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.


Dear Career Doctor:

I am a licensed attorney who took several years off to raise my children. I have returned to work at a Fortune 500 company in a paralegal position which offers no growth. I have sent out resumes, but no bites. Any advice?


Dear Sara:

It is difficult to answer your question without knowing the kind of law you practiced before and what your dream job would be. It would also help to know if you are practicing primarily for the money or for the pleasure of the work. But since I don't know any of those key factors, I will just give you some general advice:

1. Network: Have you contacted all your old colleagues, law clients and law school buddies? If so, don't stop there. Contact the Alumni Office and Career Center at your law school and undergraduate school. These places often can connect you with grads in the area where you want to work.

2. Retrain: Sometimes just taking a class or two gives your resume new vigor because you can start with your Education instead of Experience that has a gap. You also may want to consider retraining in fields where there will be a lot of work for the next few years: Bankruptcy law and real estate foreclosures.

3. Contact Legal Temp Firms: Some companies use temp positions as a way to preview candidates for permanent jobs. Even if this doesn't happen, legal temping might be a way of getting back into the law and giving you some good experience to boost your resume. Only look for temporary work as a lawyer, not a paralegal. When you find it, you might want to erase the paralegal work you are doing now from your resume, since it doesn't seem to enhance your marketability.

The Career Doctor

Note to Sara: A reader wrote to say that there is a program for women getting back into law practice. It is called "New Directions in Law" at Pace University.



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.