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 will be sixty-five soon and I want to continue working, but I want to slow down. I work for a bank and I have a long commute, so I would like to talk to my boss about working part-time. The problem is Iím afraid he will just tell me itís all or nothing. Any suggestions?


Dear Sally:

Unfortunately, thereís another possibility. Instead of saying itís all or nothing, your boss could just ask you to leave. Thereís a growing trend for companies to get rid of employees who have worked for a long time and grown their salaries far beyond that of newer workers doing the same kind of work. In many corporations there isnít a lot of loyalty to long-term employees anymore. So if your salary far exceeds that of younger workers doing similar tasks, beware!

Here are the factors that affect how to approach the boss:

1. How close are you to him? The better the personal relationship, the more likely he is to try to work with you.

2. How unique are your skills? If you can easily be replaced by someone who earns less, you could be in trouble.

3. Does the company have other part-time professionals? The more common this is, the better your chances of success. You might even go to Human Resources and ask if there is a company policy about part-time employment. Of course, going to HR is always risky, since it can easily get back to your boss.

4. Could you do your job in less time? The more you can offer your cut-back as a benefit to the company, the better off you are. For example, if you could offer to do the same amount of work in four days with 4/5 salary, thatís a good incentive for them to accept your offer.

5. How much do you need the job? If you really need the work or the money, and you do not have unique skills, you might want to reconsider.

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.