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'm 16 years old, and have just started my first job ever. I've been here for 2 weeks, and I made the biggest mistake possible. I got confused with the schedule and ended up not coming to work a day that I was supposed to. It's not that I forgot, or chose not to call, but I honestly had no idea that I was supposed to work that day. By the time I got a message from the manager, it was too late to come. Now I'm scared about my job, not to mention embarrassed and ashamed of my mistake. What should I do?


Dear HR:

Whether this is your first job or your tenth job, whether you are 16 or 60, if you make a mistake, the best thing you can do is apologize to your boss and sincerely say the mistake will never happen again.

By now, you will know whether your mistake cost you your job. If it did, you either had a very mean boss, or a boss who has hired so many unreliable teenagers that he has had to adopt a zero-tolerance policy.

If you are still employed, be sure to show up every day you are scheduled, not just on time, but a little early. If you were fired, don't let it get you down. The job never has to appear on your resume, so no one ever needs to know you blew your first job. In the coming years, after you have done well on your next few jobs, this can become a funny story that you tell your friends -- and eventually, your kids.

The Career Doctor

Ask The Career Doctor:
The Career Doctor cannot answer every question here, and she does not respond to personal emails. Please use this form to ask your question.

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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.