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.


Dear Career Doctor:

I have taught school for 16 years and I am so burned out. I've tried changing age groups, but I am totally worn out by the profession. I feel like I am constantly fighting the kids to get them to behave and do their work. My blood pressure is always high in spite of medication. I really want to change professions, but I have been the primary breadwinner for the past five years and cannot depend on my husband to bring in enough money to pay the bills while I retrain.

Is there any kind of retraining program available for teachers who have just had enough?

Janell B.

Dear Janell:

I don't know of retraining program for teachers, but I do know that many teachers have made successful transitions into sales. As a former Second Grade teacher who now sells cars told me, "I use the same skills with customers that I used with my students: listening skills, motivational skills, and the ability to get someone from one point to another."

Because you are changing fields, to get your first sales job you have to sell yourself! Make a list of all the people you know in businesses that might be able to help you network. Read books on salesmanship. Think of all the reasons that you would be good at the job.

Try to get a job that offers salary and commissions -- not just straight commissions -- since you need the income. If that is not possible, perhaps you could start with a commission sales job you could do after work and on weekends. If you do well, you could use this proof of your salesmanship to get a better full-time sales job.

Meanwhile, before or while you are job hunting, ask your principal for training in methods to control and motivatie your students. You might also consider switching to a different school district with fewer student behavior problems. And, as you probably know, many teachers work in private schools or parochial schools because they find they can teach more and discipline less.

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.


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