7 TED Talks for a Successful Career

7 TED Talks for a Successful Career

Apart from learning through peers and co-workers, there are numerous other ways we can foster our professional and personal growth. Keeping our eyes open for creative modes of learning such as online tools and motivational talks may bring us surprising benefits. So take note of what the following TED speakers have to say about the ongoing journey of a successful career and the obstacles along the way. Their advice will ring true once you find yourself in their shoes.

5 ways to kill your dreams

Although the road to our dreams will always be paved with difficulties and traps, we often forget that we ourselves are responsible for where our dreams take us. Bel Pesce, whose entrepreneurial life has been a rollercoaster of learning experiences and inspiring work, breaks down the five roadblocks people must overcome if they want to achieve their dreams. Whether you are on your way to corporate success, setting up your own startup or taking up a new university initiative, remember to keep both feet on the ground and do not let obstacles stop you.

Read our article on the topic: 5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams (Video)

Why some of us don’t have one true calling

Life and career coach Emilie Wapnick offers a delightful TED talk in which many viewers will be able to recognise themselves. It is an ode to people who have multiple interests and are not really sure what particular field or career they want to pursue. As Ms Wapnick explains, those who are not afraid to constantly cross from one professional discipline to another often have the advantage of interdisciplinary ideas, rapid learning, and adaptability. True innovation sometimes comes from the intersection of these different fields.

Read our article on the topic: Career Crossroads (Video)

How to make hard choices

Ruth Chang is a professor of philosophy in the US. As she admits in her talk from 2014, she too was once faced with the difficult decision of where to go with her career. “Where should I study?”, “Should I take that job?”, “What do I want to do with my life?” – questions like those inevitably catch up with us at some point and we never seem to be ready. As scary as they might be, in some ways hard choices are also extremely important for one’s character. According to Ms Chang, having to make choices shapes our personalities and helps us become our true selves.

Read our article on the topic: How to Make Hard Choices (Video)

How to find work you love

Scott Dinsmore, who founded the organisation Live Your Legend to help people find the work they love, gives this inspiring talk on what truly matters in our work. He quit his corporate job and spent years on a quest to get to know what being passionate about your work really means, so that he could help others discover their purpose. According to Mr Dinsmore, we need to find out what our unique strengths are and surround ourselves with a network of people who help us move forward. His personal stories and observations will encourage you to pursue your dream job or perhaps even set up your own venture.

Read our article on the topic: How to Find Work You Love (Video)

The best hires and the perfect CV/resume

In her TED talk, the UPS Director of Human Resources Regina Hartley urges us to think differently about all the CVs/resumes we may have disregarded so easily in the past. Although an elite school and top grades usually indicate great qualifications, Hartley explains how a CV/resume that looks to be the opposite of a success story may actually signal a person’s determination and an ability to deal with hardships. So if your own post-graduation autobiography still seems imperfect and spotted with job hopping or odd occupations, consider how this may be a positive factor.

Read our article on the topic: The Best Hires and the Perfect Resume (Video)

Your body language shapes who you are

Have you ever waited for your job interview to start and felt insecure in yourself? You are certainly not the only one. In her TED talk, Amy Cuddy who is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, shares how our non-verbal language shapes other people’s perception of us, but also the way we feel and think of ourselves. It turns out our posture and overall body language may contribute to whether we feel self-confident or insecure. Just several minutes of what the speaker calls “power posing” – taking an authoritative posture even when you are by yourself, can help you tweak your confidence in a positive direction.

Read our article on the topic: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are (Video)

The career advice you probably didn’t get

The gender gap in business, and especially in senior management positions, has become one of the hot topics of our time – and rightfully so. It seems while female middle managers are encouraged to develop their interpersonal skills, they are rarely given the most important item of career advice for taking on a senior role. Susan Colantuono, who is the CEO of a management consulting firm and is on a mission to empower female leaders, shares the missing piece. This TED talk is an eye-opener for women who have high business aspirations and for men who wish to contribute to a long-term solution to the problem.

Read our article on the topic: The Career Advice You Probably didn’t Get (Video)


Whether you are graduating from university, starting to plan your future career, or simply looking for motivation, there is an abundance of free online tools that can help you get there. Staying informed about these new sources of information can also be a great way for you to show you are constantly learning. Who knows – perhaps the next time you are starting to doubt yourself, at least one of these pieces of leadership advice will be of help.



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