DEAR ABBY: I am currently without a job. I hesitated to inform my mother because I was sure her reaction would only add to my stress. I was right. She constantly corners me about my efforts to find a job. I talk to her nearly every day to keep up with how she and my stepfather are doing. Because she never fails to dig into me about my job search progress, I now find ways to shorten our conversations.

I can get a job or two to sustain my living expenses for the time being. However, I'm trying to hold out for a job or career that connects to my soul passion. Working for decades in a job that sustains me and my children is no match for the longing of my passion. (I'm still not sure what it is.)

How do I curb my mother's pushing me for a resolution without coming off as annoyed, which I am? I'm sure she wants to express her concern, but I want support in my efforts without feeling condemned. Help me, please.

— Annoyed in Alabama

DEAR ANNOYED: I will try. Because you still aren't sure what your "soul passion" is, it's time to find out. A place to start might be a career counseling center (some universities have them). Contact one or more and inquire whether they offer career counseling and aptitude testing. The test results will tell you what you are best suited for.

Of course, this service is not offered for free, which is why you might want to buckle down and take a job or two in the meantime to afford it, as well as to feed your little family. As to your mother, who may be worried because you don't yet have a plan of action, explain to her about seeking career counseling and she may calm down.

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