I was wondering what your thoughs are about insensitive and misguided career advice: folks telling young people what they “should” do career wise.  When I was young I received a lot of bad and discouraging advice that just “shot me down”.  I was far too open to it because I was so in need of some kind of advice.   All of my real interests were dismissed as “useless” by these self-styled tough-love “realists”.
Now as a counselor I do some career counseling, and I’m starting to hear this again: People who are young and not so young being ordered around by (well meaning?) others in regards to their career choices. I find some people near tears because they are so tired of being “pushed” by others in their lives. Like me, they stop being “open” to any input because so much of what they get is inconsiderate, aggressive, and useless.
What do you think people should say to this kind of intrusive advice? What do you think is the thought process behind this kind of insensitive and misguided advice?
I have been working at an organization since mid-Oct. I was hired to a newly created position.  However, since starting in this position I have done nothing I was told I was hired to do (marketing). All I have been doing is admin tasks for my boss.
I have an interview next week, thank god.  I am wondering, what is the right response to the obvious question about why am I job hopping so quickly?   I am 31, so the answer of “I’m trying to find my true passion” doesn’t seem so appropriate anymore. I don’t want them to think I am hard to please because this is a job at a really great organization and I would really like this opportunity.  Any ideas on an appropriate and desired response?

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?

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.

I have negotiated myself into a terrific job with an amazing company. My only problem is my lousy job title; it makes me sound far more junior than the position I am actually working. I have been told the title is non-negotiable because it’s locked into pay-scale at the multi-national corporate level. How can I mitigate the effects of how this looks on my resume?

I’m a career expert’s nightmare: I graduated with a degree in marketing, frolicked about Australia and then started fashion design. I thought that was very well and fun. I did a course called outward bound, maybe you’ve heard of it, I loved it. Worked on a ski field for a few seasons, studied animation and video production, whilst looking after intellectually disabled people then after travelling to England and Woofing for a while, I came to Australia where I am now finishing a cert 4 in outdoor recreation.

I got fired a few times, mostly from cafes. People seem to think I’m too intelligent, that’sa nice way for; “she has no common sense”. The other comment is I’m so creative.Basically I have a deep sense within myself that I want a job that I’m proud of. Something I can sink my teeth into, and get results.

I’m 30 now and to be honest I’m really worried that I won’t be able to connect the dots.

I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and I love it! I’m a Millennial about two years out of college. So I was wondering if you had some advice for me-what would you do if you were offered a job at the same office as your boyfriend? I interviewed at the same company, but at a different branch. It looks like I may be offered a position at his location.

I always have problem writing cover letters.  I’ve seen many examples in the Internet but they seem too rigid or too general. Could you give me some tips or samples on how a professional cover letter should look?

I’m 24 years old and have been working at my first job for a year and a half. The firm is just me and my boss. After 6 months I was promoted to “vice president of communications” and I have earned a lot of responsibility since I started. I admire my boss greatly as she has had the company for 16 years and built it from the ground up with hard work and dedication. She has been a great mentor to me and provided me with a great experience. However, I feel now that I have hit a wall. I am no longer happy in the situation and feel as though I am not working towards my real goals and aspirations. I also want to move out of my parents house into another city.

I am at a loss for how to approach this situation because on one hand, I do not want to screw over the woman who gave me a break by merely giving her two weeks notice when I find something, and on the other hand, I am worried that if I let it be known now that I am looking for a new position before I actually have something, she will just tell me to leave and I will be without a job or reference. I also have a deep fear of being the stereotypical “gen y’er” who bounces around and isn’t willing to put their time in somewhere. I know I have done a good job, but is it enough with only being a year and a half? Any advice you have would be much appreciated – I feel lost, guilty, and desperate to break out but I just don’t know how without screwing her (and possibly myself) over.