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 ,
and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here.
Contact in ation is here.
IS FIFTY TOO OLD? Part I
Dear Career Doctor:
I am in my 50's and worked part-time in an office for the last 25 years.
My company closed and now I can't find a job. I have filled out numerous
applications. I can't work retail because I can't stand for long periods
because I have bad knees. How can I find a job? Is it because of my
age that I don't get called in for an interview?
Some areas, like advertising, marketing and much of Wall Street definitely
favor youth. But most other fields will value experience and maturity
if it is balanced by a youthful enthusiasm for life and work.
Everyone knows that 40 is a turning point in life, but I believe 50
is even more so. At fifty, some people seem old beyond their years and,
yes, they would definitely face age discrimination. Other people maintain
an appropriate youthful zest until they die. I think this issue is so
important that it deserves a two part answer. So this week I will talk
about maintaining "youthful enthusiasm" and next week I'll give some
practical job-hunting advice.
It isn't fair, but appearance counts. Most of us at fifty, especially
those who've been sitting at desk jobs, have gained too much weight.
Our hairstyles and clothing may have looked fine when we were younger,
but may not fit our new body type. It's not fair, but it is a fact that
people who look "over the hill," will face discrimination. If this has
happened to you, go to the gym, go on a healthy diet and make sure you
only have flattering clothes in your wardrobe.
I'm not advocating, only reporting, when I say that some people go further
than that. I know a man who had great experience in Human Resources
when his company closed. He thought his job search was being held back
because, being bald and "jowly," he looked "over the hill". He decided
to have minor plastic surgery to remove the jowls, bought some new,
well-fitting suits. His more dynamic appearance reflected his personality
and enhanced his job search.
Attitude is even more important than appearance. If you approach job
interviews with a smile and project an enthusiasm for working, you will
be the kind of person people want to hire. Be sure to focus on what
you can do, rather than the fact that you have bad knees. After all,
even in retail, a company might allow you to bring a stool. (This can
be negotiated AFTER you get the job offer.) But any emphasis on health
problems in the early stages of interviewing is a major turn off to
Next week, I'll give you some practical tips to job hunting.
The Career Doctor
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.