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 our anonymous form, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I think I am going to get a wonderful job offer in another state. I would LOVE to have this job. The problem is that I am a single mother with a son who is a Junior in High School. He is happy in school and very upset about the possibility of moving - especially for his Senior year. I hate thinking that I have to choose between making my son, or me, happy. Do you think the move would damage him?

Worried Mom

Dear Worried:

I can't answer that question, especially not knowing your son or more about the situation. But I can offer some suggestions about how to make this difficult decision.

First of all, begin assessing both your son's and your situation. For you: How likely is it that a job like this will come along again? Is this really a once in a lifetime opportunity? For your son: Are his friends and activities here healthy ones that would be hard to replicate in your new area? Is he the kind of person who adapts well to new situations or not?

If you get the job offer, you can request that the company fly both you and your son out to assess the situation before you accept the offer. Call the Principal of the local high school(s) and see if you can arrange a tour of the school with special emphasis on the activities your son most likes. See how both of you react to the experience.

If after that, it seems like you have to make a King Solomon decision, where someone has to be hurt, is there any compromise possible? For example, is there anyone that your son could live with to complete his Senior year? If so, is it possible for you to telecommute one day a week, and live part-time here and part-time there for the next year until your son goes to college? Perhaps you could rent a small space in both places for a year - but, of course, I would never suggest that you let a teenager live alone without a very responsible adult the days you are working in a different state.

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.


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