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.
CAN I SUPPORT MY FAMILY AND GO TO SCHOOL?
Dear Career Doctor:
I recently closed my real estate business that I have been running for several
years and currently have a fall-back job here in Missouri where I am earning $100K.
I like the work but I am not happy. I want to follow my dream and go
back to college and pursue a PH D in Psychology. However, I am
34 and feel like I am too old and the financial aspect could burden my
family. Any advice?
I think you are the one who should be giving advice -- telling all the
people who want to get out of the real estate business how to find a
$100,000 fall-back position! But to answer your question:
You are not necessarily too old to pursue a Ph.D., but the financial
burden will be extreme. You will have to count on being in school 4-5
years where you pay for your education but make very little money. Then,
even after a number of years of experience, given managed care, you
may never make your current salary. So you and your family will have
to decide whether or not this sacrifice is worth it.
Given the fact that you say you like your work, I would tend to stick
with it, while trying to find the benefits you seek as a psychologist
elsewhere. There are many ways you can counsel people in your off hours.
For example, I recently suggested to a client that he counsel people
with excessive credit debt, helping them negotiate better deals with
their creditors. Your real estate knowledge could be a great asset with
If you want to engage in a different kind of psychological counseling,
there are many opportunities: mentoring troubled young people or volunteering
at a victim's assistance or crisis hotline agency. Agencies like these
often train volunteers. Some family courts have programs too, training
volunteers to be child advocates or work with troubled families.
Study psychology and try to use what you learn, but the most practical
approach would be to use it as a volunteer, rather than trying to support
your family that way.
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.