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Surprisingly Marketable Job Skills

Surprisingly Marketable Job Skills

By Heather Boerner, for Yahoo! Hot Jobs

Surfing Facebook, cracking jokes, gossiping or obsessing about global warming. At best, these behaviors -- when done on the job -- can distract you from paid work. At worst, some can be grounds for disciplinary action. 

Think again.

"This is what's required today: Look at what you love to do, and find the skill in that," says Kathy Caprino, author of Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman's Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose. "That's the key to success in this economy."

Check out these pursuits-turned-skills and their potential career matches:

Internet Addiction = Social Media Publicist

When Termeh Mazhar worked from home as a freelancer, he hid his obsession with YouTube fat-cat videos, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace from his clients. Today, they're his job. As a social media publicist, Mazhar works for a PR agency generating buzz for his clients on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as writing his own blog and tracking his client's online competitors.

Search social media jobs.

A Flair for the Dramatic/Comedic Timing = Teaching

It's not all you need, but commanding a room is key to teaching success.

"People who are natural performers often tend to be good one-on-one communicators," says Alexandra Levit, author of How'd You Score That Gig? A Guide to the Coolest Jobs and How to Get Them. "If you want to educate people effectively, you also have to be able to entertain them."

Search teacher jobs.

Gossiping = Blogger

If you have a flair for the dramatic, a strong work ethic, and an ability to hunt down good tidbits and make sure they're accurate, you can thrive as a professional blogger. Companies like Gawker hire writers to pen entertaining and newsy bits several times a day. Or build up your expertise in a subject area and market your work until advertising revenues support you.

Search blogger jobs.

A Stint at the Gap = Almost Any Corporate Job

"Young professionals often tell me they don't want to put their summer job at the Gap on their resume, but as we talk about it more, inevitably we uncover loads of experience that's useful in today's business world," says Levit. "Nowadays, every department is a business and every team member a salesperson. Retail experience means you know how to engage in activities that meet customer needs."

Search retail jobs.

Getting Mom into the Right Nursing Home = Elder Care Consultant

"Frankly, it's a relief for the Baby Boomer generation, sandwiched between elderly parents and children, to get some help," says Caprino. "People in this field must be compassionate, organized, connected to a great network of lawyers and financial consultants, and understand the law and insurance. They really provide a deep array of consulting services." Often, they have a degree in social work.

Search elder care jobs.

An Obsession with Global Warming = Sustainability Coordinator

It takes more than watching "An Inconvenient Truth," but if you follow the scientific data on climate change and have a facility with numbers, you may be able to parlay that into a job helping corporations, universities and colleges reduce their carbon footprints. The jobs often require an environmental studies or engineering degree.

Search sustainability jobs.

Taking time to evaluate your passions and all your skills could yield a promising new career path.

Education programs to fit your profession