By Lauren Beam (’07), Associate Director, Mentoring and Alumni Personal & Career Development, Wake Forest University
Do you love listening to podcasts on a variety of different topics? Well, so do we. And we’ve tracked down some of the best podcasts available on professional and career-related topics (in our humble opinion, of course). Pop in those earbuds and start listening!
How Did You Get Into That?
Host: Grant Baldwin (speaker, podcaster, author of Reality Check: The Student’s Guide to the Real World, and entrepreneur)
Audience: Anyone interested in learning about unique career paths
This podcast literally answers the question “how’d you get into that?” Host Grant Baldwin interviews a wide range of people who have started their own businesses, made career shifts, or got their foot in the door to a unique career path or industry. Some of the show’s guests include designers, musicians, Etsy sellers, coaches, nutritionists, venture capitalists, and more. Although these podcasts are primarily from 2014 and 2015, they are still relevant and timely today. This podcast series was my favorite out of all the podcasts I previewed for this article, and I appreciated the fact that these were quick and easy, 30-minute interviews.
Pivot with Jenny Blake
Host: Jenny Blake (author of Pivot: Turn What’s Working for You Into What’s Next, entrepreneur, and former Google career coach)
Audience: Young and mid-professionals seeking advice on managing their career paths and seeking out new opportunities
This podcast is based on host Jenny Blake’s motto: “If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.” She interviews authors, researchers, and other professionals about practical tips and strategies for navigating change and taking advantage of new opportunities that may come your way. One of my favorite episodes was an interview with author and psychologist at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Susan David, called “How Emotionally Agile Are You? Strategies for Setbacks.” Most of Blake’s podcast episodes are one hour or less.
Hosts: Ivy LaClair and Blake Brandes (a 2006 Wake Forest grad)
Audience: Millennials/young professionals
In this podcast series, hosts LaClair and Brandes interview Millennial professionals who are living their lives with a sense of purpose. Through their interviews, they ask their guests about how they discovered their passions and how they have overcome challenges along the way. Many of their episodes are a quick half hour listen. I highly recommend starting off with their May 2017 interview with another well-known Wake Forest alum, Lee Norris (’04), who was an actor in several television shows such as The Torkelsons, Boy Meets World, and One Tree Hill before parlaying his connections and experiences into the business side of the entertainment industry.
Being Boss: Mindset, Habits, Tactics, and Lifestyle for Creative Entrepreneurs
Hosts: Emma Thompson and Kathleen Shannon (both independent business owners and authors of Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work + Live Life On Your Own Terms coming in April 2018)
Audience: Entrepreneurs, women, creative types looking to use their skill set and ideas to launch a business venture
Being Boss is a top-rated and highly popular Apple Podcast series. They interview other entrepreneurs, authors, and professionals on topics such as bringing awareness to gender and race in the workplace, design thinking, running a seasonal business, imposter syndrome, and other practical tips for launching your own business. They regularly focus on helping entrepreneurs cultivate a confident mindset, set work/life boundaries, establish good habits and routines, and build their networks. I recommend starting with one of their most recent episodes from February 5, 2018 called “Getting a Day Job with Becky Simpson” – which focuses on how to maintain a full-time day job (that you love) while still growing your business on the side.
This is Your Life
Host: Michael Hyatt (former publishing house CEO, author of multiple books including Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, and entrepreneur)
Audience: Anyone interested in developing their leadership skills, but likely for mid-career professionals
This weekly podcast provides practical tips dedicated to “intentional leadership.” Topics covered include work-life balance, leading in the face of criticism, accountability for leaders, and how to lead transformational conversations. The show finished its eight season and is on a hiatus; however, host Michael Hyatt has also started a new podcast called Lead to Win, featuring leadership lessons for lasting success. While these episodes may resonate more with mid-career professionals in leadership positions (or those seeking to move into managerial roles), anyone can glean wisdom from Hyatt’s advice and experience shared in this podcast series.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Host: Tim Ferriss (technology investor/advisor and author of five books including Tribe of Mentors and The 4-Hour Workweek)
Audience: Anyone who enjoys learning from professionals at the top of their field about practical tips and strategies for success
In each episode, host Tim Ferriss interviews professionals in eclectic industries such as investing, sports, business, and art, and highlights tactics, tools, and routines that have led to their success that you can implement in your own personal and professional life. Ferriss’ interviews include asking his guests about their favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and more. I particularly enjoyed his episode from January 3, 2018 on “How to Handle Information Overwhelm (and Social Media),” which addresses key strategies for not getting bogged down or distracted by technology and social media.
Disclaimer: This article is not a paid endorsement for any of the podcasts mentioned above. These are simply one person’s viewpoint and review of professional and career-related podcasts. We invite you to share with us on Twitter @LifeAfterWake your thoughts on these podcasts and others that you would recommend to Wake Forest alumni.