Careers

10 Podcasts Ideal for Young Professionals

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An important aspect of career success is the ability to continuously educate yourself and grow, but as a young professional, you may not have much time to read and review resources available outside the classroom or office. That’s where podcasts come in. Podcasts offer an easy-to-access way of learning new information and strengthening what you already know. No matter how busy your schedule is, you probably spend some time every day commuting to and from school or work, running errands, exercising, cleaning or cooking. Make these activities more exciting -- and learn as you do so -- by listening to podcasts.

With a variety of existing platforms, including iTunes and Stitcher, there really is no excuse not to try. The good news is that there is no shortage of content. Even as I work on this article, over thirty podcasts immediately come to mind. In this piece, I’ve focused on ten that will contribute value to your professional development, regardless of what direction you plan to take.


The College Intern

If you are taking your first steps in the professional world, this podcast allows you to hear stories from interns so you can learn a bit about their fields, their experiences and future goals, their employers and the hiring process. Episodes aren’t longer than twenty minutes -- perfect to listen to even if you don’t have much time. Beyond the value of hearing someone else’s internship story and gaining insights into a diverse set of industries and functions, this podcast offers you the option to connect with those featured so you can also grow your network.

The Savvy Young Professional

Securing a position is not the last step in the career development process; in fact, it’s one of the first steps. Career management takes a lifetime and this podcast helps you learn about topics you may not even be thinking about, including budgeting and leadership development. Depending on the topic, some episodes are short and to the point and others take a bit more time. The best part is that you don’t need to listen to all episodes: Pick the ones that intrigue you and cover topics you want to learn more about.

The Future of Work

Although you are embarking on your career journey today, most of that journey will stretch into a future world that’s rapidly evolving. With that in mind, you'll want to know what the future of work will look like and what you need to do to prepare for success in that world. Through this podcast, you get to hear from experts leading some of the largest companies and find out what they see as trends, challenges and needs. The podcast is also a great resource to learn about what could be your target employers.

Side Hustle School

I’m amazed and inspired by people who figure out how to take an idea -- often to solve a problem they’ve noticed -- and turn it into a profitable venture. Even if you think side hustles aren’t for you, as the gig economy expands, pursuing your own venture becomes a necessary way of maintaining a certain income and gaining security. As the podcast points out, “When you have more than one source of income, you’re no longer dependent on a single employer. ... You’ll learn new skills. Oh, and you’ll also have … more money.” So listen to how others have launched successful side hustles and stretch yourself to come up with your own.

Beyond the To-Do List

If you wanted to, you could find numerous resources claiming to have figured out the secret to being more productive, but this podcast links productivity to work-life balance and is perfect for young professionals. As a career coach at a graduate business school, I often hear from students who indicate that balance is not a priority as they are more concerned about securing a job with a big-name company, even if it means working long hours in the short term. What these young professionals fail to realize is that balance is not something to seek one day in the future; rather, it’s a practice to develop as early as possible in your career. This podcast introduces you to successful professionals who know how to do that, and you can listen and learn from them.

Money Girl

While finding meaningful opportunities is something all job seekers should pursue, careers also have the practical aspect of ensuring financial stability. As such, the sooner you start thinking about your financial status, the more likely it is that you will achieve financial security early in your professional life. Career paths are no longer linear or stable and as a young professional, you want to make sure you are setting yourself up for financial success. Laura Adams and her podcast will help get you on the right track. For a bonus, check out the rest of the wonderful podcasts under the Quick and Dirty Tips umbrella.

The School of Greatness

Who doesn’t need a dose of inspiration on a daily basis? This podcast brings you insights and stories from some of the most successful people in the world so you can learn what helped them become who they are today. Listening to these episodes can get you in the right mindset to push forward as you pursue your own personal and professional greatness, whatever that may mean to you. Topics covered include business, health and relationships, but my favorite pieces are the five-minute Friday editions.

Claim the Stage

Public speaking reigns as most people’s number one fear, and it’s also a skill that can determine personal and professional success and growth, regardless of what field a person wants to pursue. This podcast markets itself as “a podcast for women who want to discover, awaken and create their voice through the art of public speaking,” but it could be of value to everyone seeking to take charge of their own voices.

Hidden Brain

Foster your curiosity and enhance your understanding of human behavior by listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Each episode relies on science to examine a specific issue, but it’s the use of storytelling that keeps listeners engaged. In addition to quenching your intellectual curiosity, this podcast helps you learn something about yourself, which can ultimately enhance the way you show up in the world, as a person and as a professional.

BBC Global News Podcast

Regardless of what industry or function you choose, being aware of what’s happening in the world and how what’s happening impacts your industry or location is a plus for anyone. If you want to avoid being inundated with news from all kinds of sources, this podcast gives you access to the day’s top stories in an easy to digest format.  

To complement the above ten podcasts, you may also do a search of targeted podcasts related to the industry or career you are interested in. Whether you want to be an engineer or an investigative journalist, odds are there is at least one podcast out there on the topic.

Happy listening!