Reader feels be­hind in ca­reer tra­jec­tory

Times Standard (Eureka) - - LIFESTYLE - By Har­ri­ette Cole

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 to check out a job board for older peo­ple that might have leads for you. For ideas on how to rein­vent your­self, go to

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.

Dear Har­ri­ette: I have four nieces and one nephew. In my eyes, they are my ba­bies, and I can’t bear the idea of them grow­ing up. Re­cently, my older sis­ter was sta­tioned in Seoul, South Korea, since she works in the Air Force. Now that my fam­ily is over a thou­sand miles across the world, I am wor­ried that the kids will for­get me. I love them so much, and I am wor­ried that I am los­ing touch with them. It has been a few months since they moved to Seoul, and I miss them dearly. I do not want to lose our con­nec­tion as a fam­ily. What can I do to strengthen our bonds even though we are miles apart? — For­got­ten Fam­ily

Dear For­got­ten Fam­ily: Do not de­spair. The great news is that you can use mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to stay in close touch with your fam­ily. You will need to set this up with your sis­ter — un­less the chil­dren are old enough to do it them­selves. You can use What­sApp to talk to one an­other for free. You can see each other us­ing the video fea­ture or just talk through the phone fea­ture. You can leave each other voice mes­sages if it’s tough to talk di­rectly due to the time dif­fer­ences.

You may want to es­tab­lish a set time each week when you talk to the fam­ily. Since you have to co­or­di­nate your sched­ules to deal with the time dif­fer­ence, set it up with your sis­ter, and be vig­i­lant about touch­ing base — even if your en­gage­ment is for only a few min­utes.

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@ har­ri­et­ or c/o An­drews McMeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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