Are you looking for the job of your dreams, or do you want to get projects and plans off the ground? It is not news to anyone that it is possible to find several sources that help in the direction of these goals on the internet. Many TED talks are a good source of inspiration to take small steps towards a better life.

After all, the so-called talks present content to make the viewer reflect on the proposed theme. But not just that. Speakers usually have experience, either through technical expertise or practical experience, in the subjects covered. The language, moreover, is straightforward – like an informal chat. 

So, whether you are a young professional looking to set your goals or someone who is looking to motivate your routine, it is very likely that a TED talk will help. So, read on and watch yourself being inspired to improve your career. Don’t believe it?


1. The Best Career Path Isn’t Always a Straight Line

Most people assume that growth in the corporate ladder is just that, a straight ladder. Generations before ours would spend years and decades in the same company, doing the same exact job line or specialty. I loved this Ted Talk in particular because my career has been exactly like they described – a squiggle.

Started with a major in IT and Telecoms Engineering, moved on to project management and customer service, then to commercial and marketing, credit and customer finance, and at the moment of this writing, general management. Those who started in IT with me, and remain in IT, are currently team leaders, supervisors, and IT/Software specialists.

To have a squiggle career path, a person generally needs to be curious, ready to learn and adapt, and change perspectives quickly. What are the career possibilities, rather than what job comes next? That’s the key question here.

Career development consultants Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper are the experts who shared this talk, and you can watch it/learn it here.

2. How to make stress your friend 

One of the most popular TED talks is “How to make stress your friend .”In it, psychologist and researcher Kelly McGonigal explains why we should embrace stressful moments. According to a study she presented, those who believe that stress is bad for them can adversely affect their life expectancy. Therefore, it encourages us to face pressure as a positive thing and presents us with an unknown mechanism for reducing stress: getting closer to others.

You can learn more about it by watching the talk on the Ted website.

3. How to speak in a way that people want to hear 

Have you ever felt as if no one was listening when you spoke? Julian Treasure, president of The Sound Agency, a company that advises global businesses on the use of sound, is here to help. In this TED Talk, the sound expert demonstrates how to speak powerfully – teaching everything from vocal exercises to tips on how to communicate with empathy.

Julian Treasure does a great job of teaching and showing in practice how to keep people engaged. Watch it here.

4. The danger of a single story 

Our lives and our cultures are made up of many overlapping stories. Writer Chimamanda Adichie tells how she found her authentic cultural voice – and warns that if we only hear a single story about another person or country, we risk generating significant misunderstandings. This is one of the most-watched lectures on the platform and currently has a book version.

Watch it here.

5. Success, failure, and the drive to keep Creating 

You most likely know the book – which became a movie – “Eat, Pray, Love,” but you must not know that its author was a waitress devastated by rejection letters. In this talk, Elizabeth Gilbert says that even in the wake of success, she still strongly identified with the person she once was. 

With a breakthrough, Elizabeth reflects on how success can be just as confusing as a failure and offers a challenging but straightforward way to keep going, regardless of the results.

Watch it here.

 6. Build a tower, build a team 

Tom Wujec, writer and researcher at Autodesk, presents surprising research on the “marshmallow problem” – a simple group dynamic that involves dry spaghetti, a yard of duct tape, and a marshmallow. Who will be able to build the tallest tower using these ingredients? Wujec demonstrates why an unexpected group always does better than average in this talk.

Watch it here.

 7. Listening to Shame

There is a very high probability that you already know Brené Brown – if not, check out an article about her here. In this talk, she explores what can happen when people confront their shame.

 An expert in vulnerability, courage, and empathy, she also talks about shame, which she says is a silent epidemic and the secret behind various forms of deviant behavior.

 8. What is a good life made of? Lessons from the most extended study on happiness

What keeps us happy and healthy throughout life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you may be wrong. As director of a 75-year study of adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on happiness and satisfaction. 

In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study and some ancient practical knowledge on building a long and fulfilling life.

9. All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes 

When was the last time you did nothing for 10 minutes? Without texting, chatting, and even thinking? Meditation expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: refreshing your mind with ten minutes a day, simply by being aware and experiencing the present moment – ​​without needing incense or sitting in different positions.

 10. A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central Los Angeles 

Ron Finley is a fashion designer for professional athletes who plant vegetable gardens in South Central Los Angeles – in vacant lots, alleys, and curbs.

 Known as the gangster gardener, he’s the phrase you may have heard around: “planting your food is like printing your own money.” Why? For fun, rebellion, beauty, an alternative to fast food, and to show that fresh food should be accessible to everyone.

11. How do great leaders inspire action? 

We’ve already talked about Simon Sinek, but it’s possible to watch one of his most popular lectures. Both contents are about a simple but powerful model for inspiring leadership based on a golden circle and the question “Why?”. 

His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and by contrast, TiVo, a famous brand of digital video recorders struggling to keep up.

 12. How to take control of your free time 

There are 168 hours each week. How to find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people lead their lives. According to her, many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while we underestimate the time we have for ourselves. 

In this TED Talk, Laura offers some practical strategies to help you find more time for the things you care about. And so, we can “build the lives we want in the time we have.”

13. My journey from soldier to actor 

This is not an article about Star Wars leadership or any fictional work. But, yes, there is a TED talk with actor Adam Driver, and it can be interesting for anyone looking for a new path. After all, before starring in the franchise, he was a United States Marine in the First Division. 

Driver tells how he became a Marine and discusses the transition from soldier to acting. In addition, he talks about “Arts in the Armed Forces,” a non-profit organization that brings theater to the US military that he created. “Self-expression is as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder,” says Driver.

14. Why doesn’t the best hire have the perfect resume? 

Human resources executive Regina Hartley has a different strategy for recruiting talent. Calm! This is not just a good talk for those in a position to hire people, but for those on the journey of finding a job – and most importantly, feeling underappreciated. 

When faced with a choice between a job candidate with a perfect résumé and one who struggled and won, the executive always gives the letter a chance. Having grown up in adversity herself, Hartley believes that those who thrive in the toughest of environments are gifted with the strength to persevere in an ever-changing work environment. “Pick the underrated candidate whose secret weapons are fervor and determination,” she says.

15. How to find a job you love 

Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him unhappy and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that gave him joy and meaning. After researching what thousands of employees wanted out of life, he founded the organization Live Your Legend. He shares what he’s learned about finding what’s important to you and getting to work in this talk.

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Every problem can turn into a situation that can be improved and produced in a professional environment. It is crucial to develop interpersonal skills so you can use them as tools in it.

Reference and Further Reading

12 TED talks to inspire and motivate your employees

TED Talks to help you work smarter

28 of the Best Motivational TED Talk Videos to Inspire You

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