9 podcasts to help you reach your 2020 career goals

Listen for advice on avoiding petty politics, finding balance, flipping the workplace on its head and more.

Listen for advice on avoiding petty politics, finding balance, flipping the workplace on its head and more

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It happens to everyone. You've been in your job for a while, you've mastered your responsibilities and you're wondering 'what's next?' Maybe you want something more challenging — a new project or to manage a team. Maybe you want more money or more meaning. Maybe you want to explore an entirely new field. No matter what your 2020 career goals are these podcasts will help you to navigate your workplace challenges, nurture your health and finances and forge a more intentional career path. Just hit play.

If your goal is to get promoted, become a better manager or overcome office politics

TED's Work Life with Adam Grant

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant wants to "make work not suck." In this podcast from TED, he and his guests explore what makes great workplaces tick and how to make the most of the ones that don't. Going beyond how to deal with everyday work challenges, Grant questions the underlying psychology behind why our workplaces work the way they do.

In episode seven, "A World Without Bosses," author Dan Pink discusses how it's human nature to seek out self-direction, autonomy, and authenticity in our work and how this "gets beaten out of us by institutions and circumstances." In another episode, "How To Trust People You Don't Like," Grant takes us on a NASA mission to the international space station to help us understand how stress teaches us about our teammates and how being vulnerable together allows us to build cohesion. Listen if you want to learn to love criticism, collaborate better, and get tips on how to set boundaries from an FBI negotiator.

Dear HBR

Can you change a toxic workplace? Will a lateral move help your career? Is it ok to have an office romance? Harvard Business Review editors Alison Beard and Dan McGinn take listener questions and debate answers based on academic research and conversations with experts. Each episode answers three questions related to specific issues people deal with in the workplace regularly.

In their recent episode on how to deal with being bored or disengaged at work, guest Dan Cable advises a listener who is worried about his tendency to get bored, to stop beating himself up for wanting to learn. On the flipside, the rate of change employees seek out today isn't always easy for organizations to accommodate. Sometimes we have to seek novelty in creative ways. Listen if you're looking for a balanced perspective and tangible tips to solve your dilemma.

HBR Women At Work

Did you know that if there is only one woman in a pool of job finalists, she has very little chance of being hired? Everyone could benefit from being more aware of how different the workplace experience is for certain groups of people. While this podcast is targeted at women, the research and insight have applications for anyone to make a difference in their career and workplace.

HBR editors Amy Bernstein, Sarah Green Carmichael, and Nicole Torres share their own experiences and those of female business leaders and researchers. They weigh in on topics like how to claim credit and maintain visibility for your work, how to manage parental leave, and how to deal with destructive perfectionism — your own, and that of people who report to you. Listen if you want to be more strategic and more empathetic in your work.

If your goal is to build your brand or build a business

Second Life

Listening to Second Life is like listening to the audio trailers for a bunch of the best celebrity entrepreneur memoirs yet to be written. It differentiates itself from other business chat shows by spotlighting some of the most influential women of the moment in beauty, interiors, media, and beyond. Fashion influencer Eva Chen, Food 52 co-founder Amanda Hesser, actor Busy Philipps, and a whole host of other celebrity entrepreneurs share what they've learned from making a career change (or two). Follow guests through stages in European restaurants, detours into pharmaceutical sales and business partnerships with the Kardashians.

Host Hillary Kerr, co-founder of the successful digital media brand Clique Media, slips in insights of her own while guests give you a front row seat to how they bootstrapped their businesses, built an audience, created a product line or managed investors. "You know how you are in your '20s: suddenly you start doing things that maybe you hadn't imagined that you would and it slowly seeps in as part of your identity," says Hesser. Listen if you need some inspiration to take the leap.

The Mo' Money Podcast

Now that you're ready to make your dream life happen, The Mo' Money Podcast will help you get there with advice on how to save your money, invest it wisely, watch it grow and retire early. Host and fellow Canadian Jessica Moorhouse is a millennial money expert who left her unfulfilling corporate gig. She shares her personal tips and interviews guests about emergency funds, budgeting, investing and being better in business.

Whether you want to maximize your corporate earning potential or save up to go out on your own, this show has excellent suggestions. Standout episodes include one on how to negotiate a better salary or client contract and another on why a speaking coach is the missing piece in developing your personal brand. Just because you know yourself and your product, doesn't mean you know how to talk about it.

If your goal is to find a balance and take better care of your mental health

Jen Gotch Is OK...Sometimes

Led by Jen Gotch of e-commerce fame, this show is about mental health. But it's also about so many other things like entrepreneurship, self-care, and social media. Gotch records during her episodes of depression and anxiety, helping to destigmatize experiences that have become incredibly prevalent in our modern lives. She also shows how it's possible to struggle with these issues and still be a successful businessperson and creative. Her episodes on self-doubt, conquering creative blocks, and the benefits of therapy are all useful tools to add to your work-life survival kit.

Other People's Problems

"When anxiety has been around for a long time, sometimes people conflate the anxiety with who they are, and they forget to hold a story about themself as being someone who can do hard things," says host and clinical counsellor Hillary McBride in CBC's Other People's Problems. This can get in the way of us achieving the things we want for ourselves at work and in life. By taking us into real-life therapy sessions with her clients, McBride reminds us that our own mental health struggles can be managed.

In season two, episode four, McBride and her client Hannah tackle paralyzing anxiety in the workplace. The raw vulnerability helps listeners feel less alone, giving them permission to be kinder to themselves as they learn to prioritize their mental health.

If your goal is to flip the workplace on its head

The Broad Experience

Another show targeted at the issues women face in the workplace, The Broad Experience has a back catalogue dating back to the pre-Serial days of 2012. Journalist Ashley Milne-Tyte invites guests to share how they managed issues like ageism, authenticity, and entrepreneurship, but also less well-covered subjects like working with illness, being transgender in the workplace, and why traditionally female-dominated roles like administrative assistant are given less respect. Listen if you enjoy unique perspectives and candid conversations.

Just Work It Platform

From the Atkinson Foundation ("for social and economic justice") in Toronto, Just Work It is a podcast platform for and by millennials that explores the movement for #decentwork. Host Ausma Malik speaks with experts and community members who share personal stories and initiatives. So far, Just Work It's two series Avocado Toast and Lovers & Fighters are, respectively, about smashing millennial work myths (that they're frivolous and only interested in flex jobs), and diving deep into what millennials are fighting for in the workplace (diversity, pay equity, access to training).

Lovers & Fighters episode three, "Working While Black," shares an important, often underrepresented perspective on the millennial experience and Avocado Toast episode one, "Millennials are Frivolous," reveals how millennials are actually more budget conscious than past generations. Listen if you're interested in challenging systemic work issues so everyone can have a better chance at reaching their #goals.

Eva Voinigescu is a freelance journalist and producer. She writes about health and science, careers, and culture.