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.

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Dear Career Doctor:

I recently realized that my job is abusive. The company is known for its terrible turnover and is at its all time worst. I honestly feel that they are pushing me to fail. The stress is debilitating and I have finally shut down. I've decided that I do not deserve to be treated like this and need to make a move. However, finding another job could take months. My alternatives are to quit, contact HR for assistance or ask my doctor to consider putting me on work leave. Which alternative would have the smallest impact on my career.


Dear Jennifer:

The sad truth is that more and more companies are working employees to death and giving them less and less support. This is usually stupid, because such companies usually have to pay for abusive practices through costly high turnover. However, the answer to your multiple choice question is "none of the above."

The saying that it is easier to get a job when you have a job is true, so I would not quit. I'd keep working while looking for another job. It is probably useless to ask HR for help in a company that is known for being terrible to its people. HR is either in collusion with management or powerless to alter the situation. And it doesn't look good on a record to go out for work leave, so I wouldn't do this unless it is vital for your health.

So, before you do any of the above, I would try three other things:

1. While working, devote most of your effort to finding a new job in a better company. Your main focus should be on getting another job.

2. Learn some relaxation or meditation techniques to relieve stress. Many psychologists or other professionals can teach you to do this in a few sessions.

3. Every time something abusive happens or you begin thinking how horrible your situation is, switch your thinking. Either do something concrete to aid your job search, or think of something good or positive about your life away from work.

Remember, your misery won't last forever. All it takes is one good job offer! And as I always say, success is the best revenge.

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.