Q: I am a typical late-20s cubicle-working dude. I make enough money to support the life I have and save a little bit each month like all those financial-advice columns say.

However, I'm wildly unsatisfied with my work. And truth be told, I'm not particularly great at it. I'm by no means a "bad employee." I show up on time, get stuff done, actively avoid talking about people, etc. But I'm a mediocre, possibly even below-average, worker.

Naturally, I know that I need to find a new job, but I'm having trouble systemically deciding "what I want to do." I read a few career-change books: useless. I wandered through career-change Medium posts: even more useless. I even attended one of those evening seminars on finding the right career: useless and 70 bucks evaporated. Can you give me some actually useful ideas? — Arlington, Virginia

A: Who among us has not been in the type of job so unsatisfying it prompts an existential crisis? I've had two of them in my first 13 years in the full-time workforce, so rest assured you are not some implacable freak, Arlington. There are some people who have this magical power to let their job pay the bills without dictating their happiness, but I am not one of them. From the sound of it, neither are you.

So how does an ambitious person who sucks at boundaries between work and life figure out a career path? I've always been


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