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 AN INTROVERT BECOME ASSERTIVE – AND BE A SUCCESSFUL MBA?
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Dear Career Doctor:

I am a nurse with a good job and good pay and benefits, yet I am not satisfied at all. I have discovered that I love finance and management, even though I am an introvert and a non-assertive person. I am 24 and I want to go back to school. Should I get my MBA? Will success with an MBA fit with my personality or require me to go outside my comfort zone?

Karen

Dear Karen:

Yes, introverts can find happiness as MBAs. As a matter of fact, many people who are in accounting or finance are introverts. As they rise up the ladder of success, they may have to manage people, but management techniques can be learned either in courses of through a mentor or coach.

Anyone even an introvert can learn to be assertive. Its a trainable skill. As a psychologist, I have taught many people to be assertive. At first it seems impossible, but as they begin practicing speaking up and standing up for themselves in small ways it becomes easier and easier. A book that I recommend to clients who want to become assertive is Your Perfect Right. (The authors are Emmons and Alberti, and the publisher is Impact Press. Any bookstore can order it for you.) It will teach you the difference between being passive, aggressive and assertive. If you work with a counselor/therapist, you can bring in situations and practice them with, but you can try working on your own with the book.

As for changing fields, I suggest you sign up for an accounting course and see how you like it. There is a shortage of accountants and lots of introverts in the field. If you like it, great. If not, why not go for your MBA, and major in finance? Whatever you choose as a major, you will probably benefit from some assertion and management training.

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.