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E-mail career questions for possible use in this column to Joyce Lain Kennedy at jlk@sunfeatures.com; use "Reader Question" for subject ...

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Joyce Lain Kennedy

Joyce Lain Kennedy

Careers Now

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How to be there for pal blindsided by job loss

November 23, 2014

DEAR JOYCE: To his utter shock, last week my friend Ted suddenly lost his job of 23 years along with 14 others at his workplace. There were no warning signs.

  • What to do when office newbie's manners need a remake

    November 19, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A June college graduate is grating on everyone's nerves. Big time!

  • New: informational interviewing now moving online

    November 16, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Have you heard about a slick new way job seekers can get inside a company and ask one of its recruiters or other employees some specific questions and get fast answers? Is this a great idea or what? -- J.G.

  • Holiday networking: tips to score big starting today

    November 12, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Is it a time waster to hunt for a job during the holidays? -- T.N.

  • You need paper resumes to sell yourself, because?

    November 9, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I've been told that paper resumes are antiques, like manual typewriters. I find that hard to buy. Don't you? -- C.J.S.

  • Need a job? Get experience. Need experience? Get a job

    November 5, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After graduating in May with a bachelor's degree, I still don't have a job because every place I've applied wants someone with related experience. How can I get experience if no one will trust me with a job? -- S.M.

  • Millennials rising: may top workforce troops in 2015

    November 2, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: At 23, I'm detailing cars to pay rent and eat. A high school graduate, I've been trying to find a job with a future but interviewers, mostly older, blow me off. Suggestions? -- D.A.

  • Interviews: Smoke out hidden concerns

    October 29, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Using networking contacts, I have been able to arrange six job interviews in the last two weeks. Unfortunately, not one has led to a job offer. Obviously I need to improve something. Ideas? -- E.L.L.

  • How young must you be to get hired?

    October 26, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A friend advises me to shave a few years off my resume to beat ageism and get hired. What are the chances my age shaving will be revealed by a background check? -- No Initials.

  • Career launch: Breaking through the choke point

    October 22, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I graduated with top grades from a little known college in a small Southern city I hope never to see again. Despite my excellent academic record and successful summer jobs, I am offered only low-end employment in places with "no exit" signs above the doors.

  • Calling all techies: See top trending tech jobs

    October 19, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Am in my early 20s and have been working as tech support for four years. Now I am ready to commit to formal study to become a technology professional. I'll be doing informational interviews to help me choose specific specializations. Where can I find reliable figures on the most promising tech fields? -- J.J.

  • What to say when you can't say anything nice about a boss

    October 15, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: The former boss who fired me was such a snakehead I would choke if I had to say anything good about him. Why can't I just tell the truth about why I left: "Personality conflict with my manager?" What's wrong with that? - C.J.

  • New job offer? Hold the phone: points to consider

    October 12, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm ambitious and ready to move up while the job market is the best it's been in six years. Advice on making a good decision when I do get a job offer? -- I.L.

  • Why a job-search buddy may be your best idea today

    October 8, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I know the job market supposedly has picked up. Maybe so, but after more than a month of chasing new employment with no results, I'm struggling to keep smiling. My cousin suggested I find a job-search buddy to help keep my enthusiasm up. Good idea or waste of time? -- M.A.H.

  • Twelve irrepressible technologies now reinventing your life and work

    October 5, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: What does your experience and research suggest is the future of our jobs and career choices? -- E.W.

  • Is 47 too old to begin again?

    October 1, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I am 47 and weighing the idea of returning to college to earn a degree in law. At my age, am I wasting my time and/or money? -- T.T.

  • Resumes are changing: Are you ready?

    September 28, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Have you heard of an "infographic" resume? What's different about it and a traditional resume? -- J.A.L.

  • Do this before grabbing job from 'best places' list

    September 24, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: As I recall, you suggested using such websites as Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com to check out various lists of "Best Places to Work," which are compiled by employees' ratings of their employer. Well, I did. And I found out that my job working for a big corporation was the pits. I stuck it out for three months, then quit. Why do you think that is? - E.W.

  • Will your next career change light brighter horizons?

    September 21, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After 15 years of holding good jobs with top compensation in the fields of technology and data analytics, I'm ready to move on to another line of work. Unsatisfied with my career life, I've been thinking about doing something that matters more to me for at least a year.

  • Great tip to win serial interview challenge

    September 17, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm a manager trying to change industries. I survived a gauntlet of several interviews at the same company only to lose in the end to a candidate younger than me by a decade. If it's not the age differential, what might I be doing better to keep from fading at the finish line? -- M.K.

  • Finding your best career when you don't know what's out there

    September 14, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: At 26, I have no career direction and no job. My degree is from a small, obscure liberal arts college. I was a good student and have positive job references. My parents refuse to foot any more bills for graduate study. Career-wise, I seem to be in the middle of nowhere. As the saying goes, I could do anything if I only knew what it was. Can you help me? -- J.A.

  • When is a professional not a professional?

    September 10, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm in my early 20s, a high school graduate and am now thinking about becoming a food nutrition consultant. But the cost and time required for a four-year college program worry me. A girlfriend mentioned an online six-month course offering training in nutritional counseling. Why not? -- H.L.

  • Five quick tips for smart social media job search

    September 7, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm gagging on a job I've had for way too long, but can't afford to get axed if my employer finds out I'm looking and dumps me (believe me, he would!). Do you have suggestions for safely using social media to job hunt? -- No Initials.

  • How well do you fit in the company culture?

    September 3, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I am a good professional-level worker but can't seem to convince employers of my abilities, judging by being unemployed for four months. I have asked why I didn't get the job but most companies won't discuss the real reason, merely saying that they found a candidate more qualified or that I just wasn't the best "fit" for the job. What does "fit" mean in hiring? Is it just a dodge or does it actually mean you don't measure up, or what? Y.J.

  • Hope for fair starting pay? Top coach explains how to get it

    August 31, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I am seeking a $40,000-a-year paralegal position to replace the one I lost when my firm was downsized.

  • Five reasons to reject job offer

    August 27, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My last two jobs were desperation moves and I quit each after less than a year. But I'm no kid and now am raising my second family.

  • Networking solutions when usual contacts disappoint

    August 24, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After a successful 20-year career -- the last 15 in a management role -- I resigned a year ago to deal with a health issue. The company replaced me as soon as it could.

  • Flee or fight when job cut rumors rattle your company?

    August 20, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My employer is alive with scary rumors of reduction and roll back. Management is unavailable, hiding out behind closed doors with a squad of consultants. Two 50ish professionals have been unceremoniously fired. Perhaps I should start scouting for new employment right now. Traveling time? -- C.H.

  • Virtual reality job interviews coming: why it matters

    August 17, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I bet a friend $10 that we will experience virtual reality job interviews within a few years -- maybe 2015. Your take? -- K.K.

  • Tired job syndrome? Don't give up. Tune up!

    August 13, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My professional job has bottomed out, becoming the sameo-sameo. How have others confronted the b-o-r-i-n-g issue and lived? - R.C.

  • Yes, tech jobs are still golden, but...

    August 10, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm in my 20s and considering investing in education to pursue a high-tech career. Is this still a good choice in the U.S., considering the worldwide competition from workers who are paid less? What are some of the most desirable tech jobs? -- J.O.J.

  • Will you lose money with a liberal arts degree?

    August 6, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Earlier this year you commented that earnings for liberal arts majors start off trailing most others after graduation but catch up about midcareer. I want to keep my options open by choosing liberal arts until I decide on a specific career field. The problem: My dad says college costs too much to count on financial returns somewhere down the road. Ideas? -- K.L.

  • Jump on rejection recovery tip you never thought of

    August 3, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: In one of your books, you go into helpful detail about how to write "after-interview messages that are sales letters at heart." While I appreciate your helpful points and samples, you didn't mention the value of writing a thank-you letter after a rejection when you don't get the job. Is that because doing so is wasted effort?" -- S.T.L.

  • Hard skills critical for hiring, soft skills seal the deal

    July 30, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I keep reading about the importance of hard skills. What about soft skills? Aren't they wanted as well? -- D.P.

  • What to do when your career change crashes and burns

    July 27, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Three years ago at age 43, I was moved by the inspiring stories of people who switched career gears and lived happily ever after. Those stories gave me the confidence to reinvent myself, so I took a two-year college course and tried to begin again. My results were a trainwreck. I can't find a job I like. Now what? -- J.J.

  • Boss lies when trying to replace admin with girlfriend

    July 23, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After working several years as an apparently appreciated administrative assistant to a mid-level manager, my performance reviews have always been very complimentary.

  • Smart to take a second swing at the job you lost? Maybe

    July 20, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I was laid off from a job about eight months ago. Yesterday I got a call from my old boss asking me back. Several searches for jobs that pay more are finally looking promising and I'm hesitant about returning. Good idea? Bad idea? -- B.A.B.

  • Want a promotion? Here's how to make it happen

    July 16, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: At 26, I'm ambitious. What are my best moves to nail a promotion? -- C.L.J.

  • Are robots lining up to snatch your job? Maybe

    July 13, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My daughter and son are in high school and it will soon be time for them to anticipate their future careers. What are some of tomorrow's good jobs and which ones are likely to hit the dustbin? -- P.H.

  • Go for top student dollars in aid and internships

    July 9, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I would like to go to graduate school but the vision of racking up thousands and thousands of dollars from day one of grad school --instead of after graduation -- is scary. Ideas? -- S.G.

  • How do you take your coffee? With a college degree, please

    July 6, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After hearing about the big employee scholarship program Starbucks is offering to employees, I'm surprised to note critics of the program. Why is that? -- S.E.J.

  • Can boss cut lunch hour for hourly employees?

    July 2, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Is it against any laws or rules for a private employer to cut lunch hours to only 30 minutes for all hourly employees -- claiming that the workload demands the change?" -- J.J.

  • Quality research is your key to best career and job moves

    June 29, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: In times being radically reshaped every day, how can anyone sustain a rewarding work life? How do we know a good job we have today won't vanish tomorrow? -- D.E.

  • How to phone your way into a job

    June 25, 2014

    Dear Joyce: Getting past gatekeepers to speak to a hiring decision-maker is extremely difficult in these times of screeners and voicemail. Any suggestions? -- P.S.L.

  • High stakes: sign non-compete contract, or keep looking?

    June 22, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I want to change jobs but apparently I can't. When I came here, I signed a non-compete contract and apparently I'm stuck. I don't want to be kept off the market for a year or more or be sued. Advice? -- S.F.

  • Ouch! When quitting job can backfire in new hunt, do this

    June 18, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Eight months ago I walked away from a $24-an- hour job because of a real jerk of a supervisor, -- younger than me -- who constantly wrote me up for the same things his younger pals regularly got away with. No justice!

  • Shocker: Are job postings really coming to an end?

    June 15, 2014

    Dear Joyce: My 22-year-old nephew told me that job postings are biting the dust -- going dead as a dodo bird. How can that be true? How can people find jobs? -- A.T.

  • How to tune up a tired job

    June 11, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I am no longer interested in my job. I once enjoyed the work but it's fizzled, becoming tedious and mind-numbing. Have others complained to you about this issue, and what did you recommend? -- K.B.

  • Six keys to writing extraordinary resumes

    June 8, 2014

    Dear Joyce: My husband is looking for a job for the first time in more than 10 years. I've read a lot of articles about resume writing and things seem to have changed. What do you think are the very most important things to know about writing resumes in 2014? -- J.C.S.

  • Stand up for yourself: Push co-worker to pull his weight

    June 4, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm happy to share work assignments but I'm currently paired with a guy who seems content to let me stay late and do most of the heavy lifting in the monthly production reports. I dislike conflict and wind up saying nothing. How can I handle this galling issue in a civil manner without looking like a wimp complaining to our boss? -- A. D.

  • Bring it! A sunny attitude can get you hired

    June 1, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After graduating from high school this year -- with only a few part-time jobs under my belt -- I am looking for almost any decent job I can get. But I have no real experience. Help! -- H.J.S.

  • Mystery! After great interview, why employers don't call

    May 28, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After a job interview, why do employers say they'll call and let you know the outcome -- and go silent? Don't they know how much we job seekers want to get on with our lives and want to know our fate as soon as possible? -- B.P.

  • Can you guess how much recruiters earn?

    May 25, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After working in product sales for nearly four years, a recruiter's offer of a job interview to my girlfriend has caused me to reevaluate my own sales career: I am more interested in people than things. Can you find out how much recruiters earn? -- I.T.

  • New interview tips to take seriously

    May 21, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I am in my mid-20s and terrified about interviewing for employment, whether in person or by video. I get the shakes every time I think about it. Is my next step to hire an interview coach? -- J.S.T.

  • Fresh tips and time-savers for executive job changers

    May 18, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My sister is an executive at a mid-sized corporation. She's interested in moving on and up. But she's super busy. As a reference librarian, I'd like to give her a hand by recommending the best resources in job search.

  • Make a career fair pay off for you

    May 14, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm in the wind hoping to find one or more job connections at an upcoming career fair. Is a job fair the same thing? How effective are career fairs? -- S.T.

  • Becoming hard-nosed about soft skills

    May 11, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A couple of years ago I recall that you printed a list of soft skills that I would like to have for my stone-cold nephew who is ultra naive. Could you run that list again? -- B.P.

  • Grads: Is keeping a job harder than landing it?

    May 7, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm graduating this year. I have no work experience. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fit in an internship experience. I'm in the same spot as my brother was two years ago when he didn't last three months on his first real job. What are my best options? -- B.B.

  • Can you bounce back to old job? Maybe

    May 4, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A year ago I left a job I liked very much because I was offered an irresistible cash and stock deal. But I soon found out that the new company was all show and no go. Undercapitalized, it went down the tubes last week. Am I wasting my time asking for reemployment at my old company? -- K.R.

  • Hooray! Job market brightens for new college grads

    April 30, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I will graduate in May from a state college and launch my career immediately. My college career center is understaffed. I know how hard it's been for recent graduates to get started and I wonder if you have any general suggestions? -- P.E.

  • When it's not your fault that you've had too many jobs

    April 27, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I've hit a rough patch during the past several years due to three different jobs disappearing (companies closed down) and a layoff from a still ailing firm. I'm young (34) but haven't been able to connect with a new opportunity. Employers must think I'm bad luck or something.

  • Jerk boss? Build a reference package before bailing out

    April 23, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My boss must have a mental problem. I dread going to work. A single example: In front of our whole office, she yells and calls me humiliating names that question my intelligence. Co-workers tell me she's been getting away with demeaning stuff like this for a very long time. Although I reported her offensive behavior to upper level management, incredibly, they took her side. Why?

  • Will online education replace college in 15-20 years?

    April 20, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm reading blogs insisting we won't need college in 15 or 20 years by replacing higher education's brick-and-mortar learning with online education tools. Yes? No? Maybe? And what are those tools? -- J.J.N.

  • Am I getting my fair share of paid time off?

    April 16, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I have been employed by my company for five years. When recently meeting with friends, I was upset to learn that two of them, who have held their jobs for only a couple of years, are getting more vacation time than I am! Unfair! -- T.O.J.

  • Want small low-tech business? Here's a flowering new twist

    April 13, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm thinking about operating my own small business but I have no interest in 3-D printing, dime-sized personal hearing amplifiers or the wonders of alternative fuel converted from cow manure. Too technical! Suggestions? -- M.H.

  • The MBA: Boon, blah or burden?

    April 9, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I have a bachelor's degree in computer science. After five years on my job, I am debating whether to pursue a master's in business administration degree. I ask because I've seen articles asserting that the MBA is a relic. What would I learn in business school? -- T.T.

  • When does a functional resume boost your resume? Or sink it?

    April 6, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I want to find a new job in a different career field than the one I've worked in for l6 years. So far I've had no luck! I use a regular format (chronological placement of information) but a relative suggested I change it to a functional format (skills). What do you think? -- L.L.

  • Catch-22: You need second job to pay bills and the boss says no

    April 2, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Our department head recently quizzed each of us about "other" jobs. We were told to get prior approval before starting any second job or business venture. What's more, the few raises we've received in the past few years are a joke. Can the boss dictate to us what we do in our off-hours to earn very much needed additional income? -- J.C.

  • How to win in tricky situations

    March 30, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I work in a department of 10 women. For the most part, we all get along and our department has shown a profit for the past four years.

  • Boss catch you job shopping? Three tips to avoid being fired

    March 26, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I've been job hunting on the sneak for about two months. My boss, a take-no-prisoners type, fired two co-workers last year for the same thing.

  • When a job ad suggests only young workers need apply

    March 23, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: As a mid-lifer job hunter, I applied for a position described in a recruitment ad that seemed perfect for my talents and experience. After no response and two failed attempts to follow up, in rereading the ad, it hit me: "We seek enthusiastic employees for a young, dynamic company." I now suspect that's code for "no oldies need apply." Yes? -- K.C.

  • Five key tips for a successful career change

    March 19, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm turning 40, I'm in finance and burned out on my job. I seem to remember that several years ago you quoted a line about men past 40 waking up nights, looking out over city lights, wondering where they went wrong --and getting a career itch. Suggestions? -- T.J.

  • Don't miss the now-new-next acts in critical career trends

    March 16, 2014

    Staying on top of job search and career management requirements in changing career times -- from applicant tracking systems, social media and big data decision making, to evolving industries, job offshoring and worker preparation -- is a colossal challenge requiring plenty of inquiring minds.

  • Five tips to save your resume from death by computer eyes

    March 12, 2014

    A resume revolution is here. Driven by technology in large and small companies across America, automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) use computer software to not only read but judge resumes. Why? To save employers time and recruiting costs.

  • Resume revolution: computer eyes now reading most resumes

    March 9, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: You've previously mentioned the computer software technology known as applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by many employers. I detest technology and as a job seeker, why do I care? I can network my way to employment. -- M.W.

  • Resume revolution: computer eyes now reading most resumes

    March 9, 2014

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  • When schools and colleges lie about getting jobs for grads

    March 5, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A 24-year-old friend went to a private vocational-technical school. The school advertises that it finds jobs for all of its graduates. My friend graduated four months ago, but he has yet to get hired and the school keeps making excuses. What can he do now? -- A.Y.

  • Why you need WhatsApp in your job search

    March 2, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Facebook's recent purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion is getting a lot of media attention right now, but I'm not sure how or if it will impact the job search. Yes? No? -- H.L.

  • Fired? That doesn't mean you can't swing a good reference

    February 26, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I seem to recall that several years ago you wrote about what to say and do about having been fired when you're seeking new employment? My training was a joke, plus I now know that my former employer has a reputation for hiring and firing people within their first 90 days.

  • Will this new higher ed idea boost your job punch?

    February 23, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My uncle told me about a fairly recent development in distance education -- MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, from name universities that are available free on the Web.

  • Bring home a raise with these simple strategies

    February 19, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: When I say I need a raise, I am not exaggerating! I support two kids and although I work my tail off, we can barely get by between paychecks. I read somewhere that you should never plead poverty when asking for a raise. Why not? -- A.M.

  • Job hunters alert: Google+ becoming a must!

    February 16, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Google+ is now twice the size of LinkedIn (540 million vs. 259 million) and half the size of Facebook (1.1 billion). Established in 2011, Google+ is already the second largest social network in the world.

  • When to hedge this tricky interview question

    February 12, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A company recruiter recently asked me, "Who else are you interviewing with?" I consider that question intrusive and none of his business. Why is it asked? -- M.S.

  • Staffing expert spills beans about job hopping

    February 9, 2014

    Staffing expert spills beans about job hopping

  • Five whoppers you should never tell recruiters

    February 5, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I loved your amusing quotes from recruiter Tim Sackett about lies that recruiters tell candidates, but what about the other side of the coin -- lies that candidates tell recruiters? -- T.T.

  • Liberal arts: bright future or so yesterday?

    February 2, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After graduating from high school, I worked for two years to save a little money and to make sure that I chose the best college major for my future. I was thinking about majoring in the humanities, but engineers and other professional grads earn much better pay. Has the liberal arts major had its day? -- S.I.

  • Why online education may flunk for you

    January 29, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm graduating from high school this year and had planned to attend a college in my state, which my dad hopes I will do. Several of my friends say that college costs are astronomical and instead they plan to attend college online. Good idea? Bad idea? -- T.W.

  • Do pre-interview questionnaires get jobs or waste your time?

    January 26, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After sending my customized resume for an advertised professional position, I received an email from the employer asking that I fill out and return an elaborate questionnaire for the job -- a new experience for me.

  • Can you be disinvited to a job offer?

    January 22, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: A company that seemed anxious to hire me sent an offer letter two days ago. Today an HR person emailed me withdrawing the offer. Can they do that? -- E.U.

  • Must you use technology to get a good job in 2014?

    January 19, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My employer closed our branch office and I've been looking hard for new employment since October. My efforts have turned up zip. A knowledgeable friend says that if you can't use recruiting technology for job search today, you're toast! True or false? -- H.O.L.

  • Place your bets for least and most stressful jobs

    January 15, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: My husband says his job as a high school teacher of special education students is more stressful than my job as a retail customer service manager. No way! The loser of this bet has to do the family laundry for two weeks. Who's headed for the soap suds? -- K.H.

  • New twist: Use video interviews to try on jobs

    January 12, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: After my college graduation, I took the first job I could get and was fired eight months later, although I was planning to quit as soon as I could find something better. What do you suggest that I do now? -- V.K.

  • Is career change really what you want -- or just think you want?

    January 8, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: I want to change my career from accounting to retirement center management. I have a master's in social services administration as well as an undergraduate degree in business administration. I've taken the first investigative steps, but I'm having last-minute doubts because relocation may be required. Your thoughts? -- P.B.

  • When recruiters lie to you

    January 5, 2014

    DEAR JOYCE: Last year a recruiter contacted me about a position that seemed perfect, and I excitedly got as far as two interviews. Then, splat -- nothing! When I finally got through to the recruiter, she said that the hiring manager really liked me but had decided not to fill the position. OK, I can accept that. But today, on a niche job board, I spotted a new job post that seems a lot like the old one but with a different job title. Am I wasting my time? -- S.A.F.

  • Tune into 2014 job search trends

    January 1, 2014

    The first half of my 2014 jobs overview focused on examples of technology growing at a numbing pace, forcing many companies to automate in ways that you need to take seriously. The second half spotlights people, jobs and education.

  • Catch up with 2014 job search trends

    December 29, 2013

    Feel as though you need to get up to date with contemporary career moves? Read this two-part column spotlighting job search trends for 2014. Today's column focuses on seven changes driven by technology and tools.

  • Guidance on career choice that you can take to heart

    December 25, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: Your quoting of author Michael Korda about achieving success hit home with my 18-year-old son, whom I'm trying to help plan head. Do you have general suggestions about the process of choosing a career for someone his age? -- B.E.F.

  • Put fresh coat of paint on long job search

    December 22, 2013

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  • Take your first step to success right now

    December 18, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: I left education this year after two years of bouncing around in a community college, taking a course here and there. My GPA is good, but not great. I have a job, but I don't feel successful and I have doubts about my future. Suggestions? -- V.M.

  • Seven free webinars for your federal job search

    December 15, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: A few weeks ago you mentioned opportunities to obtain free quality career advice in an e-book and by phone. Good tips! In this era of long unemployment scares for many of us, I just want to say thanks and add that your identification of additional free but first-rate resources will be appreciated. -- A.M.G.

  • Easy tactic to ace interviews

    December 11, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: When I graduated from college this year without a job offer, I asked friends for help and they lined up several job interviews. No offers resulted. The feedback is that I "pitched too hard with too much sell." That's weird, because everyone said I should talk about my skills and give examples -- exactly what I did. What now? -- C.L.

  • When it's not your fault you didn't get the job

    December 8, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: I spent a week excitedly preparing for an important job interview with a company's division manager in a city three states away. Surprise! Upon arrival I was told that the manager was "called away on urgent business." I haven't been contacted since that fiasco. Was it something I did or didn't do? What causes companies to behave with such indifference? -- R.H.

  • Win hot job with interview follow-up done right

    December 4, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: I graduated with a bachelor's degree this year, and yesterday (finally!) I was interviewed for a great job. The manager said he had others to interview and that he'd let me know. Any more moves I can make to get the nod without being a pest? -- S.P.

  • Great news! Free new job book and phone help

    December 1, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: After being unemployed for a few months, I took a position with a medium-size company that I didn't know much about. I discovered right away that it was a mistake.

  • Is a portfolio career in your future?

    November 27, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: I'm working three part-time jobs because I need the money and that's what's available to me. The nerve-wracking, time-juggling stress is making me physically ill. I need to regroup and reapply. Ideas? -- L.B.

  • Must same-industry experience always trump talent?

    November 24, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: I have a good education plus serious work experience, but I was refused an interview for a job I know I could ace. The recruiter said I lacked same-industry experience. Why is this big deal? -- S.J.

  • 'Dilbert' creator Scott Adams draws oddball career lessons

    October 13, 2013

    DEAR JOYCE: At 25, I've spent the last two weeks trying to figure out the best way to plan my career and the rest of my life. At this point, I'm confused. Suggestions? -- K.A.