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.

MOTIVATING A TEENAGER

Dear Career Doctor:

My son is in high school and I want him to become a lawyer or doctor. He wants to do computers. He is a straight A student and gets all his work done, but he's bored. I want to teach him more things like studying law, etc. I want him to start learning now.

Is that possible? What can I do to advance him? For example, how can I make him read encyclopedias?

Tiawain

Dear Tiawain:

You sound like a concerned mother to me, but I bet you sound like a controlling nag to your son. I can just hear him thinking as he ignores you, "I get great grades. Why won't she get off my back?"

The good news is that your son is interested in computers. If you are want him to find a high paying, high status job, he can certainly find that through computers, if he gets a degree from a good college in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering.

The bad news is that kids usually close their ears and hearts to parents who nag or criticize. Even the most well-meaning advice is often ignored. (I often find that I can say exactly the same thing to a young client as a parent has said and I will be listened to, while the parent has been ignored.)

That said, here are some suggestions:

1. Buy him some interesting books to introduce him to law and medicine. I have heard good things about a book, How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman. Take a look at Acing Your First Year of Law School or The Insiders Guide to Your First Year of Law School.

2. While I don't know any teenagers who would curl up with an encyclopedia for a good read, I hear that a lot are reading it in the process of playing the Wikipedia Game. Go to www.wikipedia.org/wiki/game and check it out. You might like it yourself.

The only thing you wrote that concerns me is that your son is bored. So, talk to your son's teachers or guidance counselor to see if they can engage him in extra curricular activities or extra credit work.

I am always hopeful when I hear about a teen who has a special interest or skill. So, if your son rejects all my suggestions and your efforts, don't despair. Just think about how upset Mrs. Gates must have been when young Bill dropped out of college to play with computers.

The Career Doctor

Dear John/Chad (with the medical degree from the Phillipines):
While I am not writing any answers to doctor questions for the next few months, explore becoming a science or biology teacher. Schools can't get enough good ones.

 

 

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.

For more in ation go to www.jacquelineplumez.com.