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[#WorkTrends] Launching a Dream Career Amid Pandemic Unemployment

The pandemic has caused widespread unemployment. And yet, today, many people are launching their dream career, right now. Let’s talk about how you can make that happen!

No doubt, this seems like a tough time to start a job search. But it is more than possible — even during what many see as a nightmare scenario — to find your dream job. Of course, some of the old school methods we used to rely on to find work are now outdated. And, yes, we must now anticipate a job search that is nearly 100 percent virtual. 

But there are many companies making job offers — and you can find meaningful work with a great company right now. All you need is the right approach.

Our Guest: Tracy Timm from The Nth Degree Career Academy

I couldn’t be happier to welcome Tracy Timm to this episode of #WorkTrends. Tracy is the founder of The Nth Degree Career Academy, a proven career clarity system that helps high-potential professionals discover, define, and drive careers they love. With a degree in behavioral psychology from Yale University, Tracy is a sought-after career clarity expert, organizational advisor, speaker, and author. Tracy’s passion for her work and expertise helps clients go from stuck in their job to unstoppable in their careers and lives. 

And that is where we started our discussion. I asked Tracy, “What’s the most important thing a person can do during this pandemic to bounce back better, both in life and in career?” With her answer, Tracy made it clear she knows how to navigate the current job search environment:

“This super disruptive time is a great reminder that life is going to throw us curve balls. Challenging circumstances beyond your control are going to surface. And the only thing that you can control is your level of clarity at any given time. So our office as a mantra is, ‘When there’s a lot more noise, when there’s higher unemployment, and when more people are applying for the same jobs — the person with the most clarity is going to win.’ Because only clarity allows you to rise above that noise, speak with more confidence, and pursue your next step with more certainty.”

Tracy added, “We must show up differently than most people are showing up — which is in panic and reaction mode.”

Launching Your Dream Career Now

Feeling her energy, I pressed Tracy on precisely what a job seeker must do to launch a successful job search, even while the pandemic rages on. Tammy shared some powerful insight:

“The number one thing you can do right now is to take a step back and get super, hyper, laser-focused on you. Your unique value. Your professional genius zone. And then to pursue your dream career with absolute clarity, confidence, and certainty.” Tracy went on to say that clarity is so powerful: “Just to know something with certainty, and to not question it. To not be ‘all in’ is the root cause of most issues when it comes to making decisions or choices in our life.”

“Too many of us don’t fully commit to our choice. We question it, even though we’ve already chosen it.”

As our 30-minute conversation continued, it became clear Tracy was dispensing a lifetime of sage advice perfectly suited to today’s job seekers. If you’re in the middle of a job search, you must listen in. If you know someone currently looking for work, share this conversation with them. Because this episode of #WorkTrends provides must-have insight into how people can launch their dream careers, even during a global pandemic.


Learn more about Tracy’s work on LinkedIn.


Editor’s note: We’ve updated our FAQ page and #WorkTrends Podcast pages. Take a look!


How To Illuminate A Vision Your Organization Will Believe In

What’s with “vision” these days? It seems most leaders would rather focus on action and execution. Have you noticed that the most popular articles and blog posts have numbers in them? 3 ways to…, 4 steps to…, 5 tips for…

In our research and conversations over the years, Ken Blanchard and I have heard from thousands of people organizations that their number one concern is lack of a shared vision. Yet less than 10% of the organizations we’ve visited are led by managers who have a clear sense of where they are trying to lead people.

Doug Conant, Chair of Avon and former CEO of Campbell Soup, recently told me, “People today are less interested in the vision and more interested in ‘how to.’ They are trying to get a sip of water from the fire hydrant of life, and it’s washing over them. They are trying to push everything away so they can do their work, and they’re looking for ‘how to’ answers like time management tricks.”

Overused And Diluted

Unfortunately, people don’t trust the idea of “vision” these days. It’s meaning has been co-opted by:

  • Vision statements that are no more than meaningless marketing messages.
  • Using vision as an excuse to lay people off.
  • Not connecting the vision to the day-to-day work.
  • Leaders who espouse vision but do not model it or who act in their own self-interest.

What’s Important Is Not Only What It Says, But Also How It’s Created And How It’s Lived.

What it says. Vision is a picture of a desirable future you intend to create and that illuminates your underlying purpose and values.

For a vision to be compelling and provide ongoing guidance, it must illuminate all three elements of a compelling vision: 1) purpose (or mission), 2) values, and 3) a clear picture of a desirable future.

Take the Apollo Moon Project for example. It is often mistakenly used as an example of a vision. When President Kennedy set the goal to put a man on the moon by 1969, the technology to accomplish it had not even been invented and an exciting decade of focused, Herculean efforts resulted in success. But what’s happened with NASA since? It has never recreated these spectacular accomplishments. Why? Because there was no clear purpose to guide decision-making going forward and answer the question “what’s next?”’

How it’s created. Typically a management team goes off and creates a vision they are very excited about and then reveals the vision to the rest of the organization. Later they are surprised when they run into huge issues during implementation and set the vision aside.

It rarely works to just announce what needs to be done and expect people to follow through. Taking the time to involve others in shaping the vision will save a lot of time down the road. Through involvement, people develop deeper understanding and commitment. Unless people really understand the “essence” of the vision, they may make decisions that pull in the wrong direction. And even when they do understand, if they don’t believe it’s important, they will not act strongly and consistently in ways to support it.

How it’s lived. This is one of the biggest ways leaders torpedo their own efforts. The moment you identify your vision, you must start behaving consistently with it. People watch what you do more carefully than they listen to what you say. People follow leaders by choice. Integrity is the bedrock of leadership, and if people don’t believe and trust you, the best you will get is compliance.

Jesse Lyn Stoner will be a guest on the TalentCulture #TChat Show on February 25th.

About the Author: Jesse Lyn Stoner is a consultant, former business executive, and co-author with Ken Blanchard of the bestseller Full Steam Ahead: Unleash the Power of Vision, which has been translated into 22 languages. Dr. Stoner is founder of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership, which hosts her award-winning leadership blog.

photo credit: IMG_5063a via photopin (license)