I graduated in 2003 with a B.A in international affairs. Since then I I married a painter (against my parents will since I was suppose to marry a doctor, lawyer or accountant). I have also had a baby and worked on my parents winery.

Now, it’s five years after college graduation. What should I do? My family has been amazing helping us out financially but they are putting pressure on me that I need to go to grad school and study something that will guarantee a good income. At this point I neither have any idea what I like nor what will bring in money. I have no real skills I am not trained in anything. I speak 3 languages and I lived on 3 different continents. How do you find what you like and can bring in a high income?

I am 24 years old. I have been reading your blog for a while, and its actually making me feel a bit depressed. I went to college a year out of high school, and during my 2nd year found out my girlfriend was pregnant. Under the assumption that it would make me more money, I transfered in to the school’s business program. I am now almost graduated, with a bachelors in business management, and have no idea what I can do with it. I feel like I have no marketable skills, and would have better spent my time working at McDonald’s for 4 years, at least then I’d have some real good experience.

I completely disconnected from the world after my son was born. I have not made a single new friend since high school, and for the most part only hang out with my family, rarely even seeing my old friends. I have missed out on this whole blogging evolution, and just feel lost. What type of employer am I supposed to apply at? Is a bachelors of business administration worth anything to anyone? I have a lot of knowledge, but no one seems to care.

Where does someone like me go? My whole life the idea that college was what you did you get a good job was drilled into my head, but I can’t see it delivering now. I know I am smarter than many of the people I went to school with, and have abilities somewhere, but just feel so lost. I have always wanted to run a restaurant, but that takes a lot of money. I have so many ideas, but no capital. I have been applying as an assistant manager at various restaurants, hoping to build a skill set, but is that not completely lame? Most people with equivalent jobs probably got them just by working their for a few years, and earned money to get to that position rather than spend.

I don’t know, it seems like the world left me behind. Every other 24 year old seems to be so far ahead of me, and I don’t see them having a kid in the future as a way for me to catch up.

I enjoy reading your blogs. My job is very boring and is ending soon so I spend most of my time at work reading old post from your blog and trying to figure out my next step in life. I do have one question tho. As I have been applying to jobs, I have noticed one thing. Many HR representatives won’t give out the pay for the jobs that they are calling for me to interview for. Now, I don’t want to waste my time asking off from work and the companies time that I am applying for if the pay is not within my standards. So my questions is do I still go to the interview without knowing the salary upfront?

I just got off of a call with a very type A recruiter who asked me whether I pay for health insurance myself and if I had children who were covered under it. I’m not confrontational, therefore I didn’t tell him outright that it was an inappropriate question.

What would you recommend I do?  I want to apply for the job, but if his aggressiveness and inappropriateness is any indication of the type of people I would be interviewing with then I’m not interested.

I have only one year of work experience, Should I lie and say I have three years?

I’m in the last interview stages with a company and I’m not sure how I should best answer the below question:

“Can you offer some idea of base + bonus or other comp for the past 2-3 years, and also confirm your expectations for a new role?”

Why does what I made 2-3 years ago matter if this is for a new, higher-level role? Can I respectfully decline to answer that? Also, why do they always ask about bonuses? In my career we may get a bonus at the end of the year depending on the health of the business but it’s not significant — just a few hundred. 

“After many years of being in the work world (I’m 39), I decided to make a career change a few years ago and go back to school, full time, for a year. I’m single (no hubby, no kids), so it was no problem for me to move literally across the country to a much smaller city to attend university. I moved from Toronto, the largest city in Canada, to Victoria, BC, a city on Vancouver Island (approximately 90 nautical minutes northwest of Seattle).

“I loved island life so much I ended up staying in Victoria for almost two years. I only moved back to Toronto because the job market in Victoria is small – and is even smaller during a recession. I’ve been back in Toronto for about 9 months and found my current job only 2 months after arriving, but I, surprisingly, miss Victoria and would love to move back. The only deal-breaker is I will never move there without having a job first, my finances won’t let me do that again.

“Are companies now willing to use Skype, MSN Messenger, etc. to interview people who aren’t local?”