Empowering podcasts to keep up motivation during self-isolation

If all this time alone has had you daydreaming of your dream career, read on because Jenny Stallard knows a life-changing podcast perfect for you


If all this time alone has had you daydreaming of your dream career, read on because Jenny Stallard knows a life-changing podcast perfect for you

As we embark on our new lives of self-isolation, it's likely we'll spend at least some of our time imagining our dream jobs. If not the dream job, then that promotion or new project, or perhaps nursing the idea we could set up our own businesses. And if that move seems unattainable, you’re not alone. New research has found that we give up on finding our 'dream job’ by the age of 30, while 34 per cent of us believe we lack the confidence to go for it, and 47 per cent admit to feeling trapped in a role they hate.

But what if we could change all that via a simple podcast? At last count, around 7.1 million people now listen to podcasts each week according to Ofcom, a rise of 24 per cent over the past year. And a large chunk of those pods are business-focused. Sarah Myles, in-house producer for podcast production company Rethink Audio, explains: ‘Podcasts are the conversations we want to have, no matter how intimate or niche we want to go. Business advice and the conversations around success in business have almost exclusively been heard from one type of person’s perspective for too long. Now, podcasts have given us an opportunity to not only find information and advice about business for free, but to hear it from people similar to ourselves.’

If the frustrations of your work situation feel like an insurmountable daily grind, a podcast can be the first step out of that isolation, says owner of Womens Inspire Network, Samantha Kelly. ‘Listening to podcasts about business can help you with knowing you are not alone. People usually aren't invited on as guests unless they have knowledge to share that could help someone.’ Leadship coach and CEO of Flux, Lucy Hackshaw, adds: Listening to business podcasts is a great way to activate our curiosity. Studies are now showing us that curiosity displaces stress, anxiety and depression - all of which limit our cognitive potential and our ability to be creative, entrepreneurial and, ultimately, to grow,’


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Try these empowering podcast picks...

 The Strategy Hour podcast

With 385 episodes and counting, this one from business strategists and Think Creative Collective founders Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams covers everything from the benefits of using LinkedIn, towhat failure really means.

Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas

Based on the book of the same name, this pod is co-hosted by Mary’s head of culture Emily Bryce-Perkins. Guests have included Elizabeth Day (who has her own cult podcast, How To Fail), and topics range from ‘saying yes’ to achieving financial independence.

Bossing It

Hosts Frankie Cotton and Lara Sheldrake - founders of Found & Flourish, a network for female entrepreneurs - discuss the term ‘girl boss’ and giving less f*cks in this career deep dive.

The Disruptive Entrepreneur

Host Rob Moore (a public speaker and entrepreneur) doesn’t hold back, offering up short, sharp, bitesized episodes alongside longer interviews. With a focus on self-awareness, topics include ‘How to overcome being too comfortable or lazy’ and guests have included Jo Malone.

Freelance Feels: The Podcast For Humans Who Work For Themselves

Disclaimer: This is my podcast (!) and it’s for anyone who is self-employed or thinking about going it alone. We chat about the ‘freelance feels’ - the highs, the lows and the realities. Guests have included self-help memoir author Marianne Power and fashion-brand owner Lisa Piercy.

Fearless Females

This one is from Rebecca Lockwood, who founded The Female Entrepreneurs Network, and it’s all about confidence. It covers everything from getting into the right mindset for the day to ‘The Steps I Took to Leave My 9-5.

Pivot with Jenny Blake

One very interesting episode for anyone wanting to make a shift is no.136, which is all about pricing and projects. There’s also ‘Vulnerability hangovers’ and an interview with Julie Zhuo, author of The Making Of A Manager: What To Do When Everyone Looks To You.

Maria Coole

Maria Coole is a contributing editor on Marie Claire.

Hello Marie Claire readers – you have reached your daily destination. I really hope you’re enjoying our reads and I'm very interested to know what you shared, liked and didn’t like (gah, it happens) by emailing me at: maria.coole@freelance.ti-media.com

But if you fancy finding out who you’re venting to then let me tell you I’m the one on the team that remembers the Spice Girls the first time round. I confidently predicted they’d be a one-hit wonder in the pages of Bliss magazine where I was deputy editor through the second half of the 90s. Having soundly killed any career ambitions in music journalism I’ve managed to keep myself in glow-boosting moisturisers and theatre tickets with a centuries-spanning career in journalism.

Yes, predating t’internet, when 'I’ll fax you' was grunted down a phone with a cord attached to it; when Glastonbury was still accessible by casually going under or over a flimsy fence; when gatecrashing a Foo Fighters aftershow party was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and tapping Dave Grohl on the shoulder was... oh sorry I like to ramble.

Originally born and bred in that there Welsh seaside town kindly given a new lease of life by Gavin & Stacey, I started out as a junior writer for the Girl Guides and eventually earned enough Brownie points to move on and have a blast as deputy editor of Bliss, New Woman and editor of People newspaper magazine. I was on the launch team of Look in 2007 - where I stuck around as deputy editor and acting editor for almost ten years - shaping a magazine and website at the forefront of body positivity, mental wellbeing and empowering features. More recently, I’ve been Closer executive editor, assistant editor at the Financial Times’s How To Spend It (yes thanks, no probs with that life skill) and now I’m making my inner fangirl’s dream come true by working on this agenda-setting brand, the one that inspired me to become a journalist when Marie Claire launched back in 1988.

I’m a theatre addict, lover of Marvel franchises, most hard cheeses, all types of trees, half-price Itsu, cats, Dr Who, cherry tomatoes, Curly-Wurly, cats, blueberries, cats, boiled eggs, cats, maxi dresses, cats, Adidas shelltops, cats and their kittens. I’ve never knowingly operated any household white goods and once served Ripples as a main course. And finally, always remember what the late great Nora Ephron said, ‘Everything is copy.’