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Letters have been streaming in from readers with career questions, no doubt similar to some of yours. I've picked two:

A seasoned research scientist wonders what to do if his company downsizes and he loses his job. Are there positions for which the researcher's skills would be relevant, or would he need retraining?

"Not everyone in the world of biotech has state-of-the-art molecular biology skills," says recruiter and career counselor David Jensen, Search Masters, Sedona, Ariz. He advises people to examine how their skills will benefit an employer. "Folks with years of experience sometimes forget that something in their backgrounds may be very applicable to current employers." Don't forget the value of nontechnical skills such as supervising employees and students, publishing papers, and managing projects.

Chris Jock, general manager, Kelly Scientific Resources, Troy, Mich., emphasizes hot skills in demand, such as high-throughput screening, bioinformatics, combinatorial chemistry, and molecular...

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