It's an uncertain job market out there, with many of us looking for career moves outside our first chosen path. Whether you're making a career change or reentering after spending time raising a family, it can be a challenge to understand where you fit. Here is a breakdown of assets you bring to the table and the best industries for your skills. (Your job may not be as safe as you think. Don't miss How Secure Is Your Job?.)

IN PICTURES: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

People Skills
Are you the person everyone looks to for advice, or to solve a problem? Maybe people tell you that you're always so friendly and helpful. These are people skills, a coveted attribute companies look for in employees. Since all of have to work with other people - and often customers - throughout the day, someone with people skills is a real asset to any organization.

The obvious choice for someone with people skills is in any customer service capacity, so look for jobs in retail or other service industries. For an entry-level job, consider a job as a home health aide: the Department of Labor expects a 50% increase in jobs in this sector by 2018.

For better pay, explore other careers in the health care sector, like medical assistant to occupational therapist but be sure to check the education and licensing requirements for these positions in your state. The health care industry is a great option for someone with people skills, as it's a key requirement in this sector. (Why not get career advice from stars who have made it back to the top? Check out Top Celebrity Career Comeback Tips.)
Computer Skills

Are you that person who always knows how to fix a computer problem? Maybe you've acquired your skills through education, or just because you have a knack for all things tech - either way, your skills are sought-after by just about any employer.

The software engineering sector is expected to grow by 21% by 2018, making this industry an obvious place to look for jobs if you have computer skills. If you're not formally trained, consider going back to school; a bachelor's degree is preferred for the best jobs and pay, but certification often suffices. If you have an artistic flair, consider web and/or graphic design as a career path. (Stuck in a dead-end job or just looking to get ahead? Don't miss 8 Career Risks That Pay Off.)

Analytical Skills
You're that guy or gal who always sees the big picture, understands how the pieces work together, and can see a solution to complex problems. Where others are overwhelmed, you see a challenge in difficult issues and can break them down to manageable pieces - you have analytical skills that many employers look for.

Consider a career in the legal profession if you have what it takes to analyze. This industry requires you to look at real-world conflicts, and analyze the law to come up with a solution. There has been a strong recent increase in hiring in the legal sector, up 29% year over year in July 2010 according to a recent Monster.com study. If you prefer to work with your hands and not wear a suit, consider transportation and material moving (up 27% in job postings) or production (up 22%) as these sectors require sharp and analytical minds to improve safety, efficiency and solve problems.

IN PICTURES: 7 Interview Don'ts

Detail-Oriented Skills
Do you have an eye for detail? Maybe you're that person who always notices when a painting is hanging just a little crooked, or when your change at the store is a penny short. Detail-oriented people are an asset to any workplace, and in high demand in certain industries.

If you have an eye for detail, accounting just may be the place for you. Sure, most people think accounting is boring, but this industry is expected to grow jobs at a rate of 22% by 2018, making it a smart move for those with detail-oriented skills. Accounting jobs range from entry-level bookkeeping positions to six-figure earning CPA jobs. If balancing the books is not your thing, look for jobs in production, where attention to detail is vital, and job postings are up about 22% from last year. (Make sure your new career isn't on this list. Read The 9 Worst Career Choices Right Now.)

Creative Skills
Do people always laud you for your creativity? Creative skills are often undervalued as a job attribute, but there are industries where this talent is highly sought after.

Obvious choices for those with a creative side are careers in the arts or in interior design. For better job prospects in this tough economy, consider graphic or web design, where creativity in combination with computer skills are in high demand as more business is moving to the web. If you have the resources and stamina, consider going back to school to become an architect, where jobs are expected to increase by 16% over the next eight years, and creativity is in high demand. (Be creative in your job applications too! Don't miss 6 Extreme Ways To Land Your Dream Job.)

The Bottom Line
If you're unsure about where your skills will take you in this tough job market, think outside the box. Match your skills with industries where demand is up, and you may find yourself on an exciting new career path. (For related reading, take a look at 4 New Job-Search Trends.)

For the latest financial news, check out Water Cooler Finance: The Post-Stimulus Slump.

Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    Lost Your Job? 6 Things to Do Immediately

    If you’ve lost your job, shoring up your finances as best you can will make it easier to get back on your feet again when that next position rolls around.
  2. Professionals

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    Both brokers and traders buy and sell securities, but there are some subtle differences between the two careers.
  3. Professionals

    Financial Career Options For Professionals

    A career in finance can take a business professional down many different paths.
  4. FA

    The Basics of The Series 79 Exam

    Passing the Series 79 exam is usually necessary for anyone who wants to work in investment banking.
  5. Professionals

    10 Steps To A Career In Hedge Funds

    The first step to getting your hedge fund career started is to be sure you really want to work for a hedge fund. If you do, it’ll show in your actions.
  6. Professionals

    Business Analyst: Job Description & Average Salary

    Learn the different types of business analyst careers available; understand the skills and education needed and the salary you can expect to make.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    How To Make Money With Domain Names

    Domain names are hot commodities in today’s tech-centric world, and for good reason.
  8. Professionals

    How To Get A Job On Wall Street

    Although Wall Street has its share of problems, finding people who want to become traders isn’t one of them.
  9. Professionals

    Financial Analyst: Job Description & Average Salary

    Understand the types of career paths you can take as a financial analyst, and learn the education and skills you need to launch a career in this field.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Top Resume Strategies For New Grads In Finance

    Your resume is the key to getting that first great job out of college. Here’s how to get it noticed.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I get started with a career in asset management?

    The asset management industry has a variety of different career paths. Depending on what asset management area you would ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Other than accounting, what does a corporate finance job involve?

    While a corporate finance job almost always involves accounting in some capacity, there are many additional job duties and ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  2. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
Trading Center