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 the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

CAN A "GEEKY" INTEREST LEAD TO A JOB?

Hi Career Doctor:

I am a college freshman, and I feel very lost as to what I want to do with my life. I know many would argue "you are young, don't worry," or "you'll figure it out" but I suppose I just feel as if I am pressured to find a career I am interested in as quickly as possible and fulfill the requirements, lest I'll be in school longer than I want. I am interested in being a teacher, for the time off and ability to work with people, but I am also interested in being a doctor for the prestige and ability to truly help those that can't help themselves. This latter trait has shown to be a driving force for my interest in law as well. I really think ethics are important. I want things to be fair, but I'm just not sure I want a job in it. I suppose they say, go for what you are a geek in, and I am quite interested in learning about Japanese culture and history, but does that really apply to any careers? I guess I'm not sure I want to spend the rest of my life sharing a passion of mine with students who could not care less. Oh, and I want to travel and see different cultures... a lot. HELP!

Will L.

Dear Will:

When a client of mine has a strong interest -- especially if it is an unusual interest -- that is almost always vocationally significant. Many people come into my office wanting to help people or have time off, but few people are very interested in learning about Japanese culture and history. So, I would encourage you to explore careers where this interest might be an asset.

How does an interest in Japanese culture apply to a career? There are many Japanese corporations operating in the United States that want to hire Americans who are simpatico with their culture and mores. There are also American corporations and organizations who need culturally sensitive people to represent them in Japan.

I rarely tell people, "Don't worry about it, you'll figure it out" because it is far more helpful to tell them, "Let's see how your interests can lead to a successful career."

The Career Doctor

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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.