Each year, millions of people enter the workforce, hungry and eager to embark on their unique journeys. Many of these young individuals are recent college graduates, who are finally ready to start their career. Although these graduates may be educated, in the increasingly competitive job market, that is simply not enough to achieve success. These 4 TED talks for job hunters explore some of the tactics, characteristics, and habits that will help young adults climb the ranks and get the dream they strive towards.

Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

“I heard a story of some Marines who were out in theater, and as is the Marine custom, the officer ate last, and he let his men eat first, and when they were done, there was no food left for him. And when they went back out in the field, his men brought him some of their food so that he may eat, because that’s what happens. We call them leaders because they go first. We call them leaders because they take the risk before anybody else does. We call them leaders because…”

Watch the full video to find out what else he has to say about true leaders. One of the most common skills or strengths that job candidates put down on their resume is “leadership”, but the reality is that a majority of job applicants are simply not leaders. Leadership is one of those words that has been used so many times that it has started to lose its meaning.

Simon Sinek draws the picture quite well, however, of why leaders are respected and what it takes to become a leader. Next time you are at a job interview and the hiring managers asks you “What does it mean to be a leader?” your response will blow their mind.

Angela Lee DuckworthGrit: The Power of Perseverance

Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The Power of Perseverance

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Intelligence is not everything; it is not even the most important thing. From her extensive studies conducted in a wide variety of people. Angela has learned something that is not only true, but enormously inspiring. According to Angela Lee Duckworth, when it comes to predictors of lifetime success, socioeconomic background, pure talent, and even IQ pales in comparison to pure grit. This also applies to success in education as well as long-term career success. If you ever feel like a particular job might be too far out of your reach, or that you are not smart enough to learn how to do it, refer back to this video. You are capable of more than you think, and yes, grit, is a skill.

Scott DinsmoreWhat is the Work You Can’t Not Do?

Scott Dinsmore: What is the Work You Can’t Not Do?

“What is the work you can’t not do? Discover that, live it, not just for you, but for everybody around you, because that is what starts to change the world.”

Often times, people ask the wrong question when making decisions on the trajectory of their life. We are constantly told to work a job that is secure, pays well, and is not too hard. Then we ask ourselves about the jobs that fit those 3 main criteria. This, however, might not be the best approach.

As Scott alludes to in his TED talk, it is absolutely necessary that we aim towards spending our careers doing things that consume us and pique our curiosity. In essence, do things that attract you, challenge you, and put yourself in the midst of that “thing”. Construct your life around what deeply intrigues you, and ask yourself, “What is the work that I simply can’t not do?”… then do it.

Seth GodinHow to Get Your Ideas to Spread

Seth Godin: How to Get Your Ideas to Spread

“The riskiest thing you can do now is be safe. Proctor and Gamble knows this, right? The whole model of being Proctor and Gamble is always about average products for average people. That’s risky. The safe thing to do now is to be at the fringes. Be remarkable.”

In this TED talk by Seth Godin, a prolific author, marketing genius, and leadership connoisseur, he highlights the importance of taking risks and being willing to stand out from the crowd. It is easy to blend in with other job applicants and be “good enough”. Being “good enough,” however, is rarely enough, especially if you want to do anything remotely interesting. Not only does Seth Godin explore the benefits of sticking out like a sore thumb, he explains how it is done by people and organizations all around us. Don’t be black and white; be a purple cow.

At the end of the day, in order to achieve unorthodox goals, it takes unorthodox habits and insight to get there. These 4 thought leaders express that you can be a true leader by eating last, by developing your most valuable skill (grit), and by finding what compels you. Do not be afraid to stand out– embrace it! Good luck on your job hunt, and keep these valuable lessons in mind. Be sure to let us know if you have any other great TED talks for job hunters!

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