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.


Dear Career Doctor:

I have been a full-time mom for many years. I enjoyed teaching my kids at home and was very successful, so much so that family members urged me to go into teaching. Believing that I would enjoy the work, I went back to college and earned a teaching degree. However, working as a part-time teacher for the past year has made me realize that I don't like teaching at all. My husband is now unemployed and looking for a job, so I need to find full-time employment as soon as possible. I am applying for a teaching position but dread the day I get hired.

Do you have any suggestions or should I just accept my fate and be a teacher?

Janice E.

Dear Janice:

Many people, like you, feel trapped in jobs they hate because they desperately need the money. That is always a tragedy, and it is particularly upsetting when a teacher hates the job, because students deserve to be taught by a caring, enthusiastic professionals.

Analyze why you enjoyed home teaching but dislike classroom teaching. If the answer is that you like working with motivated, bright children, then being a teacher in a private or parochial school may meet your needs. If the answer is that you like working in a one-on-one situation, then consider being a tutor, not a teacher. There are companies that provide tutoring services, if you don't want to start your own business. Also, school districts often have to provide teachers to work with children who are homebound or in hospitals, so that might be a good fit for you.

If none of these ideas help, the misery and stress of working in a job you hate, can be eased by developing an exit strategy. Get some career counseling to help you find the right direction. If you can not afford, or do not want, private counseling, the placement or counseling department at the college where you got your teaching degree should be able to give you some vocational interest tests.

Finally, and most important, if you have to teach in a classroom for awhile, try to focus on liking the children rather than hating your job.

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.