Even if you know deep down it’s time to shake things up, the idea of a career change can be scary. Besides, knowing what you should do and actually taking the steps to do it - are two very different things.
Well, we have just the inspiration you need to drive you forwards on your determined quest to find your calling. A rocket powered kick up the bum if you will. We have some empowering TED Talks that will give you the boost of confidence you need to make that leap.
All of these talks have the potential to give you that clarity you’re craving and fuel your determination, leading you towards that career change. So, do yourself a favour, boil the kettle, settle down and feast your eyes on these beauties.
See also: Are you ready for a career change?
Rediscovering yourself before you find that ‘perfect’ job
In his talk on How to Find Work You Love, writer and traveler Scott Dinsmore shares his story. How he quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful.
This is a great one to watch if you consistently feel like you’re getting it wrong and need some help finding your calling and the type of career that would be good for you.
“The things that we have in our head that we think are impossible are often just milestones waiting to be accomplished if we can push those limits a bit.”
Why you shouldn’t have to choose just ‘one’ career
What did you want to be when you grew up? If you remember this, chances are it has changed or evolved over the years. Some people just knew, and others struggle to answer that question, Either way why does there have to be one answer?
In her talk Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling, Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites". People who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime.
If this sounds familiar and you don’t necessarily want to have one set path for your entire career, then this is the pick for you.
"'What do you want to be when you grow up?' goes from being the cute exercise it once was to the thing that keeps us up at night... while this question inspires kids to dream about what they could be, it does not inspire them to dream about all that they could be. In fact, it does just the opposite, because when someone asks you what you want to be, you can't reply with 20 different things..."
Chances are, ‘future you’ wants something entirely different
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert delivers some mind bending truths in his talk The Psychology of Your Future Self. Like a painting that always seems to need another touch here and there, or a room you eventually redecorate, he believes almost like ignorant works in progress, they think they’re finished, but there truly never are. We’re always changing and while we may feel certain we’ll always be the person we are now, the truth is - based on his research and phenomenon called ‘end of history illusion’ that is highly unlikely.
If you’re stuck in a rut and determined to break out of your comfort zone, then this talk will definitely help you do that. Once your mind is blown to this level, a career change will feel like a walk in the park.
“The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you've ever been. The one constant in our life is change.”
Who better to give you a boost than Mr Jobs?
This was not originally a TED Talk, it was a video of Steve Jobs’ Stanford University commencement speech, but now it’s one of their top videos. In his talk How to Live Before You Die, Jobs spoke of his own experiences and learnings, encouraging others to not just settle.
It makes this list not just because of Steve Jobs’ status, and the talks popularity pegged by some as the ‘best career talk ever given’, but his role in inspiring so many to do what they love and find a work/life balance.
We only get one life and it really is a waste of our time to do a job we hate. If you’ve been unhappy in your job for a while, and procrastinating over the idea of a career change, then this video will give you a welcome smack around the face.
Enough thinking already, it is time to make it happen.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. You’ll know when you find it. Like any great relationship it gets better and better as the years roll on.”
See also: How to: stop procrastinating
A blunt shove in the right direction - just do it!
Why spend loads of money on a degree when you can get advice and insight from a professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada at the click of a button?
Larry Smith coaches his students to find the careers they will truly love, and you get to experience just how he does that in his talk Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career. In it, Larry addresses the problem with a focus on ‘finding a good job’ and how it will inevitably lead to failure.
In a light hearted but frank way, he gets to the bottom of a learned pattern pursuing the ‘good’ and ‘right’ way rather than actually discovering our true passions and doing what we love.
If you often find yourself repeating unhealthy patterns in your career and want to better understand how you can break them, then this is the talk for you.
“Those trying to have good careers are going to fail, because, really, good jobs are now disappearing.There are great jobs and great careers, and then there are the high workload, high stress, blood sucking, soul destroying kinds of jobs, and practically nothing inbetween.”
Inspiring TED Talks that give you wings
Many of us have the potential to fulfil our dreams and do anything we set our mind to, but often we are just missing the confidence to relentlessly pursue that dream - in spite of the challenges we face along the way.
Like a digital Red Bull induced energy buzz - with the occasional shot of vodka and swing around a pole - these talks will give you a swift confidence boost and the lift you need to reach new career heights.
By the end of this TED Talk marathon, you’ll feel ready to take that leap of faith towards the career you’ve always wanted.
If you are a graduate or new to the workplace, you can also check out our list of inspirational TED Talks for graduates and office newbies.