8 Podcasts Quarterlifers Need to Add to Their Playlists
Lifelong learning is critical for personal and professional growth, but outside the demands of life and career, it may be challenging to carve out time in order to pursue learning opportunities. If you are committed to moving forward and designing a context that is meaningful to you, you want to integrate learning into your day.
One relatively easy way to do so is to listen to podcasts, which can help you gain insights about your career, strengthen your commitment to a decision you have made, or inspire you to pursue a direction you hadn’t even considered.
No matter how busy you are, if you commute to and from school or work, run errands, walk your dog, exercise, clean or prepare meals, you can make these activities more exciting — and educational — by listening to podcasts.
With a variety of existing platforms and no shortage of content, there really is no excuse not to try. Even as I compiled this list, over thirty podcasts came to mind. Ultimately, I decided to focus on eight that will contribute value to your personal and professional growth, regardless of what direction you want to go.
Hosted by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, founders of Amazing If, this weekly podcast offers career insights for any professional curious about taking charge of their own career development and finding their best at work. Whether you want to explore your potential, increase your energy at work, identify your strengths and advocate for yourself, make the most of your weak ties, or build your reputation, this podcast gives you the tips, ideas and actions to help you move forward and grow. If you want to hear from those who are actively making work better, the interviews Ellis and Tupper present will be just the thing to check out.
With a tagline of “a show about how to kick ass at work without losing your humanity,” you can definitely expect honest reflections, insights, and information on growing as a professional without compromising who you are or hurting others along the way. Building on principles outlined in the best-selling Radical Candor, hosts Kim Scott and Jason Rosoff share why it is important to “Care Personally” and “Challenge Directly” and how that leads to doing better work and cultivating stronger and more meaningful relationships.
Recommended episode: How to Choose a Radically Candid Boss
WorkLife with Adam Grant
A huge chunk of our lives is spent at work, and if you dread the never-ending supply of Sunday scaries or Monday mood memes, but are curious about creating a work life that’s meaningful and rewarding, this podcast is for you. Hosted by organizational psychologist Adam Grant, the show invites “some of the world’s most unusual professionals” to discuss a wide-range of topics — including rethinking bad decisions, handling conflict productively, and using imposter syndrome as fuel — to guide you to a more purposeful work life.
Recommended episode: Your Insecurities Aren’t What You Think They Are
Whether we recognize it or not, success for many includes overcoming struggles, fighting against the odds, and rising after challenges. As host Luvvie Ajayi Jones highlights, it takes audacity “to create a life that is authentic, bold, and purposeful,” and her goal is to help you achieve just that. If you are committed to growing as a professional, learning how to communicate your value, and owning your story, her conversations with world movers and change agents is the motivation you need. Trust me. Ultimately, Luvvie Ajayi Jones wants to help you answer “How do we do BIG THINGS in a world where we have so much to fear?”
Recommended episode: Do Good Work (with Tiffany Aliche)
The Good Life Project
Pursuing professional growth and success without a corresponding commitment to personal well-being often leads to living a life that drains us, not a life that fills us with joy and meaning. This is why this podcast is essential for any professional. Each episode features a conversation full of insights and inspiration “about living a fully-engaged, fiercely-connected and purpose-drenched life.” If that’s the life you want, I encourage you to tune in.
Recommended episode: How to Create More Free Time
The Accidental Creative
Whether you think you are a creative pro or not, this podcast can help you glimpse insights about where brilliant ideas come from, how to stay engaged in your craft (whatever that may be), and how to thrive in life and work. And who doesn’t want that? Not to mention that unleashing your inner creative self (yes, we all have one) is a great way to stretch and grow at work and in life, whether you need tips on moving beyond being stuck, advice on how to address your inner critic, or ideas on what can help you communicate more effectively. Listen to this podcast and don’t hesitate to apply the concepts you learn about to your own context.
How I Built This
In this podcast, host Guy Raz brings you the stories behind well-known companies and showcases what it took their founders to get to where they are today. Come for the narrative approach; stay for the nuggets of wisdom about perseverance, problem-solving, resilience, meaningful connections, and the experimental mindset. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur — or want to be one for that matter — to enjoy and learn from the conversations.
Recommended episode: Goodreads: Otis and Elizabeth Chandler
Beyond the To-Do List
Productivity has earned a bad reputation in recent years, with many challenging the push for ‘doing more with less’ at the expense of our well-being. What helps this podcast stand out is Erik Fisher’s approach to linking productivity to having a meaningful life. This makes it a perfect resource for quarterlifers. As a career coach, I often hear younger clients indicate that balance is not a priority as they are more concerned about securing a job, even if it means working long hours in the short term. What these young professionals fail to realize is that balance is not something to seek in the future; rather, it’s a practice to develop as early as possible in one’s career with the goal of designing and living a more meaningful life.
Recommended episode: John Meese on Not Merely Surviving but Thriving
In addition to giving the above podcasts a listen, you may also do a search for target podcasts related to the field or career you are interested in — a wonderful complement to the above podcasts. Whether you want to be an engineer or an investigative journalist, odds are there is at least one podcast out there on the topic.
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