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21 Can't Miss TED Talks for Job Seekers

Whether you find yourself unemployed or just searching for better opportunities, we can all benefit from these unconventional, successful, and inspirational 21 TED speakers.

2018/06/28

Whether you find yourself unemployed or just searching for better opportunities, we can all benefit from these unconventional, successful, and inspirational 21 TED speakers.

So sit back, relax, and glean what you need to help you take that next step in your career.

Go for it!

1. Regina Hartley: Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume

Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the "Scrapper" a chance. 

As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. "Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose," she says. "Hire the Scrapper."

2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

3. Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. He calls out the two main offenders (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make the workplace actually work.

4. Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs

Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs," tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.

5. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."

6. Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

7. Morgana Bailey: The danger of hiding who you are

​Morgana Bailey has been hiding her true self for 16 years. In a brave talk, she utters four words that might not seem like a big deal to some, but to her have been paralyzing. Why speak up? 

Because she’s realized that her silence has personal, professional and societal consequences. In front of an audience of her co-workers, she reflects on what it means to fear the judgment of others, and how it makes us judge ourselves.

8. Barry Schwartz: The way we think about work is broken

What makes work satisfying? Apart from a paycheck, there are intangible values that, Barry Schwartz suggests, our current way of thinking about work simply ignores. It's time to stop thinking of workers as cogs on a wheel.

9. Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don't have one true calling

What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you're not alone.

In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites" — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?

10. Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can we all "have it all"?

Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, "Why women still can't have it all." But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.

11. Richard St. John: 8 secrets of success

Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

12. Margaret Heffernan: Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work

Organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. 

Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”

13. Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything

From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss' fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question — "What's the worst that could happen?" — is all you need to learn to do anything.

14. Wingham Rowan: A new kind of job market

Plenty of people need jobs with very flexible hours — but it's difficult for those people to connect with the employers who need them. Wingham Rowan is working on that. He explains how the same technology that powers modern financial markets can help employers book workers for slivers of time.

15. Erik Brynjolfsson: The key to growth? Race with the machines

As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson — it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.

16. Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty

​Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.

17. Rodney Brooks: Why we will rely on robots

Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less mundane and mechanical challenges. 

Rodney Brooks points out how valuable this could be as the number of working-age adults drops and the number of retirees swells. He introduces us to Baxter, the robot with eyes that move and arms that react to touch, which could work alongside an aging population — and learn to help them at home, too.

18. Kare Anderson: Be an opportunity maker

​We all want to use our talents to create something meaningful with our lives. But how to get started? (And ... what if you're shy?) Writer Kare Anderson shares her own story of chronic shyness, and how she opened up her world by helping other people use their own talents and passions.

19. David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings

An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings is plaguing the world’s businesses — and making workers miserable. David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it.

20. Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

​Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity." (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

I hope you enjoyed some or all of these videos; please take a minute to tell me what you enjoyed or hated in the comment section below.

21. Jessica Shortall: The US needs paid family leave -- for the sake of its future

We need women to work, and we need working women to have babies. So why is America one of the only countries in the world that offers no national paid leave to new working mothers? 

In this incisive talk, Jessica Shortall makes the impassioned case that the reality of new working motherhood in America is both hidden and horrible: millions of women, every year, are forced back to work within just weeks of giving birth. 

Her idea worth spreading: the time has come for us to recognize the economic, physical and psychological costs of our approach to working mothers and their babies, and to secure our economic future by providing paid leave to all working parents.

Originally posted here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miles Anthony Smith, an ambivert and serial specialist, has held senior, executive leadership positions for businesses and non-profits over the past fifteen years. He has broad management skills across many functional business disciplines in accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, and leadership, earning a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from Oral Roberts University and a master’s in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Miles currently works for Imaginasium as director of digital marketing. Miles is the author of the Why Leadership Sucks and the Why Career Advice Sucks series.

  • Written by

    Miles Anthony Smith

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