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 have been searching for a retirement career and formulated two plans which would bring fulfillment and joy. First: to be an excellent dog groomer, because I love dogs. The second: to be a kitchen water distiller distributor.

I became a distributor for a line of water distillers, and while I believe the product is as important as a smoke detector or a fire extinguisher, I can't seem to sell any. Is there a technique?

I really want to quit my job and go to groomer school for 10 weeks. But my husband says there is no money in dog grooming. He also says I would be defying him to leave my job (even though I have had very little joy in that job for 29 years!)

I want to TRY something and not just collect a check, but I don't have enough money to support these endeavors without income. Meanwhile, I'm going to lose my distributorship if I don't sell something soon. Any thoughts?


Dear Janice:

Quite frankly, I am always suspicious of companies that offer to make people "distributors" and promise big incomes, but don't give sales training. No matter how good the product, it is very difficult to be successful in direct sales.

One Larchmont resident who has been very successful in sales, Graham MacAden, suggests that you read a book: Build It Big: 101 Insider Secrets from Top Direct Selling Experts. It's available from Amazon, or any bookstore can order it for you.

After you read the book (and other books you can find in your local library on selling techniques), set clear goals for yourself in terms of how many selling contacts you are going to make each day. If you haven't been able to be successful in three months, it's time to move on to dog grooming.

It sounds like you will have to use all your new-found selling techniques to sell your husband on the idea of dog grooming. Here are some things that might help:

1. Ask the dog grooming school for information on the jobs their graduates have gotten. Any legitimate school will give you statistics on how many of their graduates found jobs upon graduation, and the salary they received.
2. A better idea, given your husband's resistance and your tight budget, might be to apprentice yourself to a nearby dog groomer on your days off. I think you will be able to find a groomer who would teach you the skills in exchange for your help with the work.
3. You could also read every book you could find on dog grooming and learn the trade by practicing on your friends' dogs -- or at a local animal shelter.

If none of these ideas work, then formulate plan three!

The Career Doctor

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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.