How long is it ok to go without a raise in a job you otherwise like? I have been at the same pay rate for two years–if I don’t get offered a raise this year, should I make a fuss? The money I make is fine, I don’t need more, but I worry it’s embarrassing not to be given a raise for so long–I want to continue doing cool projects and learning different areas of the department, and I’m worried they won’t see me as moving forward if I’m not pushing for more $$. I’m definitely better at the job and can do a lot more than two years ago.

I am in awe of your breadth of reading and your ability to keep track of it all so that you can draw on it later. How do you keep track of all the studies you cite and all the links you incorporate into your posts? I have yet to find a really fast and accurate way to do it.

I’m a 28 year old high school teacher who works in an international school in Taiwan. I’ve started taking on more administrative roles, becoming our school’s first Curriculum Coordinator, and I’ve decided to get my administrator’s credential so that I can become a principal someday.
The more I get into school administrative work, the more I see that it’s a career where it’s normal for people to get mad at you, even if you’re doing a good job.
My question is this. How do you leave negative events at work, rather than mulling on it all evening and having it ruin your day?

I am lost. I know it’s ok to be lost, but I would love your insight about what career fields I might try. I am 26, and have worked at 2 nonprofits. I am bored at work. I am so bored that I’ve started waiting tables at night so I can be challenged and push myself and work 70 hours a week. I love to work. I want a job that is so hard and challenging and so tough that sometimes I cry in the bathroom at lunch. I want to use my brain and my energy. The problem is I don’t know where to go, what industry might be a good fit for me. Do you have any ideas?

Would you consider adding a new topic, Self-Publishing, to your Mailbag section? I would LOVE to read about how you self-published and promoted your first book and I’m sure many of your readers could benefit from your knowledge and experiences, both good and bad, going the self-publishing route.

My husband has applied to a tenure track teaching position at a local college; this is a very rare, very good opportunity. He applied three weeks ago and he wants to follow up on it to see if they got it, to see if they are interested in him, to see if he is in the running for it. But he isn’t sure the right way to go about it, should he call, email etc… The problem is he feels there is so much riding on this that he doesn’t want to seem too desperate or put them off in some way. Any advice regarding this kind of situation would be appreciated.

I was mentioned by a big web site. How can I show this on my resume? How can I make it matter to help me get a job?

I’m a 25 year-old with a bachelor’s in English. While I was going to school I worked in the university library and loved it. In my last semester of school I decided I wanted to be a librarian as a career, but it was too late to change my major.

Now I work at a large insurance company. I hate how stressed out it makes me, and I want to get back into a library.

The problem now is that most library jobs require a Master’s degree, and I don’t have one. I’m worried that with so few openings, even if I get my degree, I won’t be able to get a position, and that time and money will be wasted.

What’s the best course of action in this case? Is it too late for me to get into an academic field like library science, not having had planned to go into it from the get go?

Hope you can provide some advice on this. My boyfriend is 35 and has a BS in one kind of engineering and an MS in a different type of engineering, good GPAs and good (not great) schools. His problem is that over the past 10 years he has had a really difficult time landing good jobs, and the mediocre/crappy jobs he manages to land, he hasn’t been able to keep. Part of it is based on the economy (several layoffs) but also I think partially it is based on social skills; he doesn’t play the political game very well and he has a lot of integrity, which is good for engineering design in theory, but bad for you when you have to tell people their designs suck. He’s very intelligent and from what I can tell, has the capability to be very technically strong, if he could just find a good job match. Right now he lacks anything but entry level experience. He is working right now in a temp job for a flailing company that could basically shut down any day, and he’ll have to go through the whole process again.

The past 10 years have created such fear in him that he is paralyzed when it comes to job searching. He cannot bring himself to do it because his fear of rejection and/or failure is so intense and strong. I guess dealing with it the past 10 years has been very difficult, and it partially contributed to the end of his last marriage.

How would you recommend he proceed? Should he get a career coach? Where/how do you find one who is any good? He needs someone to help him get over this paralysis and coach him through to a good result, but I have no idea where I should point him to to even start. Do you have any you can recommend? We’re in/around the Denver area but willing to work over the internet/phone long distance. I would even pay for it, I think perhaps a kickstart is what he needs but not sure where to find something good; I don’t want to just throw money away. What kinds of jobs should he apply for; due to his spotty entry level experience, it’s hard to find something better than that that he qualifies for, but he seems to be loathe to apply for yet another entry level position. Perhaps a resume writer would be helpful as well.

How can I tactfully avoid answering personal questions about myself in everyday conversation? I hate talking to other people about myself and keep my life as private as possible, and would like to avoid disclosing to people various details of my life such as what I do for work, what I study at school, what my hobbies are, etc. Is it even possible to avoid such basic, friendly questions without coming across as totally standoffish and arrogant?