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.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL AT 54?
Dear Career Doctor:
I have considered going to the community college to earn an RN (Registered Nurse)
Associate Degree or one in Journalism, but they require so much coursework and tuition
expense. Also, at 54 I would feel ludicrous in a classroom with 20-year-olds. Do you
have any suggestions?
Yes, I do have several suggestions. First, stop feeling inferior about your age! These
days there are lots of adults returning to college to change careers. Even if you are thirty
years older than most of your fellow students, at fifty-four you have a lot of rich
life-experience to bring to the classroom and share with the kids. Most professors welcome
a mix of ages, since both young and “old” learn from each other.
That said, there is age discrimination out in the workplace. Journalism tends to be one
of the worst. I think it would be very difficult to get hired as a new reporter in your
fifties, unless you bring a lot of high-level experience in some field. If you want to
break into journalism, the best way is to volunteer to report on local issues for your
hometown newspaper. That way, you will get some “clips” (copies of stories with your
byline) that may help you get some paid writing work. But beware, writers are the poorest
smart people I know!
As for becoming an RN, I would go to the community college and ask how successful they are
at placing older grads in jobs. You can also go to the Human Resources Department at your
local hospital and ask what kinds of jobs are open to people like you with no degrees or
with an associate degree. Sometimes hospitals hire nurses aides or others with very little
advanced education. This is a way of finding out if you want to spend the time and money to
get a degree in the field.
The Career Doctor
Ask The Career Doctor:
The Career Doctor cannot answer every question here, and she does not
respond to personal emails. Please use this form to ask your question.
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.