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Hire Ground

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As the double-digit unemployment rate climbs, more Americans than ever before find themselves unemployed, underemployed or "hostage employed," trapped in an unfulfilling job for economic reasons. I fall squarely into the underemployed category; unable to find meaningful full-time work, I split my time between four separate careers -- writer, yoga teacher, new media consultant and stylist. But in the wake of the Great Recession, could I perhaps leverage these diverse skills to break into the much ballyhooed "high growth" industries of green energy, healthcare or biotechnology, amongst others?

It's hard to break into any of these industries if you've never worked in those domains. And according to Leo Hindery, Jr.'s January 12 column in the Huffington Post, unemployment in America is much worse than we ever imagined. In his piece, Hindery pulls back the veil on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' "official" unemployment rate of 10%. It's all just tricky accounting; the real unemployment figure could be as high as 19%.

At a time when the bankers who created this mess are swimming in money, where do we, the average Americans besieged by this nightmare, turn for support? One good place to start is Joe Watson's new book, Where the Jobs Are Now, (McGraw-Hill Professional).

As a 10-year business owner and veteran of revenue-boosting human capital strategies, Watson has a unique window into the employment trends coursing through the nation. Watson says the fields with the greatest growth potential include healthcare, biotechnology, green energy, education, government, and security and information technology. Follow the money, he practically advises and understand the marketplace.

Frustrated by the non-stop media coverage around these emerging high-growth industries -- while offering no real-world advice on how to break in -- Watson sat down and put his insights on paper. Where the Jobs Are Now provides a simple, strategic roadmap for scoring in these new employment frontiers. Beyond the core skills needed to break in, the book offers specific guidance on how to get those skills, not to mention a robust Growth Jobs Appendix, including relevant industry websites, scholarships and loans, etc.

Mr. Watson's enlightening chapter on government job opportunities helped me think outside of the box -- maybe there is room out there for a yogini-government agent after all. Or, perhaps I launch an eco-friendly Ayurvedic beauty product line or eco-chic fashion accessory, or I leverage my know-how around complementary yoga therapy to break into healthcare.

With the economic realities hitting home for many individuals, Where the Jobs Are Now gives people (including me) a proactive resource to stay positive and focused during their employment search.