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've worked since I was 15 years old. The positions I've held in my career vary but all are demanding of my mind time. I recently quit a horrible job as the travel requirements kept escalating. We have a 4 year old daughter who's been in daycare from day one. I never thought I would not want to work outside the home but I've changed my mind as I want to spend more time with my daughter. Here's the problem I'd like your advice on... My husband is furious with me for quitting my job. He wants no part of my staying home (even part time) with our daughter. What do you suggest?


Dear Cindy:

I can certainly understand why you want to stay home for awhile with your daughter and take a break. However, I also know that many men feel terribly pressured by being the sole breadwinner - and sometimes terribly jealous because they would like a break too.

Since marriage is a partnership, some compromise is in order. But before you begin to think of ways to play "Let's Make a Deal," you have to find out exactly what your husband wants from you. Why does he want you working? If he wants to build savings, sit down with him and deduct all the costs of your working (childcare, commuting) and come up with the net figure he would like you to replicate. If he needs to know that you could take over if something happens to his job, see if there is a way that you could keep your skills up while you take the break you need. If he wants you working so he can risk a job change, negotiate a sequence - for example, I put my husband through graduate school and then he supported me while I did the same.

Here is the approach I suggest you take: Each of you think what the other person wants, and propose a solution that both of you can accept. If you can't reach a compromise on your own, sit down with an impartial third person - a friend, an accountant or a counselor - who can help each of you understand what you want and how to compromise.

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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