Joyce Lain Kennedy

Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of the nationally syndicated "Careers Now" column, has been an expert in the employment field for nearly four decades. She is the original careers columnist in syndication and her work is now distributed twice weekly by Tribune Media Services.

Kennedy estimates she has received more than 3.5 million letters from readers and has answered more than 5,500 queries in her columns since 1968. The vast majority of her reader mail now comes by e-mail to Kennedy at her Web site, Her advice on jobs and career management issues addresses the problems experienced by virtually all working people: job search, layoff, discrimination, specialization, keeping up with technology in the workplace and networking both on land and online.

She began her writing career by offering advice to teenagers and young adults before broadening the scope of her column, which now relates to all ages. Kennedy is the bestselling author of seven career guides, including "Resumés for Dummies," "Cover Letters for Dummies" and "Job Interviewing for Dummies."

A former resident of Washington, D.C., and New York, Kennedy grew up in St. Louis, and earned a business administration degree from Washington University. She now resides in a suburb of San Diego.

Joyce Lain Kennedy Samples

Will online education replace college in 15-20 years?

DEAR JOYCE: I'm reading blogs insisting we won't need college in 15 or 20 years by replacing higher education's brick-and-mortar learning with online education tools.

Am I getting my fair share of paid time off?

DEAR JOYCE: I have been employed by my company for five years. The norms of employee benefits change from time to time. MAJOR POINTS.

Want small low-tech business? Here's a flowering new twist

DEAR JOYCE: I'm thinking about operating my own small business but I have no interest in 3-D printing, dime-sized personal hearing amplifiers or the wonders of alternative fuel converted from cow manure. How are you with flowers?

The MBA: Boon, blah or burden?

DEAR JOYCE: I have a bachelor's degree in computer science. You would learn to manage people as well as direct business activities. Decision factors to keep in mind: -- The MBA is a boon when your career plan requires it.

When does a functional resume boost your resume? Or sink it?

DEAR JOYCE: I want to find a new job in a different career field than the one I've worked in for l6 years. Resume format refers to how you organize and emphasize your information. BASICS TO KNOW.

Catch-22: You need second job to pay bills and the boss says no

DEAR JOYCE: Our department head recently quizzed each of us about "other" jobs. Unless second-job prohibition was in an employee policy manual when you signed on, or spelled out in an agreement you signed, your boss is off-base.

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