Entering the San Francisco Bay Area job market can be a daunting task, especially for new college graduates with little or no work experience. Yet even seasoned workers may benefit from professional advice from a life and career coach, particularly those approaching 50 and having difficulty finding gainful employment.

(Photo Courtesy of Doug Owen)

(Photo Courtesy of Doug Owen)

Doug Owen, founder and owner of Doug Owen Life Coaching, spent nearly 30 years working with distinguished recruiting firms in Silicon Valley. Now a resident of Santa Cruz, Owen has provided valuable advice to an incredible array of professionals, from CEOs, physicians, attorneys, project managers, church ministers and graduate students.

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With high-profile CEOs like Google’s Eric Schmidt enlisting the services of a life and career coach, new and current workers of any profession can greatly enhance their unique talents with a coach. Working with a career coach can not only instill greater confidence in an individual, a coach can also assist in getting noticed when invited for an interview.

Although Owen foresees a challenging road ahead for older workers and new college graduates, he does expect certain industries to continue posting new job ads.

Can you talk about your background?

“I grew up in a small town in Wales, graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in physics and received an MBA from the Stanford Business School in 1966. My family lived in Palo Alto, and I spent almost 30 years in a recruiting practice in Silicon Valley. We moved to Santa Cruz in 2000 and I have worked as a life and career coach since then.”

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What is your expert opinion on the job market in the SF Bay Area in the upcoming year?

“There’s no simple answer. I think it will vary widely from region to region, and within industries and markets. The gap between the (relatively) well-off employed and the poorly, stretched, under and unemployed will continue to widen. However, those who put in the effort to prosper will see results with enough persistence.”

What industries do you foresee as having the strongest job growth?

“I see an upturn in construction, renewable energy, technology, tourism, medical and pharmaceuticals.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.