Podcasts have had a good couple of years. Starting in 2014, when the true-crime series Serial exploded upon the on-demand airwaves, the podcasting market has expanded in terms of both depth and breadth.
There is a podcast for just about any topic you can imagine (and most likely, a few you haven’t imagined). Career and business podcasts are booming, with an amazing diversity of shows to listen to, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, or where you think your vocational trajectory is going to take you.
Here are a few of some of the most talked-about and thought-provoking career podcasts currently in production. Each one is worth listening to. If you have a favorite that we didn’t recognize, please post to the ASU Alumni LinkedIn group page to share your personal selections!
Top Business and Career Podcasts
This series first caught my attention in its debut season, which chronicled - almost in real time - Alex Blumberg’s attempts to build a company around podcasting, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Gimlet Media. I was really struck by his almost painful honesty about the ups and downs of the startup process.
The program has now produced 3 seasons. The first two focused on just one company (season 1 - podcasting startup Gimlet Media, season 2 - a company called Dating Ring, founded by two women in their 20s). During the third season, the show has taken a different approach - using the topic of “businesses that are stuck,” it has looked at businesses that truly need a restart, rather than just a launch. The final episode of the season, 2680 Madison Road, profiles a situation that everyone has seen in their local community: that one business location that CANNOT hold a company for any length of time. There is a small cadre of producers and reporters, and all of them excel at blending narration, interviews and on-the-ground audio recordings to tell a compelling true business story. This is a great show if you want more information on the day-to-day realities of starting a business.
There have always been podcasts that discuss how to start a business, but far fewer have explored the niche of the “side hustle,” income-producing activities that a deliberately launched on a part-time basis while their instigator continues working full-time. Nick Loper has used the 180+ episodes of his podcast to interview “side hustlers” at all levels of income and representing all sorts of activities to bring in more cash. The most recent episode (http://www.sidehustlenation.com/create-market-sell-first-online-course/) features Bailey Richert, who instructs listeners in the art of online course creation, which has the potential to be come a lucrative passive-income business if done correctly.
Other episodes have discussed self-publishing on Amazon, eBay businesses, real-estate investing strategies, and much more. One feature that sets Nick apart from many podcasters is his extremely detailed show notes. Often running 4-6 pages for each episode, they neatly summarize (with links) the highlights from each guest.
Nick Loper of the Side Hustle Nation podcast acts as a "bridge" of information so listeners can find the side-income ventures that best suit them.
I have to admit, when I heard of this podcast a few years ago, I was a tiny bit put off by the title of the podcast, which is produced by Ashley Milne-Tyte, a British-born (score one for a delicious accent!) writer and radio reporter based in New York. The show focuses about issues impacting women, the workplace and success, and Milne-Tyte is such a wonderful storyteller I quickly got over my irritation and began basking in her marvelous dives into the world of women at work.
The show takes a big topic, such as a recent episode on how women make decisions, and breaks it down with the help of an unfailingly articulate expert guest. This podcast is less about creating a storytelling soundscape (as some of the other shows aim for) than it is about providing thought-provoking conversations on topics that matter to professional women.
Ashley Millne-Tyte covers the world of women at work in her podcast The Broad Experience.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to think about (and tinker with) HOW you get your work done, this is the podcast for you. Host Erik Fisher interviews top-tier authors and business leaders on nuts-and-bolts productivity issues.
For example, in June, Fisher talked to Charles Duhigg, author of the recently released book “Smarter, Faster, Better,” and discussed how the nature of productivity has changed over the generations. (Hint: Duhigg says creativity and reflectiveness are more important now than they’ve ever been.) Other recent interviewees have included Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, author Rob Bell, and ToDoist Founder and CEO Amir Salihefendic.
This podcast is produced by a management consulting firm of the same name, whose dual mission is to “make every manager effective and every professional productive.” One of their channels to make that happen is their podcasts, which includes a show dedicated entirely to helping managers better handle typical situations that they will encounter in the workplace.
Two recent episodes covered a perennial topic in frustrated manager circles -- how to lead an organization through change, and how to make the change stick. The hosts talk about the importance of modeling and measuring change, and provide specifics on how to do that.
Running one’s own business doesn’t always mean selling widgets and operating out of a bricks-and-mortar location everyday. For those who sell digital goods and services, The Digital Entrepreneur provides tips and tricks for online success.
In addition to episodes on how to reach your audience through social media, how to build membership communities that provide value to a particular customer demographic, and whether or not to develop a mobile app for your business (their overall take: no), The Digital Entrepreneur also provides first-person success stories, such as that of Joanna Penn, who transitioned from a career as an IT consultant to working as a successful non-fiction and fiction author and self-publisher. If you’re pondering a launch into a digital business, or you’ve already started and have gotten stuck along the way, this could be a good podcast to check out every week.
“Finding work that you love” often has a maddeningly fluffy aura associated with it, but Scott Barlow, founder of Happen To Your Career, asserts that there are a lot of hard-edged specifics to making that happen. Barlow interviews experts and covers topics such as how to negotiate a killer salary, how to leverage one’s resilience and persistence to forge one’s path; and how to reduce debt in order to make your dream career come true.
An episode released earlier this month heard the success story of Tayo Rockson, the son of a foreign diplomat who had lived on several different continents before age 17, and who later was rejected from 85 jobs. Rockson is now the self-made digital media mastermind behind UYD Media and a founding editor of BrandEdU.
Kathlyn Hart took a traffic jam epiphany at age 23 that she wasn’t living the life she yearned to and turned it into a journey to her dreams. This trip has led to jobs in an architectural design firm, a job doing software design, doubling her salary through intense salary negotiation, becoming a certified yoga teacher and scuba instructor, and traveling to Nepal for a 10-day meditation retreat. She now works as a digital marketing expert and a coach for other younger (under 40) women who want to follow her entrepreneurial path.
Her podcast showcases the stories of “bad-ass” (her term) young female entrepreneurs, such as Emilie Aries of the career development firm Bossed Up. If you’re feeling that most career advice is aimed at someone with 10 years more experience than you, this is a great show, and Hart’s show notes are filled with links to the useful resources she and her guests share and discuss.
The question to you:
What are your favorite business and career podcasts?
~ Liz Massey, Managing Editor, ASU Alumni Association
P.S. While The Alumni Experience, the official podcast of the ASU Alumni Association, doesn't cover career issues exclusively, it does touch on them from time to time. Here are a couple of career-related episodes you might enjoy ...