6 Audio Downloads to Kickstart Your Career on Your Commute

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It’s time to stop staring at the shoes of the people across from you on the subway. Your commute might be those minutes when you simply zone out, but you can actually use your travel time to fuel your future. Check out these podcasts and audiobooks to learn about potential careers and new possibilities – and you might be inspired when you least expect it.

FindSpark commute

Photo courtesy of David K-Man

The Writers Bloc Podcast

Veteran comedy writer J.R. Havlan spent seventeen years on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and this podcast is a chance to eavesdrop on his conversations with funny friends and colleagues. If you’re interested in comedy, the craft of writing, or how to break into a new industry, this is for you. Havlan interviews writers about their career path before and after The Daily Show. And even if your dreams aren’t to break into the world of entertainment, these interviews offer a gold mine of advice for pursuing your goals.

The variety of paths that these writers have taken to accomplish their dreams is inspiring, ranging from writing for magazines to being discovered on Twitter. It’s a must-listen for finding the courage to put yourself out there. Just be prepared to choke on your coffee as you laugh at the banter along the way. Find it here.

The Accidental Creative Podcast

Todd Henry, a speaker and creativity consultant, launched this podcast following the success of his books, “The Accidental Creative” and “Die Empty.” Each podcast is an interview or discussion about creativity, productivity, and overcoming obstacles.

It’s a great resource for inspiration and concrete ways to change your habits to find creative opportunity in your daily routine. Henry’s interview guests include entrepreneurs, authors, professors, and musicians – you can access a brief synopsis of each podcast episode here.

How did you get into that?” Podcast

This podcast answers the questions you sometimes hold back from asking at parties: “Seriously? That’s your job?” Grant Baldwin, an entrepreneur and keynote speaker, interviews people in all professions in this 30-40 minute series. He asks the “why” and “how” of his guests’ decisions, giving them a chance to tell their entire career story. With interviewees ranging from artists and social entrepreneurs to chocolate shop owners, you’ll find career wisdom no matter where your interests lie. Even more helpful are the detailed show notes on Baldwin’s website, allowing you to find out exactly what each episode includes before you download. Check it out here.

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

If you haven’t read Mindy Kaling’s memoir yet, it’s time to listen to her audiobook for an entertaining glimpse into her road to become a successful television writer and actress. As Kaling narrates her own career path, her early stories offer encouragement for creatives just starting out in NYC. Witty and sarcastic, this book might have you laughing to yourself with your headphones in – we take no responsibility for the strange looks you might get as a result.

FindSpark subway

Photo courtesy of Chad Nicholson

Lean In

As you lean in to the lurches of the subway car, find out what it means to “lean in” within a corporate environment. Sheryl Sandberg wrote this book after an overwhelming response to her 2010 TEDTalk and it became a rallying cry for gender equality in the workplace. Sandberg’s points became hot-button issues when the book was released in 2013 and are still major topics of discussion today. It’s good to have this book under your belt, no matter what career stage you’re in. If you haven’t read it yet, have a listen here.


No matter your field, there’s a TEDTalk for you. The best part about TEDTalks is the chance to digest a complex topic in under twenty minutes. Speakers condense their argument so that you can get a good sense of their point of view in a short amount of time – it’s a great way to test the waters on a new subject.

The huge variety of available podcasts out there means that there’s a TEDTalk you can learn from no matter what your intended career path. For a great place to start, check out the TEDTalks Business and TEDTalks Education podcast feeds.

FindSpark headphones

Photo courtesy of Fey Ilyas

Come on, we know you’re wearing headphones as you read this. And even if you work from home, a download can break up a long day. Which podcasts or audiobooks have inspired your career? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Julia is a graduate of the University of Virginia. Find her on LinkedIn or on a coffee-fueled adventure.

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