Dear Joyce: I have been in land management and feel I must refocus my career aims. Because of family, I'd prefer to relocate in the North Carolina area but am flexible. What can you suggest? -- Y.W.
Dear Y.W.: Ready, aim, read. Two inexpensive resources can help focus your quest.
"Career Directions" is 59-page booklet published by the Rocky River (Ohio) Public Library. It is a listing of career books and videos available for various occupations ranging from consulting and counseling to television and travel, and such topics as the job hunt, the strategy and the career change. Prepared as a valuable public service by that library's women's committee, you can use the booklet to scout resources in your public library or bookstore. If your library doesn't have the exact book you want, ask at the reference desk if they can order it -- but even knowing a book title on the subject may help you find a similar book.
To obtain "Career Directions," send $3 with your request to P. Belcastro, Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Rd., Rocky River, Ohio 44116.
"Careering and Re-Careering for the 1990s" by Ronald L. Krannich outlines the key job and career issues facing Americans today. It is filled with advice on how to spot jobs of tomorrow, how to best determine your capabilities and how to communicate qualifications. By mail, the cost is $17 from Impact Publications, 10655 Big Oak Circle, Manassas, Va. 22111.
Dear Joyce: I frequently quote your advice to our outplacement clients. You wrote recently on one of my pet peeves: recruitment ads in which employers ask for salary requirements. Why employers should expect candidates to put all their cards on the table while the employers play their hands "close to the vest" is beyond me.
Another affront to candidates is to ask during the interview: "What do you think this job is worth?" We advise our clients to answer along these lines, "You're in a much better position to evaluate the worth of this job than I, since you know it much better. What range have you set for it?" This avoids a premature and potentially dangerous guesstimate. -- Rosalie P. Krajci, Resources for Management, Corning, N.Y.
Dear R.P.K.: Thanks for sharing a great answer to the salary question.
Dear Joyce: I have been considering enrolling in one of those home study courses. I would like to know if employers hire people who complete these courses. If so, which do you recommend? -- H.B.
Dear H.B.: Call the human resources department or management of companies you'd like to work for and ask if they hire graduates of the home study program you're considering. Courses take from three months to six years to complete: You set your own study schedule. Most students take home study courses for one of three reasons: job promotion, getting a new job or acquiring a new job skill. For a free Directory of Accredited Home Study Schools, write to the National Home Study Council, 1601 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.
Dear Joyce: Settle an argument. I say doctors earn more money than airliner pilots. My brother says the opposite. Who's right? -R.W.
Dear R.W.: You win this one. Average physician pay is $155,000. But you have to rise to captain rank in a major airline to come close to that at $158,600. All other pilots earn less, down to $43,100 for captains of regional airlines.