How to Get Ahead During the Pandemic with Mary Kelly

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Are you getting the most out of your time working from home?

Mary Kelly is the author of the upcoming book Me Next. In this interview she discusses how you can make the most out of your career opportunities during the pandemic. She also talks about how you can light a fire under your kids or those around you.

After the Interview

About Mary Kelly

Mary Kelly, PhD, CSP, CDR, US Navy… Mary Kelly has EXPERIENCE and it’s this experience that your executives and your audience must learn to change the way they thrive in work and in life.

Of all her titles, Mary’s favorite is teacher and after an outstanding career, she is focused on teaching professionals to navigate the economy, build their business, be a true leader and get more done.  Add inspiration, grace and a few hilarious stories and you have yourself one unforgettable keynote speaker!

Mary Kelly has several titles, those being PhD, CSP, CDR, and US Navy.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.


Deliberate Leaders, I am your host, Allison Dunn, Executive Coach and Founder of the Deliberate Leaders podcast dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses. Each episode, we feature inspiring interviews to help you on your leadership journey. And I’m just so excited to have Dr. Mary Kelly back with us today. So I just want to do a proper introduction. Dr. Mary Kelly is the author of over 10 or 11 books, but the one that we’re going to be talking about today is not yet published. It’s called Me Next. And it’s about career development made easy. So what a fantastic topic. Mary is also a keynote speaker and executive coach at her company, Productive Leaders. As a practicing economist, she helps companies find efficiencies, solve problems, implement change, and we all are having many of those in this 2020. And she is also a retired commander in the US Navy. And during her 21 years of active duty. She trained over 20,000 military and civilian personnel. And I just can’t welcome you enough to be back here with me today. Thank you for your service.


Oh, you’re so kind. In my family, it wasn’t anything unusual. It was more expected. So me my husband, my older brother, his wife, my sister, her husband, my younger brother, everybody’s military, which is why we all talk in short, choppy and fast sentences.


And there are a lot of acronyms in in that particular world. I live with military on my site as well. So I understand.


Exactly, exactly. And this is, of course, a time of pivoting. And so for us, we talked about pivoting as reiterate your purpose, who are you influencing? What kind of volatility are your people experiencing? What kind of opportunities do you see? And what kind of tools techniques and training do you need in order to move forward?


That’s awesome. So it sounds like you’re in the process of developing a series of next type of books. The first one you did was Who’s Next right, which was based on succession planning. So Me Next, what will that look like when you’re done with it, and what caused you to write it?


Thanks. So the who comes next leadership succession planning made easy is all about how you position your organization during times of leadership, transition, crisis and change. So here’s what’s happening right now. And if you are a young professional, things have never looked more optimistic for you, in order to step forward, we are looking for you in organizations. In the who comes next book, we focused on the mindset of the outgoing CEO. So in the United States, the average CEO who has been newly appointed only about 40% of them only last about 18 months. And the reason for that is either you were brought in to kind of be the hatchet person, or you were brought in to make sudden changes, because you’re that person who comes in makes changes and leaves while they’re looking for their permanent person. Or it could be because you’re one of those more senior CEOs who has been brought in to fix a problem, fix a situation, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got your own situation. So let’s say you’re being promoted to another organization, you’re not really planning for succession planning, or let’s say, You’re only brought in for 18 months, you’re there to fix a problem, you’re not worried about succession planning, or let’s say a family member gets sick, you’ve got to watch out for your family. So you’re not worried about succession planning, you’ve got to be out the door, maybe you’re off caring for some, someone who is sick, or especially right now perhaps even passed away. So you’ve really got to be focused on what happens. And most people in the organization are looking at their senior leadership saying, y’all have a plan, right. And what we found was, y’all don’t have a plan, most people don’t have a plan. And so all of a sudden, when you think about the uncertainty, it affects not only the outgoing senior leader, and it’s not just the person at the top, it’s also that team of people at the top, where if somebody else new comes in, they may be replacing those people with their own people or someone new. So it’s the person at the top, but also the senior leadership. But then there’s the planning team who’s like your HR person, your controller, people who are heavily involved in planning for changes, then you’ve got your high potentials. And that’s what the new book is about. It’s really focused on those high potential young professionals, people who want to step up, they’re just not sure exactly how to do that. But the other stakeholders, of course, include the board of directors, your suppliers, and then your end users, your consumers and your customers. But this next book is all about the people coming next. How do you position yourself for promotion? What do you need to do now? In order to get the experience you need to be promoted? How do you get people to take you seriously if you don’t have years in years and years and years and years and years of experience, how do you network when people are working from home? What can you do to show other people that you’re a leader?


I think that you’ve hit the pain point of my entire, you know, children’s generation right now. They’re eager. They’re ready. They’re educated, well educated. And I think that they are wondering all of these things. So let’s unpack a little bit of what, of what you’ve just shared. So how do you raise your hand and really lean forward and have that conversation? If you’re early established in, let’s say, you’ve been in a business for a year. And I really feel like when I think about some of the challenges that at least my children’s generation is having is they are smart, and they’re fast, and they learn fast, and they want to be promoted quickly.


And they’re being asked to wait.


Well, they were being asked to wait. But now, this is a great opportunity. Because we’ve had this this period of time, that is forced acceleration, there is a group of workers in the workplace right now that’s looking around going, you know, what, I don’t want to, they have looked at their 401 K’s, they’ve looked at their set plans, they’ve looked at their IRAs, and they’re calculating out that annuity, and they’re saying, you know, what, when we can go back to work, I’m not going to be part of that, I don’t want to learn the new software, I don’t want to learn the new systems, I don’t want to be around people, because maybe I’ve got a family member who could be compromised, I’m not gonna, so we’re going to see as the economy shifts a little bit, and a lot of it will depend on and I hate to say it, what happens in November, because that will have an impact in the economy. Remember, a card carrying economist, I just look at data. I don’t care about people’s politics. But I look at the numbers. And regardless of what happens in November, there will be we’re going to see a spike of uncertainty, and then things will start to settle out. So starting in 2021, that we are going to see more retirement. So even before 2020. Remember the baby boomers were retiring at about 10,000 per day, which means there are these huge job openings for the millennials and the gens ears coming after them. Gen Xers and Gen Z are, of course, so all of a sudden, if you are in that position, you’ve got to be those people. Then when somebody says, Hey, once we replaced Joe, Bob, and Sally jumps into that job, who’s going to be next? And that was the whole idea of who comes next? Who’s going to be sitting in that chair? why shouldn’t it be you? So one of the things you can do if you’re one of those professionals, we’ve got a series of steps that they can take right now is step up, raise your hand, volunteer for the jobs that are tough. Find out where the pain points are in your organization, find out, find the project that nobody wants to touch, because it’s hard and jump in, raise your hand, say to your boss, Hey, you know what, I’ve been here for a year. And I’m working really hard. And I want to work harder. Oh, music to our ears, if you’re the boss, and you’ve got somebody who says, Hey, I want to work harder for you. Every single boss on the planet is excited about hearing that. And that’s when you need to be prepared to say, here are the areas where I think I’m strong. Here are the areas where I think I’m weak. And then you ask your boss, you say what areas do you see that where I am strong? And what areas do you think I am weak? And more importantly, which of those Do I need to work more on? my strengths are more of my weaknesses. We’re always so fond of telling people work on your weakness. I think that’s patently stupid. For example, a lot of people don’t, right. A lot of people don’t like public speaking. I love public speaking. If public speaking makes you sweat and perspire. It makes your hands sweaty, your stomach sick, you can’t sleep for three days, butterflies, anxiety, all of those things. Why do that to yourself, that’s just mean. Don’t do that. That’s when you call Mary, you call Allie and go, Hey, you want to do this? And we’re like, Yeah, because we don’t have to work too hard at it. Um, one of my weaknesses, guess what, I don’t like to do my own electrical work. And nobody says, you know, Mary, you should really learn to rewire your own house. Nobody ever says that. So some of the things that are weaknesses. Fine. That’s just us knowing ourselves, we need to ask our boss, what do I need to do? What kind of skills competencies abilities do I need? moving forward? I might need a specific certification, I might need more project management experience. Have that honest conversation with your direct supervisor, if your direct supervisor and sometimes they are they’re a little bit threatened when you say that, what are you doing? You’re going in for my job? My answer is always No, I’m looking for your boss’s job. You know, I mean, really shoot yourself hot. I mean, shoot yourself, your sights high shoot for the stars. And I’m the boss’s job. And that’s when you say I want to make sure in the nicest possible way because you don’t want to threaten your boss. But you say I want to be prepared for the opportunity when it happens. What do I need to do to be best prepared? And you say words like, how can I best support you? What can I take off your plate? Is there a project, you just kind of don’t like managing right now that I could maybe take over? Can I shadow you on a project? How can I learn from you? Is there someone else I can learn, but raise your hand and have the conversation it starts with a conversation with your direct supervisor.


All of those are fantastic tips. And I feel like because much of our nation is still working from home, and so how do you actually ask to do that type of mentorship that shadowing that connectivity, even from home?


Great. I love this, because actually working from home is saving us time, which means if we’re not commuting, we’re not having to worry about what we’re wearing. If we’re not having to just spend that time going to work. This allows us more time, especially if we’re in that place where we don’t have other commitments, it allows us to step forward. And this is where you can say, you know what I’ve got? You can say, hey, I want to make sure that, that I’m supporting you in the best possible way. And are there any clients I could be reaching out to for you? Is there something again, set offered to make the phone calls, that would be fantastic. Most of us have dozens of phone calls we need to make on a day to day basis. And if somebody showed up and said, Hey, Mary, I’d love to make these phone calls for you make those contacts and do that follow up with your clients have at it. But then you say, as the boss, you say, Great, let’s practice the script. So we know what you’re going to do. Let’s, you know, let me update you on the clients now you’ve become invaluable. So working from home actually gives you more time to be invaluable. But you can also network from home. Right now many organizations are holding virtual conferences. And it’s fantastic. Because normally when I go to a conference, I maybe there’s 1000 people at the conference, and I maybe talk and then I talk to, you know, 20 or 30 people at the happy hour or afterwards or whatever. Well, now, as we’re doing the conference, there’s all of these other programs, I know I’ve got one computer set up while I’m participating in the conference. And on my other computer, I’m looking them up on LinkedIn, I’m looking him up, you know, hey, Alli, I heard you have a great podcast, I listened to it last night, this is fantastic saw that you’re in on this conference. But and all of a sudden, you’re able to make these connections, because you are working from home. The third thing you can do, and I know this is a crazy idea. Start a virtual book club, be that person who says it’s so great to be that person who says, Hey, for my organization, I know lots of us are short on time. But while we’re working in the office, we can be listening to audiobooks. And I would like I would like to lead the virtual book club, Do I have your permission to lead the virtual book club once a month? And then here’s how you get what I call the grown up by in the adult buy in from your boss or whatever? Are there any particular areas you’d like us as a team to focus on? And most of them will say something like, well, there’s leadership stuff, great, that’s easy. But what about how we can improve our sales talk, how we could think more broadly about marketing, even though I don’t work in marketing, I work in the accounting shop, or whatever, and say, you know, where could we if we as an organization got better? What would that look like? This is a built in solution. So you put together this book club, you create a zoom call, maybe or whatever, once a month, you show a quick video maybe of the author who’s talking about what that is better yet, call the author. See if they’ll do a 10 minute introduction for your book club. And then your people like, oh, Alli, how in the world did you get Mark Hunter to come talk to your group about his book of mine for sales. That’s so fantastic. And now you’re a hero. You’ve coalesced people, you’ve brought in an expert, it’s cost the company virtually nothing, because most of us have plenty of audible points that we need to use anyway. And now you are seen as the leader who is watching out for not only the people but the organization.


Brilliant, brilliant idea. And I guess I just want to reinforce everything you just said, authors have never been more available ever in history than right now. And what a great time to, you know, take advantage but like do the outreach because you will likely be received with it. Yes, I can give you Everyone can give us 10 minutes, right? Absolutely.


And if you’re looking for a list of people in any category, Alli you and I can come up with a great list. Absolutely. And we can just say hey, you’re gonna get a phone call from Sally or Joe Bob or Frank and we need you to give them 10 minutes and you know, our friends will do this for your listeners. We will do it.


Yeah, absolutely fantastic. Such a great tip. So what would be your suggestions and recommendations for people who have not yet gone back to work and maybe aren’t being invited back to work? How do they? How do they get momentum from a non work start?


Many people find their first work experience with a nonprofit by doing an internship volunteering. I have a friend of mine who’s a marketing professor, and he likes his students, his seniors to have real world projects. When I was in teaching business, I did exactly the same thing. But he’s looking for people who can give his students real world work, not just theoretical stuff for, you know, junk work, he wanted real work. And what was great about that is the in teams, he would assign them to different CEOs. And then the CEOs, depending upon their level of experience, would put them on a project and it gave them real world experience. And of the three people that he would pair up, almost always one of those three got hired by that company to at least do part time work, because they proven themselves. And that was absolutely the case with me of the three, I went on to hire one of the three. And that that has worked out really, really well. And then and but that person was the person who took the initiative to stay in contact with me. After she graduated, she said, Hey, you know, I worked with you in the fall thing. You seemed really happy with my work? Would you write me a recommendation for this other thing? I was like, absolutely. She said, And oh, by the way, I’m kind of looking for some temporary work. I’m like, music to my ears. This is fantastic. So of course I brought her on right away, but she took the initiative. She let me know she was available. And many of my young people are not sure if they should take that initiative. They’re worried about being perceived as pushy, okay. It’s all about sales. You’re selling yourself. If I don’t know you’re available. I can’t hire you. You need to let me know. And did she posted on a social media website and hope that I stumbled across it? No, she was very deliberate. Oh, I love that word Sandbach that word provided deliberate direction for me to make it easy for me to hire her. She said, I really loved working on that one project. Do you have any other projects like that? I said, not only do I have other projects like that, I’ve got friends who have other projects like this. So by the time she applied for that other job, with a very prestigious company, she had five business CEOs write her letters of recommendation, because she was proactive about it. So look for the opportunity where you can genuinely help people a great place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. You call up the director of the Chamber of Commerce and say, My name is I have the skills. I would like to volunteer be hired work part time work for you, Shadow you. I would I need experience, I would like a job. Do you have any suggestions? Here’s the thing that a lot of younger people don’t realize about those of us with more experience. We love sharing it, we love to share that and we want to help you. But you got to reach out to us and tell us how we can best helpful help you give us those deliberate directions.


I love that. And love to tie back. Thanks, Mary.


Um, I, I think nonprofits volunteering, reaching out to your local chambers there are there is such a vast need in every single company, whether or not they are thriving and growing right now, or they’re trying to pivot and still kind of get themselves restarted. So bringing that new energy to it. Question. So from a networking standpoint, what are some of your pro tips that I mean, I love the fact that you’ve said while you’re at a virtual conference, also trying to find that connection point. And what other types of networking tips would you also have for people who are working from home in looking for next level, next, you know, next position.


So you have to understand that one of the ways I’m going to vet you to see if I’m going to work with you is I’m going to look at your social media. And you know, look at all of that, typically, though, don’t put anything on social media that you don’t want me to see. And I just say that, because you don’t know what I believe in. You may not know my core values. You if you go on my website, you can find that but you don’t know what my core values are. And if you put something on social media, because right now, employers are in the driver’s seat when it comes time to hiring talent. Unemployment went back up. Because of everything that’s going on. Now. It’s going to drop back down again. But right now employers are in the driver’s seat, which means we can be a little bit choosy about who we bring in. And if you post something that is offensive to anything that is like if you post something that’s against animals, like if you say, Oh, I saw a dead dog by the side of the road. Good riddance. You’re done with me. We are done. We are finished. That is it. So just be careful about what you post on social media. And yes, I realize it’s supposed to be social. But that is the first place, I’m going to vet you, I’m going to vet you on social media before I waste my time having a conversation with you. And frankly, as employers, we want to work with people who are going to help us grow profitability. We don’t care about what you care about, unless it can help us grow our business. And that sounds really harsh, but that’s the reality. We’re trying to grow a business, if you want to treat it as a hobby, that’s your business. But my business is not a hobby, my business is a business and I take it really seriously. And I’m looking for people who are going to help me grow that business. So I’m going to be looking for not only where you can fill a job now, I’m also looking for where I see you in the future, do you have the potential to move forward with my organization, when I hire people, I like to keep them. And I try very hard to matriculate them and to grow them and help them get great opportunities. That’s my commitment to my people. But I also expect the same amount of commitment in return. And here’s where some employers are finding a red flag that especially right now, we know a lot of people have collected unemployment. Okay, so what have you done during this time of unemployment? Because if you’re just sitting at home binge watching television, then guess what, you’re not the kind of person I want working in my organization. I want to know what you’ve done. In the past six months, I understand that you maybe got furloughed, okay. Lots of good people have been, so what have you done to improve yourself, improve your skills and help your community? That’s what I want to know.


Powerful questions, and it’s a good mirror to have right? You know, so these are self questions that we can ask ourselves. One of the key things that I’m looking at where I work with a lot of companies that are truly, honestly super thriving. And so we’re hiring for key positions that never existed before, because there’s a brand new need inside of them. And I have been rather astounded by how few people have actually a really strong professional network through social media. So looking at their LinkedIn profile. So from an alternate not just Facebook, or Instagram and what you’re posting in making sure you’re posting things, but do you have a strong network? Or are you connected in in ways that can help us grow our businesses.


So you’re absolutely right. And when times are tough, people tend to become very myopic, they tend to look very much inward, they worry about themselves, their family, their kids, their neighborhood, very myopic, very protective, there’s a reason for that term, circle the wagons. And in any crisis, we see this people get very myopic, and they look inward, not outward, the first four cycles of any crisis, it’s the rejection, the realization, the recognition, and the resolution phases. And those are all myopic, inwardly looking places in your head, real leaders have to be looking outward. And those are the last two phases. The last two phases is the new reality. And the new reality is, first off, if you’re still nostalgic, for 2019 get over it, we are past that, it is always going to be more difficult to bring people together. And getting people out of that mindset of sadness and, and poor me and all that. That’s some people work through that really quickly. Others need a little bit of help. My leaders have to be in that new reality place. Look, we get it things have changed, every single thing is on the table. And bringing people together in large groups of people is going to be more difficult for the rest of our life. That’s just how it’s going to be. But on the plus side, airplanes have never been cleaner. hotels have never been cleaner. We’re probably not getting foodborne illnesses, because everything is cleaner, your kids probably not going to get sepsis or MRSA, when they’re going to get their tonsils out because everything is cleaner. I mean, there are some pluses to this. So that the leadership level of this means looking at the new realignment, which is the sixth phase of a crisis, and everything there is all about others. How can we better serve other people? How can we be better members of our community? How can we help our people through this? How can we lead our clients and our customers? What do we need to do? That is changing our leadership to be better for now, but also in the future? How does this change our strategic planning? How does this change our organization? What new jobs do we need? What new jobs did we have last year that we don’t need anymore? Because of AIli they’ve been automated, we don’t need it anymore? Or some things because our priorities have shifted guess what we’re all of a sudden looking at a to do list that was so last year, we don’t need to do it anymore. So there’s certain priorities that have shifted and in the new realignment phase, we are looking at others or not looking at ourselves. So especially for my younger workers, my less experienced workers. I try to get them out of that place of poor me. I don’t have fill in the blank. And instead I say, so what’s been great about the past year of your life, and they’re like what, like I want 10 things why Things are great positive outcomes in these categories. And we do your personal life, your professional life, your relationships, your family life, your health, your whatever. And all of a sudden, it forces them to come up with positive things. And all the sudden they go, Oh, okay. And again, get that helps them get pass the poor me phase, and it gets them then thinking about other people. And then on the other list, I say, where are 10 areas, people, communities, animal shelter, that could use your talents, skills and abilities right now. And then we just make a list, it doesn’t mean you have to go to work there. But all of a sudden, you start to see the possibility, and see real leaders see the possibility, they look at a tough situation.


And they go Hmm, that’s a tough situation.


And we can do this instead of I’m just gonna stand here and watch the situation happen. We make the situation happen. And that’s where I really want to encourage my young people, Look, you’ve got a great opportunity right now we are going to see more and more people start to leave the workforce again. And now is your time, raise your hand and step up.


If you are around someone who is the next person, and they’re not necessarily asking me next, or thinking about where they are next, does that make them the wrong person? Or is or how would you? I don’t mean like a fire. But I kind of do mean that like, how do you light a fire under someone?


Yes, that that is a good question. Especially if you’re the parent of that child, I just want to point that out, it’s a little bit tough. So here’s a horrifying statistic. And it either makes you a very good parent or a very bad parent. 32% of young people in America, ages 18 to 29 are back at home living with mommy and daddy mommy or daddy, daddy or mommy. However that works. But they’re back living with one or perhaps two parents 52%. This is the highest number than we’ve seen since the end of World War Two when housing was a little bit short. And that was at 46%. So we’re much higher than that. And the reasons people have for this are not that great reason. So some people say well, my college campus closed down. Okay, newsflash, if your kid is living at college, they’re still considered living at home. So those numbers should not have shifted that at all. A lot of it people said was financial. And some people just said, Well, I, I felt the uncertainty of the universe, and I wanted to be near mom. So I don’t know if that makes you a really good parent or a really bad parent that your kids want to move back in with you. And that statistic is even higher in the northeast, at 57%. Oh, and by the way, 55% of those people moving back home with mommy and daddy are men, not women. So interesting to me to see how this is manifesting. So there’s a couple things you can do as a parent, now, if your child living with you, is your version of a retirement plan, good for you. So later on, they move upstairs, you move into the basement and they take care of all the bills. That’s fantastic. That’s a plan. Is it the best plan, I don’t know. But helping your children as a parent be independent, is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. And if they are living at home, and you’re doing their laundry, stop it. If they’re not shopping for groceries and paying for it, then that’s a problem that you need to have very clear cut expectations of what it’s like for them to now live back under the your roof. And oh, by the way, your roof, your rules. That doesn’t mean they get to go out and party with their friends All the time and mooch off. You know, they need to be doing their share. They need to be pitching in Can you help them out? You bet. But that doesn’t mean you’re carrying them. Because if you’re carrying them, you’re now enabling a different kind of problem. The best gift you can give them is to help them be independent. And that means not doing everything for them. You’re there. You’re their parent, you love them. But that doesn’t mean coddling them. It can mean hey, let’s I’m here to strategize with you on what you need to do. Let’s get moving. Well, Mom, I need money, then you better get a job. Well, but I don’t like that job. It’s didn’t ask that. Nope, they go, Why don’t want to do that work. It’s nice to want, you know, set some clear expectations. Because right now I do see some very well intentioned parents, very unintentionally creating a codependency with their adult children that you know, could be unhealthy for your child in with the very best of intentions. Now, if you’re you have the best relationship ever with your kids and you just love having him around and they’re helpful around the house then good on you. This is great. This is fantastic. I remember when I was newly I’d been widowed for probably a year and I was on a date with a 45 year old man who still lived with his mom and dad. And I have to tell you, that was kind of a deal breaker for me. It was our first date and our last and I was like wait, you still live with your mom. And Dad, it’s well, let’s try to be kind and nice as well. Are they infirmed though? Like, do they need your you know, like rent money and or Oh, no, they’re, they’re, they’re well off. Unlike you still live in the bedroom, you grew up and he goes, Yeah, I’m like, oh, boy, wow. Yeah, no, no unattractive. So lighting a fire means creating sometimes a financial incentive for them to make those leaps. Now you’re the hammock you’re going to be there if they fall. But now is a time for young people to try and fail, you’re the hammock, you’re still going to be there. But they need to try, you know, do something, encourage them to take business and career risks, encourage them to try something different. At one point in time, I don’t know if I mentioned it to you, I wanted to join the Peace Corps and I’ve got friends to join the Peace Corps. And I thought that was a great adventure for a couple years, you go to a different country, and you learn a different language and hopefully help some people along the way, I thought this was great. And then I found out that they, well, they didn’t pay you. And if you join the military, you got to do a lot of those things. And you’ve sort of got armed, so I thought that was paid. So I thought that was maybe a better deal. So that’s one of the reasons I joined the Navy. But you know, when you’re 17 and 20, you can take those risks, you know, go do things, I love that certain religions do, you know, missions. So the kids go out and they learn things, they learn to be adults, they learn to take responsibility, they learn to help other people, I love that.


Because again, that’s the time to do it. You can’t really do that when you’re 45 years old, and have kids at home and a job. So now is a time to really encourage your kids to take those risks, try different jobs, try different ventures, maybe you never thought about being a graphic designer or a drafter, or a physical therapist, now is the time to try. And as a parent, I think that’s what we need to do is just encourage them to pursue what they what they thought, you know, I’m never going to have this opportunity again, what still got that hammock there to catch me if I fall, I’m going to go try that. And keep in mind college is not for everybody. You know, there’s that model that we pushed all our kids to go to college. And that’s really not working for everybody, I miss the fact that we got rid of a lot of trade schools. But that doesn’t mean you can’t apprentice with a plumber, or electrician or a drywaller or someone in that field, that there are ways to get this. And associations are a great place to start. If your child is just totally unsure about what they want to do, one of my favorite resources is a crazy idea. I know walk to the library. I know it’s welding, it’s got bricks, it’s got these book, things that are printed on paper crazy. And in the library, there is an encyclopedia of associations. So spend 20 minutes and look through all of these lists of associations, because you will find jobs you have never heard of. And all of a sudden you go, that sounds really interesting. Maybe I could explore that. Because I think sometimes we as parents, because we only have a certain amount of information that we kind of make suggestions to our kids about, oh, you know, be a doctor be a lawyer be or whatever, because that’s what we know. And all of a sudden our kid shows up and says, You know, I think I would like to be a wind turbine engineer. And we’re like, what? We don’t even know what that is. So again, exposing your kids to as many different opportunities as possible, I think is great.


Again, excellent pieces of advice. I wonder if you would be in agreement. I’m envisioning that this past year, with colleges being shut down. And kids are young adults who really are ready to own their life. I think there’s going to be a lot of really cool new entrepreneurs out there young ones that we more than we’ve ever seen before. That’s my prediction, at least.


Yes, I would agree with you. Because again, they’ve got the hammock they can try. They can try a business. And they can look around and say you know what this need wasn’t here a year ago. But now there is a need for me to go into people’s homes and set up their computers that grandparents want to know see their kids and they want big screens to do it. You know, I personally would cheerfully pay for somebody to install a new TV. I don’t want to do it. It’s just not my thing. I have people working in my company ages 18 to 85. And I love that they are they all work as independent contractors. They’ve all got their own business including my 18 year olds, and, and they have established themselves with the skill sets that they do and they are marketing that. I love it and especially now Well again, they’ve got this hammock, I think it’s brilliant, and they’re going to come up with businesses that we never envisioned because the need wasn’t there. This is a time of forced exploration, which also means great opportunity.


Mary, it has been such a pleasure to continue are conversations together, I know that you are in the process of writing and researching for this. And I know that you were mentioning something about doing a study of some sort. And so you’re going to share a link with me. And I also would encourage anyone who would be interested in being part of that study to reach up to you, what is the best way for listeners to do that.


So what I’m looking for is I’m looking for about a about 100 young professionals great talent, potential people who would participate in a quick study, it is called an innovative study what the best and brightest are doing to take their career to the next level. And then I’m also looking for more senior people who are looking to be part of the innovative study, that is how to shape tomorrow’s leaders. So I have two different projects. We are only projecting people in a positive light, and you can say anything you want, but I’m only gonna say nice things about you. And I will have the survey links to you. But if you’d be if any of you listening now would be interested in this, it will take less than five minutes, I promise. I am Mary at Mary at productive leader So and of course for your listeners. They’re all about business and being deliberate. And if you go to day business challenge, that’s the secret link to get all this stuff I’m using right now with my coaching clients for free.


Mary, you are the best. It’s always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time today.


Thanks, Alli.

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