Refresh Your Search: 5 TED Talks to Keep You Motivated While Job Hunting

Ted Talk

Searching for a contract position can be less than thrilling, in fact, it can be a downright drag.

However, why dwell on the process when you could be getting motivated? Whether you are looking for a long-term career or a series of challenging contracting work, I’ve assembled the ultimate list of TED Talks to revive your faith in the job search and inspire you to find that next position.

1) Scott Dinsmore: How to Find Work You Love

I will guess that we have all been offered the advice to “build your resume” and not to worry about a current, possibly unsatisfactory, position. Scott Dinsmore was no exception but unlike most decided not to heed this guidance. The creator of Live Your Legend, a website devoted to helping people find and support their passions, left a fortune 500 job to better understand how people find work they love. His talk details three steps to help you find the “work that you can’t not do.”

2) Karen Anderson: Be an Opportunity Maker

It’s true that people enjoy talking about themselves, but Karen Anderson asserts that there may be more to this than that never-ending lunch you had with your college friend. The Forbes Columnist claims that as a community we need to stop thinking solely about ourselves and start being opportunity makers for each other and more importantly the common good. Anderson insists that by connecting and acting as shared advocates we not only build strong relationships but seek out others with diverse capabilities to piece together an even stronger network. In these networks we have the ability to help each other develop professionally and connect around key points of interest in order to make things happen.

3) Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?

Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely knows all about management incentives and how to keep workers happy. Through the sequence of experiments explained in this talk, Ariely found that employee pay is only a small part of what motivates employees. Keeping employee motivated and acknowledging what makes them tick is at the forefront of all executives minds, but by enlisting Dan Ariely’s finding you will discover a happier and more productive work mentality.

4) Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

This is one of my all-time favorite talks, Alain de Botton somehow manages to perfectly summarize the existing job climate, while still making you laugh! He expounds on the fact that it is much easier to make a good living today but harder to escape job stress. We are plagued by preconceived notions of what our careers are supposed to look like and give too much weight to sweeping assumptions about job snobbery, professional envy, and the fear of employment mediocrity. De Botton urges that professional accomplishment is now defined by others and that we fear job-related ridicule so ardently that failure, or simply the idea of failing, causes sustained inaction. Take de Botton’s advice and determine your own success.

5) Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

We all make excuses not to pursue our passion; not the right time, worrying about others, or you simply don’t want to put in the effort. However, Larry Smith, professor of economics at the University of Waterloo, claims that in our failure to take action we are only hurting ourselves and encouraging a culture of indecisiveness and procrastination. Smith encourages us never to get to the point where ‘I had a dream once too but…’ escapes our lips!

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