Use your commute: Best podcasts for the aspirational worker

Use your commute: Best podcasts for the aspirational worker

What do you do when you’re driving to work?

Do you call your BFF on your hands-free to find out how her date went last night? Do you blast your new playlist at maximum volume and sing along in your best karaoke voice? Or do you relish the quiet time to listen to the latest audio book in your favorite crime series?

Of course, these are all valid and no doubt satisfying ways to pass the time. But what if you could actually put your commute to work for your career?

Here’s the good news: that’s absolutely an option! With online broadcasting becoming increasingly popular, there are a number of highly informative podcasts you can follow to help you advance your career. And since CNN’s Kathryn Vasel points out in her article “We spend $2,600 a year commuting to work” that on average, our aggregated annual commuting time is 200 hours or five workweeks—that’s a lot of time you could put to good use to forward your career. Here are our top five podcasts for the aspirational worker:

  1. The Look and Sound of Leadership with Tom Henschel: Communications and self-presentation expert Tom Henschel presents this podcast that, when you listen to it, applies to all sorts of professionals, not just leaders. From uncovering false and ineffective thinking patterns and seeing yourself the way others see you to strategies for adopting new behaviors and knowing how to develop people, this relatively short podcast provides sound bytes that prep you for success!
  2. Talent Jockey: Show for Job Seekers, Recruiters & Hiring Managers with Sean Kelley: This podcasts brings talent, recruiters, and hiring managers together in one place. Veteran recruiting consultant Sean Kelly brings you news, tips, and advice from the world of job seeking in a pleasant and packed 30- to 45-minute show. Kelly enjoys discussing positive topics like personal branding and how to turn a temporary position into a fulltime one, but he also doesn’t shy away from the difficult ones like what to do if you’ve just been fired or how to handle an unsympathetic recruiter.  
  3. HBR IdeaCast: For any truly aspirational professional, the insights from Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast are invaluable. The podcast, which lasts roughly between 15 and 25 minutes, features a host of thought leaders who provide their own unique insights into what makes leaders leaders. From subjects like leading across sectors and using social media to boost your productivity to interviews with great minds from many different walks of life including Encyclopædia Britannica’s Jorge Cauz,’s Jeff Bezos, and the late poet and author Maya Angelou, the podcast provides a fresh perspective on both timeless and trending topics.
  4. The Accidental Creative | Creativity, Innovation, and Doing Brilliant Work: Though the podcasts targets creative professionals in its title, it actually discusses creative ways for any professional to enhance performance and increase productivity. Recent topics include how to frame your ideas so they resonate with others, how to manage time to your best advantage, and how to steal the show. The podcast exceeds expectations on a regular basis, tackling challenging topics that require you to work harder and dig deeper, such as how to gain traction and finding your authentic voice.
  5. Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod: Success | Productivity | Personal Development. Inspirational stories are often a great motivator, and nothing says “motivation” like Hal Elrod. After starting in radio at the age of 15, at the age of 20, he suffered a devastating accident that left him dead for six minutes, then after he was revived, in a coma for six days. When he was consequently told he would never walk again, he proved everyone wrong and now even runs ultra-marathons! His podcast features a wide variety of topics and guests that all have one thing in common: they can help you learn strategies to become more efficient, productive, and successful.

Of course, this is just a handful of the useful podcasts out there, but it’s a good place to start. So select the podcast that appeals most to you and get ready to advance during your commute—both literally and figuratively!