Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Ask DR.JOB Q and A: Helping Vets Help Selves

Q.1. I'M A 38-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, HONORABLY DISCHARGED from the Army and I can't find a job that fits my years of experience as an officer. I'm sure I don't present myself well on resumes or in interviews because I've never done this before.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong and wonder if there some help for me,

(A) YOU ARE EXACTLY THE DEMOGRAPHIC Sander Flaum, author of The Best Thing That Ever Happened to YOU" is trying to reach. A professor and executive-in-residence at Ford ham University's Leadership Forum, Flaum is one of many CEOs mentoring young returning vets to help them find and hold jobs in the Edge4Vets  program developed at the Fordham University Human Resiliency Institute. It brings together CEOs and CFOs to mentor young men and women who return from war with no sense of what they'll do for work in one of this country's most competitive job economies. Those interested in learning more about this program and others like it can email Edge4Vets founder, Tom Murphy:


 (Q.2) I WAS A HOUSEWIFE 25 YEARS before returning to school to earn a bachelor's degree in History and taking further courses in current events. I am vitally interested in what's going on in the world but my family, friends, bridge and book clubs members all still see me as the housewife. So whenever I want to comment on some important issue of the day (such as poison gas, or Cairo) I feel I have to start by saying, I know you don't want to hear this from me, and I know you aren't really interested in this, but..." and then I give them important information I feel members of all these groups should have. It's frustrating to me but I wonder how I can start telling this news as men do.

(A) YOU WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY by others when you take yourself seriously and stop apologizing. Put down your hand of cards and say, "In case you haven't heard..." and tell them the latest news. No apologies are necessary and they will begin to view  you as a source of important information. If they don't, find a new bridge club. Those 25 years at home obviously damaged your self-confidence and  the people who caused it must be brought up to date on your new persona..


(Q.3) I'M SO TIRED BEING A FLOOR NURSE. I do very medial work and would    like to improve my  career. But I work such odd hours, often-late day or night shifts, and can't fit college courses in. Also, I'd like to choose a specialty and can't figure out what it should be.

(A) IT'S NEVER EASY FOR A NURSE to choose a nursing specialty. But one rather new option is planning, implementing and evaluating infection prevention and control measures. Earning a degree in this growing field, such as an MSN with an infection prevention and control specialization, is one way to ensure knowledge of best practices - and perhaps new career opportunities. And guess what? It can be done online through American Sentinel University's MSN, infection prevention and control specialization. Visit more information or to register for American Sentinel University's health care and nursing programs.


   (Q.4) I 'M A HOSPITAL VOLUNTEER and my main job is bringing the Bookmobile or patients on two floors. There is one patient I simply cannot bear to be with because of her impossible attitude and behavior but I don't know how handle this. If I bring books to everyone else and skip her, she'll be hurt and I'm sure will report me. Any ideas?

   (A.) THE FIRST IS TO SPEAK TO the director of volunteers and explain the situation and emphasize it isn't your fault because you get along with everyone else. Ask if she can arrange to have someone in that department speak to the woman about her behavior and give her a week to try and change it. If that fails, ask to have your route changed to another floor. Volunteers like you are very valuable to hospitals and there's no question your director will do everything in her power to make your work as pleasant as possible. Remain pleasant when you make all these requests.