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


Dear Career Doctor:

I am a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor/writer, who is in her sixties. I'd like something to do on a part-time basis that will get me out of the house and earn me some money. We will soon have a grandchild and I may be needed to help, so I want flexibility as well. The job sites are weighted toward full-time positions. How can I go about finding part-time or temporary work?


Dear W:

You are qualified for many part-time positions. The questions are: What do you want to do? And which of your skills do you want to use?

If you look in the Yellow Pages under Employment Agencies, you will see ads for agencies that specialize in temporary jobs. Some place people in businesses, and, for example, there are usually many jobs in customer relations that are hard to fill because applicants do not have the interpersonal and language skills you developed as a teacher and editor. Other agencies place people in positions as baby-sitters or assistants for the elderly.

If you want to use your editing/writing skills, the best thing to do is network: contact every editor and author you ever worked with and tell them that you want to freelance. Tell all your friends and children's friends too, asking if they know anyone who might use your skills. You will turn up many possible opportunities, since, for example, many people want to write a book and need help to do this.

If you want to teach, contact all the area schools and daycare centers to be placed on their substitute teacher lists.

I think you will be flooded with opportunities if you start looking in all these places, so here's my strong caution: Before you start this process, be very clear about the skills you most want to use, and, even more important, how much you want to charge so you can make a good choice for yourself.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor cannot answer every question here, and she does not respond to personal emails.

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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.