Careers columnist on lacking passion when job searching

March 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM ET

Eve Tahmincioglu

Eve Tahmincioglu, our resident career diva, joined us for a live Web chat Thursday afternoon.

Here are two of her answers and a complete archive:

Question from chat guest:

My boyfriend was laid off last month because of lack of work in his field. He's been applying for jobs in the same field since, but he's having trouble because his heart isn't in it. He doesn't love the field, but doesn't know what it is that he wants to do instead or how to find out. He's also reluctant to talk to a career counselor because he finds the idea scary. What can I do to help him?

Eve's answer:

Hiring managers can smell lack of desire on the part of a job applicant -- and in this job market he's going to be doomed. He needs to realize it's not always about a job you love but sometimes it's just about a paycheck. And that's not a bad thing. I wrote about this recently.

But, it may be time for him to take a hard look at himself and what he wants. If he doesn't want to talk to a career expert, I always suggest reading "What Color Is Your Parachute."

It's an oldie but a goodie when it comes to figuring out your next career step. It helped me early on in my career. 

Question from Anna:

Apparently a solid work history is no longer good enough. I've encountered employers who won't consider me for employment due to being out of work for more than six months. What can be done, if anything, to overcome this. I'm confident that I'd be an excellent employee. If only i could get the employers to look at my resume.

Eve's answer:

There is nothing that drives me crazier than employers who won't consider the jobless for a job. I ranted about this in my blog recently.

That said, you need to make yourself look not jobless. Don't mention it in a cover letter, don't include it on your resume and, you should be volunteering -- or updating your skills by taking a class -- during this off-work time. That way, if a hiring manager brings it up you can say you've been quite busy.

Complete archive:


If you have a question for our TODAY Money experts, submit it here.

To sign up for an e-mail reminder for our next chat, click here.