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Podcasts to Help You Reflect on Your Career

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Throughout my years as a career coach, I’ve always been interested in learning what other people do for a living. While even I can admit that, “What do you do?” may not be the best question to lead with when you’re meeting someone for the first time, I’m compelled to ask it at some point because I truly am interested in their professional lives and what excites them (or doesn’t) about work.

Once I discovered the vast world of podcasts, I started listening and voraciously gathering information about careers, finding one’s passion, and using one’s career to contribute to making the world a better place. I’ve also contemplated how to apply key points from non-career episodes to some aspect of the world of work and vocation. Below is a list of some of my favorites—check them out this summer to spark your career exploration:

The Good Life Project

This is the one that got me started on my podcast kick. Each episode features a “changemaker” with an extraordinary life created by a profession or passion project with meaning, vision, and inspiration.

My favorite episodes:

  • The Power (and Heartbreak) of Being Called To Serve  opened my eyes to the dire need for medical supplies throughout Africa, as told in Danielle Butin’s poignant story of starting her nonprofit, Afya Foundation. Her passion for her work led her to manage the logistics necessary for finding funding and supplies to run her organization.
  • In Working for Free: The Good, The Bad, and The Truth, Good Life Project’s founder Jonathan Fields addresses how to take a strategic look at the work you do for “free” to identify the alternative value-add components: a “test kitchen” to experiment your ideas with your target market, publicity, and other forms of “non-cash compensation.”


This “show about curiosity” may not directly focus on careers, but allows the listener to take episode topics as fodder for further exploration.

My favorite episode:

  • Buttons Not Buttons inspires the listener to take a closer look at the portals of life that exist around us- buttons, such as the ones in elevators and on your podcast player. The hosts visit the Elevator History Museum leading to the discovery that most “door close” buttons on elevators don’t even work! What other ‘door close’ buttons exist in life? What do we have at work that serves as a source of comfort or familiarity rather than a functional purpose?


I was instantly intrigued by the fascinating concept of this show! Invisibilia is a podcast that invites the listener to explore the intangible and challenge us to “feel differently.” It promises to explore ideas, assumptions and beliefs by, “interweaving narrative storytelling with fascinating new psychological and brain science.”

My favorite episode:

  • The Power of Categories wins by default as I am a new listener to Invisibilia and have not had the opportunity to listen to other ones yet. This episode addresses our need for categories, the need to both differentiate oneself yet identify with something. For example, what does it mean to be a “dog person” or a “cat person”? Taking it further: How do the ways you categorize yourself affect your career choices?

The Moth

One of the most famed organizations “dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling” The Moth’s themed showcases allow the audience an intimate glimpse into ordinary life as lived by novice and veteran storytellers alike.

My favorite episodes:

  • Listen Here, Fancy Pants! is a lively yet emotional account of Anthony Giglio’s  (a wine and spirits connoisseur and writer of “Food + Drinks” for Details Magazine) journey of acceptance and making peace with his father. How has your career path been shaped by your childhood, familial expectations, or even lack of communication among those who are supposed to care about each other? If you had the opportunity to really talk with a family member, how might it affect the decisions you make?
  • About to Eat Cake is a hilarious journey among friends after one experiences a failed relationship. Their hours-long ride to nowhere in particular meanders to a Baptist church, where the question, “Who gets to decide what I need healed?” comes up. What if we were to reframe our assumptions about what needs to be fixed in the world? Perhaps what we see as a “deficit” would cause more harm if we were to “fix” it.


By Victoria Crispo

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