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.

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Dear Career Doctor:

I wish that more colleges would prepare their students for "real world careers" when they graduate.

So many college graduates are in flux and do not understand market place jobs. The colleges are not preparing them for employment; they are handing students degrees that are not converting into employment.

In high school, and even earlier, parents should be discussing the kinds of jobs that are available. They should consider preparing their children for jobs when they are selecting educational institutions and course majors.

It's great that their children may have high SAT scores and did well academically, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will earn a living if they are left unprepared for the skills they will need for employment.

I have been mentoring some students when they graduate in how to prepare a strong cover letter and resume and to identify employers. I find, for the most part, that most are not prepared for the work force.

Keep the Career Doctor articles coming. They are most valuable.

ES - Larchmont, NY

Dear ES:

I completely agree that parents should discuss careers with their children, starting as early as possible, so kids get comfortable thinking about the world of work. When my kids were little, one of their favorite first books was Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? But beware: discussing is different from pushing. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people who were pushed into a career by their parents and are miserable.

On the other hand, like you, I see many, many young people who have graduated with no clue about what they want to be or how to get a job. So, here’s where I think parents should push: they should insist that their college students go to the placement office on campus and take advantage of all the workshops offered there.

Good colleges have workshops on choosing a career, getting a job and writing resumes. Most Liberal Arts colleges help Philosophy, History or Religion majors realize that they have developed research, reasoning and writing skills that are useful in “the real world” – and they help students explain this to future employers.

The problem is that most students never set foot in the placement offices until a few weeks before graduation when they are in a panic about what to do. In fact, many of the young people I see have never set foot in their college placement center at all. So, there are mentors like you, or counselors like me, who help students learn to do what they really should have learned to do in college.

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.