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.
CAREER PLANNING PART I: HOW DO I PICK THE RIGHT CAREER?
Dear Career Doctor:
Hey! I'm in 8th grade and, yes, I know I'm young! But I'm just the kind
of person who wants to have a life plan. I have been wanting to be a
doctor all my life, but all the sudden I am having second thoughts!
I love public speaking, I express myself openly, and I'm not sure if
being a lawyer is now my destined job. Both of these jobs seem like
the right one. I also am a strong leader. My high school is really selective
and I'm not sure I'll get into the right classes. WHAT DO I DO??
I admire someone who is a long-term planner like you. You have plenty
of time to figure out what you want to do, and even to set yourself
up to get into one of the top colleges that will lead you to the success
you want; but you are correct: the earlier you start planning, the better
off you will be. In fact, I think your question is so important that
I am going to write a two part answer. This week I will answer your
direct question: How do I figure out the right career direction? Next
week, I will answer your implied question: How do I get into a top college?
When thinking about choosing the right career, please know that you
do not need to pressure yourself. You will not have to declare a major
until your sophomore year. And even if you don't select the "right"
major at that time, you can always take post-grad courses and pick up
the credits you need to get into graduate school (or med school or law
So, take a little pressure off yourself and begin to explore which career
might be fun. Fun? Yes, fun! Fun is key to a successful career. Why?
People who go into a field they think is both fun and interesting don't
have to force themselves to go to work. They naturally have the enthusiastic,
creative approach to their work that brings success.
The problem is that most young people -- and even many adults are never
exposed to the wide range of existing career choices. They only know
about the jobs their parents have, and the ones they see glamorized
on television. So for the next few years, explore the world of work
and discover what jobs sound fun and interesting to you.
Talk to every adult you meet about what they do. Ask what are the good
and bad points of their job. (Unfortunately, there are good and bad
about everything. The issue is whether you will enjoy the good enough
to put up with the bad.) Browse the career section of your local library.
There are books about almost every career. One big one is The
Occupational Outlook Handbook, which has a page or two of in ation
about the jobs that 80% of Americans are employed in. It's online, so
you can read a little every week if you want. When you find things that
look good, you can do more research.
Make a game out of this for yourself. If you take this approach, you
will be miles ahead of your peers in terms of finding the career that
is right for you. And, since you are worried about getting into the
"right" classes, I'll tell you more about that next week.
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.
For more in ation go to www.jacquelineplumez.com.