It's the core question for most workers: What career should I pick?
If you're looking for quick-and-dirty, try the Department of Labor's Skills Profiler. It inventories your skills and suggests matching careers.
I know a few people in their 40s and 50s who reinvented themselves the old-fashioned way: They went back to school. One became a high school teacher. Another became a psychologist. And a third went through an extensive wine certification program and became the marketing director for a wine retailer.
School is like the Play-Doh factory of career reinvention; you go in one way, and come out as something completely different. There's no guarantee that you'll succeed in your new form, but at least you've got the credentials.
It won't be news to many that the optimism in the economy -- more spending, more investing, rising housing prices, and a soaring stock market -- hasn't trickled down to the unemployed. While companies are posting more vacancies, they're not hiring to fill them all. In fact, employers are taking much longer to hire than when the financial crisis hit.
"Employers are hiring and they don't have their pick of the litter anymore ... but they're still looking for the ideal candidate," explains Jason Faberman, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who analyzed Labor Department data with economists Steve Davis and John Haltiwanger.
Shouldn't it be easy to get a job if you are more than qualified -- even overqualified -- for the opportunity? If you're an experienced engineer with a Ph.D. and you're having trouble landing an entry-level engineering job, it can be tough on your morale. However, you should not be surprised when employers don't jump at the chance to hire someone who isn't a perfect fit for the job, even if that means turning away someone with too many qualifications.
By Susan Ricker
Paychecks can vary based on factors including industry, location and company, though there's generally a standard pay range for every job function. Yet, many people have a preconception of what workers in certain fields earn, such as the assumption that all doctors and lawyers have high incomes. However, not every job earns the high -- or low -- pay you may expect. Here are eight professions with annual wages that may surprise you.
By Susan Ricker
If you think creative jobs such as design or writing are impossible gigs to get, think again. Creative staffing agency Vitamin T compiled the top five most in-demand creative jobs in North America, as well as the skills needed to get the job. Companies of every size and type need creative individuals to help their business grow, and these roles top the list of most needed.
"We've seen a surge of new job opportunities in the creative space requiring high-demand digital skills," says Susie Hall, president of Vitamin T. "Our fastest-growing areas are creative talent who bring strong user experience and frontend development skills, with growth rates of 51 and 75 percent respectively over the prior year."