An outsider’s opinion is one of the best ways to get perspective on something. It’s (usually) unbiased as they are removed from the situation and can make you think twice about your own views. When you’re struggling to find a perspective-offering outsider who can provide career advice, consider alternative resources. For those who haven’t encountered TED before, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to “ideas worth spreading” and plenty of those ideas come in the form of career advice. I’ve picked out 15 resources from the TED website that are a great starting point for when you need some perspective on your career.
Finding Your Career Path
1. Scott Dinsmore relays his personal story of quitting a job that made him miserable and shows how to find a job you love – including a good tip on why you shouldn’t take jobs just to build up your resume!
2. Susan Colantuono’s talk is mainly aimed at women and asks the question, why are so many women ‘mired in the middle’. Great takeaways for men and women both, here is the career advice you didn't get.
3. This talk might seem light-hearted because of Larry Smith’s engaging delivery, but let him tell you why you will fail to have a great career!
4. Not specific to deciding which career to pursue – Ruth Chang discusses how to make hard decisions and offers an alternative way of thinking about them.
5. What drives the highest performing teams? Margaret Heffernan believes that social cohesion is the way forward, not a competitive environment full of top performers, here is why its time to affect the pecking order at work.
6. There is no manual for great leadership – Fields Wicker-Miurin says to learn from the leader's missing manual.
7. Sheryl Sandberg, of Facebook fame, is grateful to have been born in an era when women can have great careers – but why are we still not equal with men at the top and having to choose between professional success and personal fulfillment? Here she discusses why we have too few female leaders.
Productivity and Performance
8. This Q&A with Nancy Duarte on how to give more persuasive presentations is packed full of useful tips for creating your presentation as well as the best way to stand in front of an audience and deliver it.
9. This roundup of seven of Dan Ariely’s studies on what motivates us at work provides bite-size pieces of the study, the results and what it means – and it’s more than just money.
10. Traditional rewards aren’t always the best way to motivate staff. Dan Pink starts his TED talk with a ‘confession’ before discussing the puzzle of motivation.
Happiness at Work
11. Are you good at stress? What does that even mean? The point that trying to avoid it is fundamentally counterproductive is the first of many good, helpful ideas from Kelly McGonigal.
12. What happens when an upcoming biochemist encounters Buddhism? Find out here how the Buddhist way of Life taught Matthieu Ricard how to slow down and live mindfully.
13. Are you a 9-5er at your desk with a 15-minute lunch break type? Get some career advice from artists to shake up your work routine
14. Put this one forward to your boss – eliminating long, inflexible hours benefits the worker and the employer. Here is Dan Kedmey's business case against overtime.
15. Taking a leaf out of St Benedict’s book, Nigel Marsh took a step back from his career to work on balancing work-life balance. He thinks he’s worked out some good methods – watch him speak to get some encouragement for your own work-life balance.
Hopefully, you’re feeling more inspired now than before you read this article – if not, bookmark this page and peruse these great TED resources when you’re in need of some career perspective. Alternatively, take a look at the rest of our career advice for some further inspiration.