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I can see the handwriting on the wall, and I don't think I am going to be with this company much longer. I would like to move into an industry that is stronger, more secure, and offers more opportunity, and I was wondering if you can suggest some growth fields.

If your antennae are indicating that your tenure with your present employer may be reaching the expiration date, it is a good idea to be doing some preliminary shopping in the job marketplace. Even in the midst of all the layoffs, some sectors are still experiencing a good deal of growth and are poised to continue to do so.

Some of the key growth sectors include health care, education, information technology, mortgage banking, security, and computers and data processing. Obviously, competition for jobs in these areas is heated, but there are steps you can take right now to be a hot applicant.

Employers typically feel quite positive about applicants with leadership aptitude, ability, and experience. At the very least, you should consider taking some classes in such areas as supervision, management, leadership, and communication.

It is equally important for you to be comfortable and competent with computers, the Internet, and programs commonly used in the workplace. Some training in these areas can also be very helpful, as employers tend to seek applicants who make real efforts to keep themselves technically sharp.

There are still opportunities in strong and growing sectors, especially for applicants who demonstrate that they are strong and growing, too.

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