a large  hospital group and leaving this office. I'm thinking of remodeling two rooms in our large home for my office and wonder if my patients, who have been loyal all these years, will stay with me.

Ans. It's important to check with your village, city or town and make sure you are allowed to use part of your residence as an office, although today many people do. Make sure fire and zoning requirements are met. Your patients should absolutely remain loyal if they have been with you so many years because doctors, and especially gynecologists, usually develop a strong bond of trust and confidence with long-time patients, as you obviously have. They may even prefer the comfort of your home to a standard medical office. (As a woman doctor, you probably warm  your instruments before using them on a patient-and place socks over cold metal stirrups.)

Q.4. I'm a single retired teacher and work part-time as a librarian because my city and state have destroyed my teacher's pension and I can't count on that for retirement anymore. Also, because I belonged to that city pension system, I don't get federal Social Security. I always rented an apartment but recently my financial advisor convinced me this is a good time to buy a condo as an investment so I won't be giving away that monthly rent check. He stressed prices are low, as are mortgage rates and I'm sure it was a very good deal. But now I'm having second thoughts. After moving in, I wonder if that was the wise thing to do. If I live another 20 years I really don't have enough savings to keep going, and perhaps I could have made a wiser investment that would help more. Your thoughts?

Ans. If it isn't time to change financial advisors, it's certainly time to interview at least two others to get their professional views of what they would have suggested after considering exactly how much money you have in a savings , or other, accounts. Since you can't depend on a monthly check from the pension to cover that condo, one wonders why your adviser wanted to saddle you with it? Since you are young and healthy enough to have a new job, ask the new advisor (if you choose one) to help you begin a new retirement plan. It's sad that you are locking this barn door after the money's gone.


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