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 was very happy to retire from a high pressure job last year. But after a few months, I began to miss having something stimulating to do every day -- and having people pay attention to what I said. I consulted a psychologist and she said to not pressure myself, that something would come along. It's been a year and nothing has. I'm bored. What should I do?


Dear Les:

I hate to disagree with a colleague, but I don't think a passive approach to life gets people anywhere. Occasionally, "something comes along" when you are not looking -- but usually good things come to people who are making an active search.

Other retirees may say you are crazy to not enjoy your well earned rest. But I say you are just proving what Freud said was important for happiness: love and work. Love can be for a spouse, children or friends. Work doesn't have to be full-time. But it does have to provide a sense of mission and purpose to life.

Find a psychologist who specializes in career issues (or another kind of properly credentialed career counselor) who can give you vocational interest tests and help you take an active approach to finding something that will give you the stimulation and respect you miss. It certainly doesn't have to be high-pressure like the job you left, but it has to give you what you are missing. Retirement can provide the time for travel, study and sports. But those are really the icing on the cake. We all need the "cake" of work to make the "icing" truly enjoyable.

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.