woman watching best career ted talks on laptop

It can be so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of getting through the workday that you don’t even notice when you’ve lost your sense of purpose. Far too often as a career coach, I’ve noticed that people get stuck in their career pathway before they even notice it.

Perhaps you aren’t being challenged at work, and you’ve become bored with the day-to-day, or perhaps your schedule is so full that there isn’t a moment to even consider that you might not be doing what you actually want. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to get out of autopilot. Move into your heart so that you can get clear, move forward and create a career you’re truly fulfilled by.

As a speaker, I have always found that binging on inspiring content can be a great first step to spark ideas and inspiration for change. 

Check out these fascinating career TED Talks packed with information on how to get clear on your purpose in the workforce.

  1. How to Figure Out What You Really Want by Ashley Stahl (yours truly)

Have you kidnapped yourself from the life you really want, holding yourself hostage in jobs or careers that don’t actually feel right for you?

It can be tempting to get caught in the cycle of working hard, paying your bills and living for the weekends… Lather, rinse, repeat. And over time, we tend to believe that this is “just the way it is.”

… But it doesn’t have to be. 

It all starts with taking three key steps, which I walk through in my career TED talks, about how to get out of fear-based thinking and decision-making, so you can finally come home to who you truly are. In fact, data has found that while we wake up and go to bed in neighborhoods and communities that look just like we do on paper, statistically speaking, we are somehow more disconnected and lonely than ever before. Why? My argument is that a lot of us are in careers we don’t want to be in, leaving us surrounded by people who look like us on paper but don’t really feel like our people. Add a bunch of tweets, text messages and emails all day, and you’ll be marinating in distraction– from yourself, your career and what you actually want from your life. 

This is for you if you want to GET UNSTUCK. You’re tired of getting in your own way and making for yourself, and ready to ignite the fire of connecting back to who you really are, and what’s possible in your career. On the surface, things may look great, but inside, you are starving for more.

“Pain is a trampoline that will launch you into the next stage of life you are willing to let it.” -Ashley Stahl

  1. How to Find and Do Work You Love by Scott Dinsmore

Why are you doing the work that you do?

Many people have reasons for the work they do, but most aren’t rooted in positive thoughts. Scott went on a journey to discover the difference between people who love what they do, versus those who hate their jobs. On this journey, he found that there are three simple practices all inspired people do that you can use today to find and create work you love.  

Since it’s common for people to feel resistant to taking action, Scott shares his two reasons why and breaks down how everything you need to do is completely within your control. One way to step out of being trapped is to become aware of who you spend your time with. It might be scary to question this, but being mindful of who you surround yourself with you key. 

This is for you if you want to GET INSPIRED. You’re seeking guidance on how to turn your life into something you love, and you want purpose to be the driver behind everything you do. Be prepared to switch from thinking about if you have what it takes to create a career you love, to wondering how could you ever NOT create it! 

“The fastest way to do things you don’t think can be done, is to surround yourself by people already doing them.” – Scott Dinsmore

  1. To Find Work You Love, Don’t Follow Your Passion by Benjamin Todd

What do you want to say about the 80,000+ hours of work you will do in your lifetime?

This TED Youth talk is packed with a powerful punch of knowledge on how to define and create a career worth having.  Benjamin breaks down how the phrase “follow your passion” isn’t aligned with good career advice. As a career coach myself, I have found this advice to be a fast track to nowhere, often leaving its followers more frustrated than found.

So what do you do instead? Benjamin walks through three actions you can start taking today to do work that is, in fact, worthwhile.  

This is for you if you’re wanting IMPACT in your career. You’re tired of people saying the same mundane career advice, and you want to look back on your career knowing it truly meant something to the world.

“Focus on doing what is valuable, and that will lead to passion and a fulfilling career.”
– Benjamin Todd

  1. Work Flow: Finding Work You Love at Any Stage by Liz Brown

What do you enjoy being good at?

There is a powerful difference between what you are good at, and what you actually enjoy being good at. You may have found success through managing excel sheets, organizing meetings or debating, simply because these are skills you do well.  But, are they the skills you enjoy using most? Your career should be something that lifts you up and brings you to life.

This is for you if you’re GREAT at your job, but you know there’s more out there for you. While you’re great at your job today, you don’t want to die with your magic still inside of you, and you can’t help but admit that it feels like something is missing. I have always loved the saying, “don’t do a bad job well.” If you have found yourself doing a lot of bad jobs well and wanting out, listen to the advice Liz shares to break free from this career cycle.

“Career satisfaction comes from doing what comes easily to you, for, and around, people who value that skill.” – Liz Brown

After you watch each career TED talk on this list, you may have noticed they all have one common piece of advice: you must take action.  Without action, nothing will ever change. So, put this new knowledge and inspiration into play within your life. Take the steps you need to move from a place of dissatisfaction to a state of joyful living.

It is a hard path, but it will be worth it, my friend. Watch each of these career TED Talks and tell me your favorite in the comments below!

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