Weston resident Steven Goetz has a head for color.

After decades in the salon trade magazine publishing business, he has made the jump to something a bit more blue collar, buying CertaPro Painters of Fairfield.

"It's exciting. It's a lot of work. It's hard work," Goetz, 55, said of his new business. Goetz said he runs the business, concentrating on sales and marketing. He has three crews of experienced painters who work the brushes and rollers. Goetz said he also spent months in training and even longer researching what kind of business he wanted to go into after closing his last magazine, Hair Color & Design, a trade publication.

"I just felt there were going to be better opportunities somewhere else," Goetz said. "It was time for a change."

He said he spent a year looking into various businesses, and CertaPro had the biggest up-side. He said he could use his talents and experience to expand the business, whereas if he bought a gas station or similar concern he would likely only do as well as the last guy.

And he said he's been able to transfer a lot of his experience into this field.

Debra Keel, vice president of operations at Career Resources, a nonprofit job search and training center, said Goetz did something she would like other experienced workers to start doing: take stock of their skills and realize that some of them are transferable to an industry that is hiring.

Keel, who didn't counsel Goetz, has been working with lots of older workers who have lost jobs and struggled to find new ones.

Some people just need a third party to help them catalogue their skills, she said.

Next, she refers people to Onetonline.org, a U.S. Labor Department sponsored website that can help people search for occupations by interest and skill set. She said Career Resources staff will help people at the Connecticut Works offices use the website if they have trouble.

She said Goetz also followed another rule of finding work: doing research and being willing to learn new skills.

"With this, the harder and smarter you work, the better you do," Goetz said. He works in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Westport, Weston and Easton. He hopes to expand the number of crews to six as he continues to market the business.

For information on CertaPro Painters of Fairfield, visit www.fairfield.certapro.com, or call 203-227-5995. For information on Career Resources, visit careerresources.org, or call 203-333-5129.