Congratulations on achieving your degree!

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve graduated from university in the recent past and you’re now moving on to the next step in your life. If you’ve found yourself stumbling into a world of change with your degree behind you and you’re not quite sure where post-graduate life leaves you, here at the University of Salford, we’ve put together a whole selection of inspiring Ted Talks – designed to help you navigate the next chapter of your life. In our top picks, you’ll find talks on everything from the power of being vulnerable, tips on balancing life and work and a discussion on the drive to keep writing and remain creative. Keep reading to discover our favourite top Ted Talks for graduates, whether you left university yesterday or many years ago, we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration here.

Angela Duckworth TED Talk on Grit – The power of passion and perseverance 

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Ted Talk, Angela Duckworth discusses her decision process on leaving a high-flying job in the consultancy business to take a leap of faith and teach math to young pupils in a New York public school. Upon taking the leap, Angela shortly realises that her IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from the students who were struggling – and she explains this theory of ‘grit’. Grit, to Angela, is about self-discipline, being tough, and coming to grips with there being more to having a successful career than just your IQ.

Angela’s theory of grit is about discovering your very own ‘ultimate concern’ – a goal you care so much about that it organises and gives purpose to every task you do – and having perseverance to see that goal through. Maybe you’re determined to have a career in a specific field and have the ‘Grit’ to follow through what will lead you in that direction, or you’re adamant on achieving a personal life goal. Whatever your ultimate concern may be, this Ted Talk reiterates the importance of passion and perseverance and is particularly inspiring to a new graduate that may be left feeling deflated, or without purpose after graduating. There’s also an interesting quiz to take after – to determine how ‘gritty’ you currently are.

Dr Ivan Joseph TED Talk on The Skill of Self Confidence

In The Skill of Self Confidence Ted Talk, head football coach of Ryerson University, Dr Joseph leads an impressionable talk about the importance of self-confidence. As graduating will ultimately lead you to apply for graduate jobs, where a certain degree of self-confidence is needed to deliver a lasting impression, this Ted Talk reiterates the importance of finding your confidence. Dr Ivan Joseph shares the type of skills he is often looking for as a recruiter – whilst you would expect a coach to lean towards athletic traits such as speed, strength and agility, Dr Joseph shares his thoughts on self-confidence and how confidence is the most important skill in athletics, and in our lives. This Ted talk is particularly inspiring for recent graduates who struggle with confidence, as it illustrates small changes and improvements a graduate can take to achieving a higher level of confidence – and hopefully sparks a newfound desire to become more self-sufficient amongst its graduate audience.

Brené Brown TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability 

Arguably one of the most relevant Ted Talks for a recent graduate, Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability, addresses the power of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Finishing university, most, if not all graduates face uncertainty when it comes to deciding what the next best step is. Whether that involves deciding which career path your degree will take you down, whether you make the decision to move away from home, or whether you decide to take a few months away from job hunting and studies – wherever your post-graduate life takes you, there’s a lot of vulnerability involved. Brené, a research professor at the University of Houston, shares a story of an entrepreneur who dared greatly to achieve success and explains why vulnerability works in our society and reiterates why vulnerability is sometimes needed in order to eventually succeed. The Power of Vulnerability has since become one of the top ten most viewed Ted Talks of all time.

Meg Jay TED Talk on Why 30 is not the new 20

Meg Jay’s Why 30 is not the new 20 Ted Talk, is the perfect source of motivation to kick start your post-graduate life. Meg aims to address and provide career inspiration to a generation of twenty-somethings who have repeatedly been told they have their whole lives ahead of them. Whilst that may be true and graduates can most definitely take their careers at their own pace – Meg sites statistics about career growth, relationship development and reproductive capabilities in one powerful message designed to inspire graduates to consider the importance of defining adulthood in your 20s. Referred to as the ‘Decade of your lives’, Meg Jay shares three standout pieces of advice on how graduates and twenty-somethings can re-claim, re-track and re-define their paths to adulthood in an inspiring and motivational Ted Talk.

Carrie Green TED Talk on Programming your mind for success

Getting caught up in the fold of post-graduate life can often leave graduates doubting their abilities – or feeling deflated. Maybe you didn’t reach the degree results you were expecting, or you’re simply left feeling discouraged after a couple of unsuccessful graduate job interviews. Whatever your reason for feeling unmotivated, Carrie Green’s Ted Talk Programming your Mind for Success is a powerful, uplifting talk guaranteed to instil some positive motivation into the minds of even the most discouraged graduates. Carrie Green, the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, once allowed herself to succumb to negative thoughts in her mind, by talking herself out of her personal goals – or limiting her creativity, which left her feeling uninspired and missing out on incredible opportunities. This Ted Talk guides graduates on how to overcome negative thoughts by following Carrie’s personal journey to channel these limiting feelings into more positive, accomplishing thoughts.

Here at the University of Salford, we pride ourselves on providing a great support system for both students and postgraduates alike. We encourage our post-graduates to actively stay in touch with our student board – whether you need advice, direct support or want to know more about the post-graduate resources available at the University of Salford, either pop into the university or use our live chat service to get in touch with one of our support staff today. You can also join our brand new alumni digital network, From Salford for support from fellow graduates.