5 TED Talks for Job Search Inspiration

Let’s face it: Job hunting is kinda boring at best, grueling and soul crushing at worst. Sometimes you need a little lift when you’re perpetually applying to job positions. But instead of clicking on funny YouTube videos like “Dog Plays Dead To Avoid Bath Time,” cruise on over to TED.com to give yourself an emotional boost — and some much-needed career inspiration. We’ve chosen our five favorites below — each under 20 minutes — to help keep you motivated you during your job search.

1. Wingham Rowan: A New Kind of Job Market

No matter what age or stage you’re at in your career, everyone can benefit from a telecommuting position — and some added work life balance. Wingham Rowan, the founder of Slivers Of Time, addresses the issues facing much of today’s workforce: the need for flexible schedules. He explains how telecommuting jobsbenefit not only employees but also employers — and the global economy as a whole.

2. Mike Rowe: Learning From Dirty Jobs

As the host of the Discovery Channel’s hit show Dirty Jobs, host Mike Rowe has seen — and done — it all. He speaks in-depth about how he’s witnessed first-hand that people who have “dirty jobs” are happier, more balanced individuals who whistle while they work — and pick up road kill as they do it. Rowe makes the point that any job is a respectable job, and why following your passion might be the worst thing you can do for your career.

3. Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?

In his riveting speech, behavioral economist Dan Ariely pinpoints what truly motivates employees. Through a series of experiments, Ariely shows that pay is only a small factor of what brings true happiness to workers. Through positive motivation, acknowledgment and inclusion, employers can create a more cohesive, invested — and yes, happier — workforce than they ever thought possible.

4. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

Think about it: When was the last time you ever had eight hours to yourself at an office? Co-founder and President of 37signals, Jason Fried theorizes that if you really want to get work done, the office is the last place you should be. He explores the idea that in-office workers have traded in their workdays for “work moments” and that similar to sleep, everyone needs uninterrupted time in order to get things done properly. He blames the lack of in office productivity on the “M&M’s” — and we’re not talking about the candy kind.

5. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

There are bosses, and then there are leaders. Simon Sinek explores how inspiration creates action — all by using a circle. Utilizing the idea of the “Golden Circle,” Sinek, a professor at Columbia University and author of Start With Why, believes that the key is to discover not only what people and organizations do or how they do it — but most importantly, why. As Sinek summarizes: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

This is just a small sampling of the many great TED talks. Watch some as you continue your job hunt, and you’ll be motivated to not only keep applying, but you might just discover some new things about yourself along the way.

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With thanks and credit to JENNIFER PARRIS at Mashable.com