8 career podcasts you should download ASAP

What used to be considered a pastime of those from another generation, podcasts have experienced a modern reemergence.

With thousands of free shows on Spotify, Apple iTunes, and other hubs, you can spend your hour getting ready in the morning learning about anything from dating mishaps to fundraising stories from successful entrepreneurs. Much like television, these downloads cater to different personalities and tastes, with some featuring a talk-show-like format and others feature simple narration with short interviews.

If you’re looking for a way to advance your career, learn invaluable information, be entertained or inspired, career podcasts are a smart way to pass the time while going through emails, commuting to work, or lounging about on a lazy Sunday. Here, the top recommended podcasts from industry executives and professionals:

One Bad Mother

Ask any parent and they’ll quickly admit that work/life balance feels nearly impossible to achieve. And ask any mother? They’ll also talk about the immense guilt they often feel when they aren’t able to deliver 100 percent to their families or their jobs. That’s partly why career expert Joy Altimare loves this podcast that tackles some of the most difficult subjects with a much-needed ingredient: laughter.

“Every week, they talk about the highs, the lows — and the embarrassing — moments of mommyhood while acknowledging the stressors that come along with working every day,” she explains.

The School of Greatness

One of the best places to source the energy to push through the obstacles many professionals face is by taking notes from those who have been there, executed that. President of digital agency Greenroom Benjamin Burroughs tunes into this podcast, as it highlights well-known figures discussing true stories that relate to everyone.

I find this podcast very motivational. It’s always great to be informed of a few rags to riches stories, but I especially love how the emphasis of the podcast is consistently about hustle! You have to hustle to get anywhere in life, things don’t happen on their own,” he shares.

Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson

A fun way to discover new podcasts is to see if your favorite authors are doing more than writing, but speaking, too. That’s how the CEO of Quizlet, Matthew Glotzbach discovered this podcast. When you put on your headphones and dive into this show, you can expect technology-related topics that also provide the history and background you might not be familiar with. “I enjoy the unexpected origins of so many of today’s modern technologies, and this gives me perspective as I think about the future of these and other related businesses and technologies,” he notes.

Freakonomics Radio

Chances are high you’ve read this popular book, but have you heard of the podcast, inspired by it? If not, CEO of TBWA/Chiat/Day NY Rob Schwartz says this show hosted by journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt will get you thinking, as you explore the hidden side of everything.

“The show helps you understand things in new and smarter ways. Topics include things like ‘The Economics of Sleep,’ ‘When to Rob a Bank?,’ and ‘The Cheeseburger Diet’ to name a few of the podcasts,” he continues. “The balance of disruptive topics economics and the sheer wit and charm of the host make this a go-to, inspiring podcast.”

This is Your Life

Hosted by Michael Hyatt, Altimare recommends this weekly concern that has quickly become a show she looks forward to. He gets to some of the distractions, concerns, and anxiety that most high-performing leaders face.

I find it comforting as I navigate the executive suite to see that I’m not alone in my concerns around work-life integration, cultivating new relationships that go deeper than ‘networking’ and integrating mindfulness and emotional growth in my everyday interactions,” she says.

The Accidental Creative

Often times, it is the areas of our jobs that we feel the less confident in that we ignore the most. While avoidance can be an effective measure, Burroughs take the opportunity to highlight areas he can improve on through various mediums. One of these is this podcast, which he finds extremely interesting.

“So many of my employees fit into the creative realm, so gaining a better understanding of this area is of paramount importance for me, despite not gravitating to this arena naturally,” he says. “What I like about this podcast is that many of the episodes come with downloadable content to help you put in to practice what you are learning.”

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Want a more lighthearted approach to developer your podcast routine? Glotzbach recommends this casual weekly listen, which as the name suggests, digs deeper into various current events to help you become more educated and well-versed. He especially likes their go-to question: ‘What’s something you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong?’

“This is such a fascinating insight into how creative and enterprising people have changed how they think over time, and pushes me to always be a little more open-minded and broaden my perspective,” he says.

Up First

While some people are dabblers, others value — and need — consistency to really immerse themselves into a new ritual. If you fall in the second crowd, take a page out of Glotzbach’s rulebook, and listen to this podcast from NPR when you wake up. In a digestible, easy-to-understand way, you will have a run-through of all of the day’s events, preparing you for any water cooler chat that may happen at the office.

“It is so important to me that I’m aware of current events, and Up First is a great way to start the day to ensure I’m in the know,” he adds.