playlist

Tips and tricks to start (and continue) your professional journey

Ready for your next adventure? Prepare with these talks full of actionable advice to help you navigate the curious world of professional careers. (Curated in partnership with the National Security Agency.)

  1. 14:00
    David Epstein Why specializing early doesn't always mean career success

    A head start doesn't always ... well, help you get ahead. With examples from sports, technology and economics, journalist David Epstein shares how specializing in a particular skill too early in life may undermine your long-term development — and explains the benefits of a "sampling period" where you try new things and focus on building a range of skills. Learn how this broader, counterintuitive mindset (and more forgiving timeline) could lead to a more fulfilling life, personally and professionally.

  2. 6:30
    Jason Shen Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience

    Very few of us hold jobs that line up directly with our past experiences or what we studied in college. Take TED Resident Jason Shen; he studied biology but later became a product manager at a tech company. In this quick, insightful talk about human potential, Shen shares some new thinking on how job seekers can make themselves more attractive — and why employers should look for ability over credentials.

  3. 11:06
    Noeline Kirabo 2 questions to uncover your passion — and turn it into a career

    What's your passion? Social entrepreneur Noeline Kirabo reflects on her work helping out-of-school young people in Uganda turn their passions into profitable businesses — and shares the two questions you can ask yourself to begin doing the same.

  4. 7:25
    Steven Johnson The playful wonderland behind great inventions

    Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, not always. Steven Johnson shows us how some of the most transformative ideas and technologies, like the computer, didn't emerge out of necessity at all but instead from the strange delight of play. Share this captivating, illustrated exploration of the history of invention. Turns out, you'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

  5. 17:47
    Scott Dinsmore How to find work you love

    Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

  6. 11:39
    Tina Seelig The little risks you can take to increase your luck

    Luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic — it's much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious. In this insightful talk, Stanford engineering school professor Tina Seelig shares three unexpected ways to increase your luck — and your ability to see and seize opportunities.

  7. 20:26
    Dan Ariely What makes us feel good about our work?

    What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.

  8. 16:16
    Albert-László Barabási The real relationship between your age and your chance of success

    Backed by mathematical analysis, network theorist Albert-László Barabási explores the hidden mechanisms that drive success — no matter your field — and uncovers an intriguing connection between your age and your chance of making it big.