The Career Doctor™
by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez
Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers?
Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist
specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of
your own, use our anonymous form, and she
might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here.
Contact information is here.
IS IT WORTH THE STRESS?
Dear Career Doctor:
I work as an air traffic controller which pays well but is stressful. I went to
a good private college to get this job and have a lot of school loans. I have
been in this field for 2 Ĺ years and am almost done with my training.
I got in trouble last week for losing separation between two aircraft. It wasnít
really a safety situation Ė the two planes were not going to collide Ė it was that
they were following each other too closely. But now I feel like I am walking on
hot coals at work.
I knew this job was going to be stressful at times and I know I can do the job. I
just donít know if it is worth the stress. I donít like the feeling that a bad decision
could cost lives or my job. I feel I donít want this responsibility and maybe I should
pursue another field Iím interested in. To complicate matters, Iím living three
states away from my family: Iím married with a three year old daughter and my wife
You had your first scare on the job, and I hope you have calmed down a bit by
now. You have invested so much time, energy and money in this field that it
would be a shame not to stay with it for a while Ė while you explore how other
people in your field cope.
Everyone with a stressful job Ė especially a job where lives are at stake Ė has to
find healthy ways of dealing with it. One good way is to go home to a loving family
and leave the job behind as you walk in the door. So, I hope your wife can join you as
soon as possible. Other helpful ways include joining (or forming) a peer support
group Ė a place where you can share your concerns and fears and find empathetic
responses. Some people take yoga or learn to meditate. I often make relaxation tapes
for people coping with stress.
The point is, donít give up before you have tried to find healthy ways to cope. If none
of these methods help and you are still eaten up by stress, then you will be absolutely
right to change fields.
The Career Doctor
The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont
psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.
Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.