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8 ted talks every woman in her 20s should watch

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Finding your passion—and turning it into money—is tricky for anyone, but especially for women. The persistent gender wage gap, the lack of top female executives, and the dearth of mentorship present unique challenges. Luckily, our friends at Levo League give young women the tools and resources they need to navigate the workplace and to feel empowered and challenged in their careers. Check out their site for tips, tricks, and generally pretty wonderful advice about how to get the job you deserve. 

Looking for a World Cup-worthy pep talk? Want to be inspired to take the leap toward your passion project? There’s no better way to get energized (well, except for a triple-shot latte) than to watch an inspiring TED Talk.

We’ve chosen the eight must-watch TED Talks filled with unconventional and sometimes counterintuitive ways to tackle every twenty-something’s biggest challenges. From marriage to money, these all-star speakers offer life lessons that every woman needs in her arsenal, and trust us, after watching these you won’t dread turning the big 3-0. Grab a pen, because you’ll want to take notes!

READ MOREWhat 6 Successful Women Were Doing in Their 20s

1. Mel Robbins: How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over

A criminal lawyer and highly regarded relationship and life coach, Mel Robbins is known for her no-nonsense attitude and “tell it like it is” approach to help her clients accomplish goals. We guarantee that her thoughts on the F-bomb, a.k.a the word “fine,” will give you that necessary “kick in the butt” motivation to start living your life the way you want.

2. Derek Sivers: Weird or Just Different?

In less than 5 minutes, Derek Sivers reminds us that our everyday assumptions are just our own interpretations of the world.  We should be mindful that different people have different ways of understanding our shared experiences. Keeping this idea at the forefront of your mind while at work will not only strengthen your communication skills, it will allow you to embrace new, and often beneficial, perspectives.

3. Roxane Gay: Confessions of a Bad Feminist

Writer Roxane Gay identifies herself as a “Bad feminist” because of the high expectations that many feminist stereotypes portray. In this poignant and comedic talk, Roxane assures us that feminism comes in various ways. There is nothing wrong with defining your activism the way that you see it.

READ MOREThis Season’s 6 Most Feminist “Inside Amy Schumer” Sketches

4. Meg Jay: Why 30 Is Not The New 20

Clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay rings the alarm for twenty-somethings in America telling them to stop wasting time. Hooking up, hanging out, and kicking adulthood down the street like a tin can, she says, are big mistakes as is believing in the saying “30 is the new 20.” Dr. Jay says our twenties are a time when the things we do–and the things we don’t do–will have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come. Here’s how you can start living your life to the fullest right now. Ready, set, go!

5. Tracy McMillan: The Person You Really Need to Marry

Many people focus on finding the right person to marry instead of working on becoming their best selves. This television writer and three-time divorcee gives her take on why marrying yourself is the most important relationship you will ever maintain. Her version of vows? Love yourself in sickness and in health as long as you—yes, you—shall live. 

6. Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail At Your Career

What excuses have you given for why you did not follow your dreams? Economist Larry Smith pulls no punches as he discusses the difference between interests and passions—and why people are too lazy and too terrified to follow their dreams. Family commitments, lack of education, finances—what excuse will you use to stop your aspirations and what excuse will you give your child when they ask, “Why can’t I?” Procrastinators, get ready for a gut check!

7. Ruth Chang: How to Make Tough Choices

Here’s a talk that could really change the way you tackle the tough stuff. Using her life experiences as examples, Ruth Chang gives you a new set of tools to make the difficult choices in your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up—or get married?! Where should I live? Answer all of your questions after this 15-minute gamechanger.

8. Magnus Walker: Go With Your Gut Feeling

Magnus Walker’s extremely personal talk is a must for any entrepreneur. The former CEO of rock clothing company Hot Topics shows us that detailed life plans may not be the key to success, but rather a hard work ethic and a keen intuition can transform every situation into a rewarding opportunity. The long-haired ex-pat’s biggest takeaway? “Passion goes a long way.”

Related Links:

The Best TED Talks to Get You Ready for School

What I Learned After my TEDx Talk

7 Amazing TED Talks Every Woman in Her 30s Should Watch