Tysons Corner: I was laid off from my dream job, recruiting for a West Coast tech law firm, two years ago during the tech bust. I've had a good job in the legal community since then, but not the one I want. I've watched the classifieds and have finally landed an interview this week for what I believe will be a position identical to my former dream job. I want these people to know that I've watched the ads for two-plus years and have waited to apply to something I know I love and can do well. I want them to know that I am picky and that I have picked them, but I don't want to appear desperate or weird. Any advice?

First, show, don't tell. Express your enthusiasm by thoroughly researching the company and then asking intelligent questions about the firm and the details of the job. That also gives you a chance to talk about how the skills you acquired at your old job will apply at the one you want. Serious, thorough preparation says more than a million I-would-just-love-to-work-here's ever could.

Second, take the focus off of your wants and needs and shift them to the company's. Your goal in an interview is to prove that hiring you solves problems for them. How "picky" you are is irrelevant.

I am a recent graduate from college in public relations. I'm 24 years old. I am thinking about entering a helping profession such as counseling, social work or teaching. I enjoy public relations work, but my intuition is telling me to go with a helping profession. What should I do?

Don't assume the two are mutually exclusive. The ideal job for you may be one that combines your communications skills with a hands-on helping role. You're young. Take a chance at teaching. Unlike the other options you mentioned, it won't require you to go back to school for a lengthy period right away.