Dorie Clark

Southern Pines native and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Dorie Clark. Contributed photo

In the midst of the Big Quit, as millions are leaving their jobs for other opportunities, Dorie Clark is thinking long term as it relates to careers.

The Southern Pines native and bestselling author of “The Long Game” said people are looking for purpose at work.

“If you are doing it right, your professional life should be intricately involved with how you want your life to be in general,” she said.

Clark’s online course, “Strategic Thinking,” has attracted over 1.3 million participants on the LinkedIn Learning platform and was ranked the second most popular offering worldwide in 2020 and 2021.

“I think part of why Strategic Thinking resonates so much is that most people who are ambitious or motivated enough to take online learning opportunities also want to advance,” Clark said. “Often, the difference between the low level and higher level employees is their ability to do strategic thinking, but there are very few opportunities to train in that.”

Clark has lived her own credo. A former student at The O’Neal School, she finished ninth grade and enrolled immediately in college, graduating from Smith College at 18. By 20, she’d also graduated from Harvard Divinity School.

“I was always very interested in the intersection of religion and politics,” Clark said, noting she worked as a political reporter in Boston, served as a presidential campaign spokeswoman and ran a nonprofit organization in her early and mid-20s. “I tried so many things and, like so many people, was stymied in my career and even laid off. I decided what I really wanted to do was work for myself.”

Her first book, “Reinventing You,” is geared toward people navigating a career change. Her second book, “Stand Out,” was named Inc. magazine’s top leadership book of 2015. She followed up those efforts with “Entrepreneurial You” and her most recent book, “The Long Game.”

Subtitled, “How to Be a Long Term Thinker in a Short Term World,” Clark devotes an entire section of the book to what she calls “optimize for interesting.”

“We tend to make the discussion between black or white, between working for money versus following your passion. The problem is, so often, many people have multiple interests or they may not be sure what their passion is. Instead, I like to lower the bar,” she said, “Identify what is interesting to you and keep moving in that direction until it stops being interesting, and then you can pivot.

“COVID essentially forced us all into short term thinking because long term thinking was somewhat impossible, especially in the early days. It is time for people to rebalance their portfolio,” she said. “We have to create enough white space so we can engage in long term thinking, then focus on what is important so we can make better choices. Long term thinking, if done right, turns into action. There will be roadblocks, but we need to be resilient enough to be able to deal with that, adapt and keep going.”

Clark offers a free self-assessment download that can help you apply the principles of strategic thinking to your life and career at

Contact Laura Douglass at (910) 693-2474 or

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(1) comment

Kent Misegades

“In the midst of the Big Quit, as millions are leaving their jobs for other opportunities,” The Big Quit? Draconian, irrational, tyrannical actions from government shuttered businesses all across the country. People were let go or lost their businesses. If you have a valuable skill, like knowing how to make, fix or grow things, you have more work than imaginable right now. If you have no real skills, better get done soon. Mike Rowe’s prediction from a few years ago has already come true, when he said “In the future only a third of the population will know how to make or fix things. The other two thirds will be dependent on them.” That does not include making a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

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