13 of the Best TedTalks for Your Career (and Your Life)



There are hundreds of TedTalks to sift through that focus on any topic you could think of. I have rounded up the best of the best that will give you career advice, but can also show you how to succeed in your personal life.


Got four minutes? Renowned author, speaker and success analyst Richard St. John found the keys to success. And in this TedTalk, he shares his eight secrets of success. After researching this topic for years, he breaks it down into simple action items. Bonus: Check out his other talk on how to continue your success journey.


From TedxManchesterCarrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, discusses how to reprogram your mind for success. She proves that your frame of mind makes a huge impact on your work, and ultimately your life.  


Award winning soccer coach Dr. Ivan Joseph’s TedTalk shows the importance of the skill of self-confidence. He places emphasis on skill because he believes it is an asset that can be learned. And after you watch this talk, you will too.


What does a criminal lawyer, career expert, and relationship expert have in common? Mel Robbins. Amazingly upbeat, Robbins uses her personal experience to talk about how to stop screwing yourself over. She poses the question “What do you want?” She gives the answer: it’s simple, but it isn’t easy.


Three-decade University of Waterloo professor Larry Smith explains why you must fail to have a great career. Smith uses a relatable voice to show the difference between a good and a great career. Inspiring!


Do a quick observation of your posture and of those around you. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, gives you a non-tech life hack. She dives into the reasons why body language and nonverbal cues play a huge role in your career and in your personal life. Excuse me while I go adjust my posture.


Contrary to many internet articles, Terri Trespicio tells you why you need to stop searching for your passion. At the end of this talk you’ll be thinking about all the passions you have. And guess what? You’re able to pursue all of them!


Starting a company is scary. Knut Haanaes discusses his way of determining whether or not an entrepreneur will be successful. He says it is because one of two reasons. If you are thinking about starting a company, or joining a startup, this is one TedTalk you should not miss!


New York Times best-selling author and professor Adam Grant researched the minds of “originals” and expands on what that research taught him. In his talk, you will learn about the surprising habits of original thinkers, how to become like them, and why bad ideas aren’t really that bad.


Despite his wild hair and scruffy beard, Magnus Walker speaks eloquently on why going with your gut feeling is always the right choice. Personally or professionally, you’ll find Walker’s story inspiring.


If you have time for just one TedTalk, this is the one. Scott Geller is so engaging, you’ll feel like you’re part of the live audience. Gellar gives you three simple questions to ask yourself when you are questioning your competence. Whether you’re feeling challenged at work, or with a personal problem, this talk will leave you feeling motivated to accomplish anything thrown at you.


We’ve all heard “is the glass half-full, or half-empty?” Social psychologist, Alison Ledgerwood questions this way of thinking about our problems. Getting stuck in a negative frame of mind because of failure affects your problem-solving skills. In her talk, she explains how to get unstuck from the negativity.


Former Denver Broncos running back turned motivational speaker Reggie Rivers explains why you shouldn’t focus on your goals if you want to achieve them. Rivers asks you to start thinking about your goals in a new way that focuses on your behavior instead of the goal itself.  



Feeling successful in life takes more than a dream career and having a dream career doesn’t always mean a successful life. These TedTalks will make you question your way of thinking and make you challenge yourself to be a better employee, and a better person.


Last Updated: October 18, 2016
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.