Some of my biggest ‘aha moments’ have come when I've heard the struggles of a business leader talking about their career challenges and vulnerabilities.
Rather than having to have all the answers when it comes to our career plans, this year I’ve come to the realisation that there’s so much more creativity that can come from sitting with the not knowing - and this can sometimes mean saying goodbye to well thought out plans.
These are some of the podcasts that have seen me through these moments of uncertainty, and encouraged me to be bolder and braver in my career choices.
Understanding imposter syndrome - Deliciously Ella Podcast
You know that constant, nagging sense of self-doubt? Of one of your colleagues turning to you and saying "I've found you out! You're not qualified for this and you never have been"? There's a name for it and you may be in the 70% of women who have had imposter syndrome.
The Deliciously Ella Podcast tackles this subject in this particular episode with clinical psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd. Ella Mills, along with her husband and business partner Matthew Mills, talk with Jessamy about differentiating between everyday fear and the negative thought patterns that hold us back from actually pushing forward at work.
Having worked together to build an empire of plant-based food products, delis, bestselling cookbooks and fitness apps, it’s pretty comforting to hear Ella and Matt talk about their own feelings of imposter syndrome. It shows that even the most successful of people find themselves struggling with feelings of inferiority.
Embracing lessons from failure - How To Fail with Elizabeth Day
If you removed the fear of failure in your career, what would you do? How To Fail isn't exclusively a business podcast but the idea of learning from failure feels particularly relevant in the context of our careers. Elizabeth Day invites her guests to reframe failures in all aspects of their lives and one of her episodes with Matthew Syed is particularly fascinating as he talks about growth mindset and how to view hurdles as opportunities for growth.
As someone who tends to fixate on the things that haven't gone right, I find it tough to acknowledge that my biggest challenges have taught me so much more than any successes. I’m now the first person to hold my hands up and say 'this is really hard, isn't it?' It feels like this takes more courage than faking it till I make it.
Navigating toxic working environments - In Good Company
Hosted by Otegha Uwagba, In Good Company is a podcast about work - the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Honesty shines through in an episode with Elaine Welteroth who was the former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief as well as an award-winning writer. Elaine talks about toxic work environments that create a culture of fear and how we can protect ourselves in those situations (spoiler alert: it involves the b word - boundaries). I also really enjoyed one of Otegha’s interviews with Gemma Harley who shares the concept of ‘invisible labour’ in the workplace - the tasks that require time and headspace outside of our usual responsibilities which always tends to fall more heavily on women. I'd recommend signing up to their ever- informative newsletter 'Women Who'.
The power of adapting - The Squiggly Careers Podcast
With the world being forced into reflection, it's only natural that this might prompt some harsh career realisations. Rarely do we get to follow linear career journeys and this is where embracing the idea of a ‘squiggly career’ comes in handy. With one of my favourite episodes featuring the founder of Social Chain (and host of another brilliant podcast The Diary of a CEO), Steven Bartlett, about the importance of adaptability as a skill, this podcast speaks to navigating the transitional times in our careers.
And on the subject of squiggly careers, I am no stranger to the fear of the pivot. When I first launched Mags Creative with my business partner (and sister) Hannah, we were a marketing agency that supported brands across podcasts, events, social media and influencer campaigns. 12 months in, we saw the growth of podcasts and made the (daunting) decision to relaunch solely as a podcast agency. We may have had to turn down other work along the way, but we’ve stayed true to our belief in the podcasts we were producing - and thankfully we haven’t looked back.