Cole worked for then freshmen member of Congress Barbara Boxer after she graduated from college. During that year she continued to freelance as a runway model. She became an assistant editor at Essence Magazine in the lifestyle section, then known as Contemporary Living.
For the next several years, Cole was promoted annually until she became the editor of that section. During her tenure in Contemporary Living Cole traveled all over the world documenting cultures of people of African descent. Her travels took her to the Ivory Coast inWest Africa, Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, Bahia, Brazil, Paris, France, throughout the Caribbean and also across the United States.
In 1995 she left Essence and launched her own media company which is now titled Harriette Cole Media.
Through her 15-year-old business, Cole has participated in a broad range of projects. She has written a number of books including How to Be: A Guide to Conscious Living, Choosing Truth, Vows and Coming Together. She has helped to launch a number of magazines such as American Legacy Woman, Savoy, and Uptown. Cole led the visual transformation of Ebony magazine, and most recently served as editor in chief of the magazine. During her 3½ years at Ebony, Cole produced covers featuring Barack and Michelle Obamabefore he announced his run for the presidency, Michelle Obama in the thick of the campaign (Cole also wrote that cover story), Barack Obama days after he was elected, Michael Jackson for his final photo shoot and interview, and Prince.
Cole has provided media training, presentation training and/or fashion styling for many clients including Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Carl Thomas, JoJo, Shontelle and Hal Linton.
Cole has provided presentation and empowerment workshops for businesses and institutions, including Speaking of Women’s Health,Kraft, the Saralee Corporation, Cornell University, the National Urban League, National Action Network, Jack & Jill of America, Delta Sigma Theta and more.
Cole hosted a reality series on the ABC Family Channel, called Perfect Match New York. She hosted a daily radio show on XM Satellite radio, called Pulse. For the past ten years she has written the nationally syndicated advice column (six days a week), “Sense & Sensitivity,” which is syndicated by United Media/United Features Syndicate. (See colesense.tumblr.com.)
She has been a frequent guest on the Today Show, offering advice on how to be your best. She has been featured on Access Hollywood, The Insider, MSNBC, LXTV, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Rachael Ray, NPR, BET and TVOne.
Harriette Cole has been married to fashion and beauty photographer George Chinsee since 1993. They have a young daughter, Carrie Emmanuelle Cole Chinsee, who was born in 2003. They reside in New York City.