In our chaotic and busy lives, taking the time out to establish a relationship with a mentor can feel impossible.
Yet a backer, coach or mentor can make all the difference in our lives: pushing us to make that next career move, teaching us key skills to keep us motivated and helping us see things from a different perspective.
In today’s fast-paced workplace, it also feels as if one mentor isn’t enough: to be our most innovative, we need inspiration from lots of different people and places.
The good news is, motivating mentors are all around us - and we don’t need to take hours out of our day to try and meet up with them. We just need to put on our headphones and listen.
From building confidence to learning the ins and outs of running a business, podcasts can offer us support in various ways.
Here are the podcasts you should be plugging into if you’re looking for a virtual mentor.
Best for life advice from the pros: Tribe of Mentors with Tim Ferriss
Productivity guru Tim Ferriss is all about how to maximise your time and glean meaningful insights whenever and wherever you can. He chats to those at the peak of their game (entrepreneurs, authors, athletes) in episodes which cover everything from learning how to deal with rejection - and say ’no’ - to the importance of mental discipline and finding your inner calm.
Best for business history: How I Built This with Guy Raz
A fascinating podcast that narrates how companies started. Lots of inspirational episodes so far, with founders of companies like LuluLemon, Lyft, Honest Tea, Dyson, Ben & Jerry’s, Rent The Runway and many more.
Best for emotional awareness: Happy Place with Fearne Cotton
From Stephen Fry to Dawn French to ex-Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast features a celebrity guest opening up about their most intimate and raw emotions. Essential listening to help you get to your own happy place.
Best for getting in touch with your creative side (and understanding side hustles): Ctrl Alt Delete with Emma Gannon
Emma Gannon’s popular podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete, features a cast of rotating celebrities and inspiring people, from Lena Dunham to Helena Morrissey, talking about life, work, identity, the internet and everything in-between. Gannon is an interesting one to follow; her latest book, The Multi-Hyphen Method, is all about embracing new endeavours and changing our definition of career success to something that looks more flexible and less easy to define. Now that’s food for thought.
Best for opening your horizons: Hey, Cool Job! by Mary H.K. Choi
This popular podcast features host Mary H.K. Choi interviewing a range of subjects - from a celebrity paparazzo to a war photographer - about their cool jobs. Perfect for putting your own work situations into perspective, and for broadening your horizons.
Best for giving ourselves a break: Meat with Jonathan Zenti
Because our point of view does often start from the body we’ve been given. Zenti explores the relationship between bodies and the world around us beautifully. And perhaps helps to guide us on a journey to our own self-acceptance.
Best for a candid look at mental health: Mrs Brightside with Susan Calman
A comedian talking about depression with friends. Honest, real and so necessary.
Best for a lesson in business success: Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman features business leaders at the top of their game talking about what works when you want to make it big, from Spanx CEO Sara Blakely on finding that big idea to former Starbucks chair and CEO Howard Schultz on creating a positive social impact with your business.
Best for friendship inspo: The High Low with Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton
The High Low is a podcast hosted by British journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton, covering everything from politics and feminism to our favourite guilty-pleasure telly. It’s a funny and insightful way to start off the day, and to be reminded of the power of positive friendship. Key to a happy life - and also an essential ingredient in many a profession.