Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend Asks Unemployed Reader Not To Apply for Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been looking for work for about a year. Throughout this period, I have been talking to a few close friends about my search, as they are also looking for work. Recently, one friend told me about a job she is interviewing for that seems perfect for me. She even said as much when she mentioned it, though she agreed to the interview and asked me not to apply. I don’t think that’s fair. Truthfully, this job isn’t even in her field, but like all of us, she is just going for everything she can. Is it wrong for me to want to apply for a job that seems like a perfect fit even though my friend asked me not to? -- Should I Go For It?

DEAR SHOULD I GO FOR IT?: Unless you made a covenant with your friend not to apply for anything that the other goes for, you are not beholden to her request. You should know, however, that if you go for the interview and get the job, your friendship will probably suffer, at least in the short run.

In the best of worlds, you and your friends should use this moment as an opportunity for clarification of your interviewing process. If you have the nerves for it, bring it out in the open. The goal is that the best person for the job should get it, even when that includes two or more friends. You must realize that in most cases it won’t be just you and your friends being considered for a position. Agree to pump each other up, even if you are both going for the same thing. Trust that there is a perfect job for each of you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son has one class that is causing him a lot of stress. He is in high school and trying to be independent in terms of doing his homework and fending for himself. But I see that he is terrified of how he is managing in this class. I want to support him more actively. Because I am not good at the subject he’s struggling in, I want to get him a tutor. How can I convince him to consider it? I could force him, since he is a minor, but I don’t think that’s the right approach. -- Accept a Tutor

DEAR ACCEPT A TUTOR: Some students mistakenly believe that getting a tutor is an indication of failure. Your job is to encourage your son to recognize that a tutor can help him to understand what his teacher has failed to impart effectively to him. Since you are unable to clarify this knowledge, your job is to find someone who can help him. There is no shame in getting help. This is true in school and in life.

Make sure your son knows that it is a sign of strength to ask for help when you need it. A tutor can help him to master his understanding of a subject so that he can achieve whatever is before him. Encourage him to embrace the opportunity to have that support.

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