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 , and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact in ation is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I am in my 50's and worked part-time in an office for the last 25 years. My company closed and now I can't find a job. I have filled out numerous applications. I can't work retail because I can't stand for long periods because I have bad knees. How can I find a job? Is it because of my age that I don't get called in for an interview?

Sheryl B.

Dear Sheryl:

As I said last week, I think your question is important enough to have a two part answer. That's because while some companies discriminate against people your age, many companies discriminate in favor of older employees because they find them more mature, reliable and loyal. BUT ONLY if older applicants project a youthful enthusiasm and know how to conduct an effective job search.

Last week I talked about maintaining age-appropriate youth. This week I'll give a few job hunting tips you may have forgotten since you've been working in the same place for 25 years.

1. Networking is always the best way to find a job. Make a list of all the people you have worked with in your 25 years. Contact them, reminding them of your good work and asking who they know who might help you find what you are looking for. Also make a list of all the people you know in your neighborhood or through your clubs or house of worship. Tell them what you are looking for and ask who they know who might help you find a job.

2. Create a resume that is an ad for yourself. A resume should make the person who reads it realize immediately that you would be a great employee. "Brag" a bit about your accomplishments and the personal qualities that would make someone want to hire you.

3. When you talk to people about your job search, focus on what you can do -- not on your bad knees that keep you from standing. Think positively and creatively. As I said last week, in some retail situations, you could BYO stool!

4. Search for Senior Employment Centers. AARP has one in Manhattan and there is also one in New Rochelle. While I would also contact general personnel agencies and employment web sites, the ones for Seniors will guarantee there is no age discrimination.

Someone like you with 25 years of solid experience should definitely be able to find a job. Good luck in finding just the right one!

The Career Doctor



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.