5 TED Talks for Career Development

5 TED Talks for Career Development


Along with a New Year comes the promise of a New You. It’s the time for career and personal growth, as resolutions are shared on all your social media feeds. It’s easy to find inspiration while browsing Pinterest for motivational work-related quotes, shopping in bookstores and searching online resources – in fact, the volume of available resources can be overwhelming!


Enter TED Talks.


TED started as a one-off conference about technology, entertainment and design (hence the acronym), and originally launched in 1984. It has since gone on to become a viral sensation, as a platform for passionate leaders, thinkers and teachers worldwide to speak at conferences, and share their insights and knowledge. The first six TED Talks were posted online in June 2006. By September, they had reached more than one million views. What better way to get access to this kind of insight, from some of the world’s brightest minds?


If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to grow personally and in your career, enjoy this curated list of some of the best business TED Talks. Watch them on your phone or tablet while on your daily commute, or even at home in the a.m. with a hot drink in hand.


So press “play” and get ready to take notes. Let’s do this.



  1. David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings



How much precious time do you think has already been wasted due to poorly managed meetings? Too many people are guilty of running bad meetings – and who can blame them? Nobody tells them otherwise! Change the behavior by thinking twice before accepting a meeting invite, and ask questions about your role in the meeting as well as the meeting’s objectives. You’ll be grateful you did -- you might even win back hours of your workday life.


Note: David Grady also gained notoriety for a viral video about poorly managed conference calls. He references this in his TED Talk – and it’s funny because it’s true.


Why it’s a must-see:

Because meetings aren’t always necessary thanks to technology and globalization. You can help free us all from the time suck that is a useless meeting or conference call.



2) Susan Colantuono: The career advice you probably didn’t get






This one’s for the ladies: Do you feel you’re being passed over for a promotion year after year, even though you’re constantly praised at your job? That’s because there are usually 3 criteria for advancement, yet only 2 are identified. So what’s the missing 33%? Find out.



Why it’s a must-see:

Because although this TED Talk is directed at women, it highlights a universal truth that applies to all those in the working world: the importance of aligning your professional strengths with your company’s strategic goals, and the importance of men at the executive level doing something to create an even playing field for men and women.


3) Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career




Who would have thought that a Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo could inspire us to follow our passion during our career search? Are we all settling for what “interests” us rather than what moves us? We all give excuses for not following our dreams – what excuses are you giving?



Why it’s a must-see:

Because passion and interest are not the same thing – and it’s passion that will help you find the job(s) of your dreams. It’s time to get rid of the fear and stop making excuses.



4) Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work




Psychologist Shawn Achor is the CEO of GoodThink Inc. and the best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage. He examines why we falsely believe that we should work hard to be happy when it’s actually the other way around. Happiness is what inspires us to be more productive <link to: http://career-advice.monster.ca/In-the-Workplace/work-life-balance/work-week-success-ca/article.aspx>. And with over 12 million views of his TED Talk, Achor has inspired many people to make positive changes.



Why it’s a must-see:

Because happiness at work is intrinsically tied to support and optimism, you’ll actually start to see stress as a challenge to overcome rather than a roadblock. We need to reverse the formula, to take action and create positivity -- and be more successful as a result. Are you ready for the challenge? Get ready to create a happiness revolution.



5) Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work




The author of Fat, Forty and Fired tackles the elusive concept of “work-life balance” <link to: http://career-advice.monster.ca/In-the-Workplace/work-life-balance/work-life-balance-a-myth-ca/article.aspx> with four observations he’s made (and shares in his talk). After years as the corporate warrior who worked non-stop, he took a step back to spend a year off at home with his family, and learned that work-life balance is possible -- the choice is in our hands.




Why it’s a must-see:

Because so many companies don’t walk the talk – and allowing employees to wear jeans on Fridays is not what will help you achieve balance at work.



Find your passion


You might very well be happy in your job, or perhaps you’re in the midst of a career transition, or you’re a student about to graduate and enter the workforce.


Whatever your current situation, the sources for inspiration can be found with a simple scroll of your Facebook feed or a podcast link that a friend might share. The trick is to be in tune with these bits of inspiration so that when they come your way, you stop to take a listen.


The amazing thing about TED Talks is the accessibility and ability to learn wherever you are. And that, my friends, is a privilege. Enjoy.