Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Feels Behind in Career Trajectory

DEAR HARRIETTE: I constantly feel like I am behind the eight ball. I had a robust career that ended some years ago when my industry began to tank. I have worked independently since then on a variety of projects. From the outside, I look successful, but my bank account tells a different story. Plus, I keep seeing people in my field who seem to be prosperous trying out new technology or aligning with big brands while I seem to be scrambling for crumbs. I am beginning to feel like there’s no more room for me and my talents and creativity. But I’m still in my 50s and have a family. I have to keep working, but I’m not sure what to do to reinvent myself. I don’t want to give up, but I need some guidance. -- Second Act

DEAR SECOND ACT: Do not despair. You are not alone. In fact, statistics show that there are more seniors than 18-year-olds in the United States. This is a time when our mature population should be valued more, and there are organizations out there that are trying to make that happen. Open your eyes to the possibilities for people in your age group with your skills. Polish your resume, and highlight the things that you have excelled at over the years. Stop worrying about your contemporaries, and look for opportunities that feel right for you.

You must also work on your mindset. If you are feeling down, you will not attract the bounty that you want and deserve. To change your attitude, you can exercise more, drink a lot of water, choose to think positive thoughts, surround yourself with people you love who are supportive of you, and seek professional help if you need it.

When you look for jobs, you can go to various online job boards, but be sure to narrow your search based on your skills and abilities. Look for sites that specialize in your field, or go to jobs.aarp.org to check out a job board for older people that might have leads for you. For ideas on how to reinvent yourself, go to bit.ly/REINVENTSS.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been making many friends recently. A couple of days ago, I befriended a guy, and we hit it off. We had many things in common, and we talked for hours. However, there were some red flags that were going off when I was around him. He would make me uncomfortable and touch me in places I didn’t want to be touched. I told him to keep his hands off, and he would comply but eventually continue anyway. My biggest mistake was giving him my contact information. He texts me every day, from morning to evening, asking me too many personal questions. I don’t want to be mean to him, but whenever I tell him to leave me alone, he persists. I am scared, and I don’t know what to do. -- Always Followed

DEAR ALWAYS FOLLOWED: Block this person from your social media and your phone. Refuse to respond to his texts. Silence may work to make him realize you really are no longer interested in him. If it escalates, you may need to report him to the police to get this incident on the record.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)