Throughout my career, I have run into basically two types of professionals. Those who define their career and those who let their career define them. In this economic time, this distinction has become increasingly apparent. Another way to look at it is do you do what you do because you love it, or because you need the money? I run into individuals who thrive on what they do, why they do what they do, and how well they do it. I also run into individuals that are trapped by their titles they have had or processes and tasks they have performed limiting what they think they can do now. The latter group, when introducing themselves at networking events or in interview situations focus on tasks or processes they have done without any clear understanding of how this impacts the organizations they have worked for. The former group, in the same situations, talk with passion about themselves and their profession. They hold your attention, and you see how they can positively impact an organization. No hiring manager wants to hire someone who will feel the job is a means only to a paycheck. They want to hire someone who is passionate about the product or service of the organization, and is passionate about contributing to the success of the organization. Some job seekers would say, given the current economic situation, they cannot afford the luxury to do what they want. They just need a job. I would venture to say, unless you can differentiate yourself with your passions and your success, will have difficulty getting any job just because you need the money. As you are mapping out the rest of your career, whether you are in the beginning of it, the middle or winding down, assess your skills and passions, and develop a strategy so that you will be working because you love what you do, not because of the money you need to earn.