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July 18, 2011
How Not to Be Invisible After 40
 
According to Harry Potter, Invisibility Cloaks are made from the pelts of Demiguise, which are magical herbivores living in the Far East. If you happen to be short on Demiguise, however, and need to be invisible, there’s another option. Simply go out into the world as a middle-aged person, and you can be invisible all the time, no cloak necessary.

As the Editorial Director of Mojo40.com, one of the top complaints I hear from readers (especially women) is that they seem to have become transparent. Sales clerks look right through them, the opposite sex does not check them out, and even their resumes seem to disappear once it’s clear how old they are.
 
So, short of going to Hogwarts and finding a spell to make you magically appear, what can you do to make sure you don’t become socially invisible after 40?
 
1. Expand your group of friends. How many of your friends are younger than you? Older? The opposite gender? A difference race? A different sexual orientation? It’s easy to get into a rut when you hang out with the same people that just reinforce your same way of thinking. Hanging out with people who have different perspectives will make you a more interesting person, and that’s sexy, which always gets noticed.
 
2. Stop wearing your I-Give-Up Clothes. I am sure those Mom Jeans and slightly stained and rumpled khakis are quite comfortable, but there are many comfortable options that don’t scream, “I’m over 40, so why bother?” Men: The go-to outfit for you is a tailored (yes, that’s important) blue blazer, a white shirt, no tie, fitted jeans, a good belt, and, if you’re feeling like Don Draper, toss in a pocket square. Women: You need to become friends with a bit of Lycra in your fabrics and dresses that need nothing more than cool scarf to be a complete outfit.
 
3. Innocently flirt. True flirting is just making other people feel good about themselves. Give a sincere compliment. Smile. Hold the door for someone. Practice on everybody, not just people you find attractive.
 
4. Embrace your grown-up-ness. Remember when you were a kid and people like your school principal, the top teacher, and favorite athletic coach all seem to really have their sh*t together? They had that cool confidence that comes from being a Real Grown Up. You’re that grown-up now. Remember that. And don’t hesitate to ask to speak to the manager.
 
5. Work out with weights. Lift a lot more than you think you can (with a professional trainer initially, natch). No weights? Use your own heft and do push-ups. Nothing will get you fit faster and give you more body confidence than some muscle tone, and that means lifting real free weights way past your comfort level. It will jumpstart your body into getting fitter, and that will inspire you to eat more healthfully. It’s ironic that the bigger you are, the more invisible you become.
 
Got some other ideas on How Not to Be Invisible? Spill below in the comments.

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As the editorial director of Mojo40.com, Susan Kim’s goal is to help people over 40 get their career mojo back with content that is helpful, entertaining, and free of marketing-ese like shifting paradigms. She previously was the creative director at advertising.com (AOL). You can connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter.
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