About Dear Abel and Sofi: While our Q&A Forum addresses 1,000+ public questions weekly, we wanted to give our small business owners an outlet to anonymously share the kinds of frustrations, fears and private struggles few people express openly. Father-daughter duo Abel and Sofi co-author the column, bringing diverse perspectives to both professional and personal problems. A serial entrepreneur and counselor, Abel, 65, is known for his empathy and his uncanny understanding of many issues. Co-owner of a salon, Sofi, 28, has a younger, more candid approach to life’s challenges. Beyond appearing on Alignable’s Q&A Forum, now this column in syndicated in outlets including the Focus Newspaper in NC and The Yankee Xpress in MA. To submit your anonymous questions to Abel and Sofi, please click here

Dear Abel & Sofi –

I run a nonprofit for seniors, but it’s completely volunteer. It helps seniors who want to fully embrace life and don’t want to burden their relatives as they age. We have workshops on everythingfrom brain games and memoir writing to how to use the latest computer systems and smartphones. This is very fulfilling work, as I just love helping fellow seniors live lives that nurture mind, body and soul.

That said, at age 69, I’m still very skilled at writing and word processing and would love to find part-time or full-time paying work to keep me from going broke! However, like many older workers, I apply online to job after job and get nowhere. 

Please send some advice ASAP! I need your help. 

Thanks, Sidelined But Still Hopeful Senior

Dear Sidelined – In this rather robust economy, it’s a real shame that there’s such blatant age discrimination, but I hear about it daily. Obviously, if you’re talented enough to establish your own charitable foundation that helps seniors remain vital and engaged, then you could handle an office job with one hand tied behind your back!

And with the current cost of living, it’s no wonder you want a steady income to pay bills. Many people I know need more money than they ever anticipated. It’s just a fact of modern life.

I apologize for venting, but as a 65-year-old sassy senior myself, who really feels like I’m just getting going, there are days when I want to organize a protest similar to the Million Moms March. But mine would be the Senior March On Washington, a wave of gray and white, demanding equal rights to employment. A lot of us are angry and might just make something like this happen someday. If any Alignable members have ideas about peaceful protests, list them below. Perhaps there’s a boycott we could stage before organizing that big march.

Now, getting back to your present situation, you mentioned getting lost in the shuffle of online applications. As you’re learning, HR software can sort you out by years of experience, for instance, and your application might never see the light of day. But there’s one way around that — chop off 10-15 years of experience from the back end of your resume for starters. Sadly, few employers care about what you did in the 1990s.

Then look for local career fairs in your area. Get a new outfit that makes you feel great, pay for a contemporary cut and color and go meet prospective employers. You should also post something openly about what you’re seeking/offering on Alignable to see who might be seeking someone like you. And review the comments below in a week or so, as you might find some job offers or at least people willing to help you offline.

Thanks again for the great note and for what you’re doing for seniors in your area. You’re a beacon of light for our generation. You’re helping seniors to stay vital and active, instead of rolling over and playing dead like some folks in North America would like us to do!

I hope our Alignable members can help you out in real-time, as well.

All my best, Abel

Dear Sidelined But Still Hopeful: You’re a force of nature. And you sure hit a raw nerve with Dad. You go, Dad! I’ll be right there beside you at our Senior March On Washington. Discrimination – sexism, ageism, racism — can no longer be tolerated. It’s almost 2020!

I’m wondering if you can take all of your great senior care experience and translate that into a full-time job, while still running your charitable organization on a part-time basis. Maybe the office job isn’t for you, but applying to a senior care center might be a better fit, especially since senior care is an expanding category. Ideally, you might be able to carve out your own niche in senior care at a big company.

Beyond looking for a big company or facility, maybe you can put more energy into translating your intellectual exercises into a traveling service where you show up and help to stimulate older minds through the games, memoir writing, and training you implement with seniors now. Maybe this would be one way to expand your charity and, perhaps, even give yourself a paycheck.

As our population continues to get older, people with your talents and passion who can help seniors in a number of ways should be in demand, whether they’re in a facility or they stay in their forever homes.

Thanks again for being so candid in your note. And I’m hoping that candor will help you land a job through Alignable or through other means ASAP.

Wishing you only the best, Sofi

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