In our darkest moments, those times when the future seems grim and all our hard work seems destined to lead to little long-term benefit, we seek support from those closest to us. However, those might not be the best people to ask. They can give affection and emotional support. But are they in a position to give the best advice and the most inspirational pep talks?

Sometimes, it helps to get some direction from experts. Luckily, TED Talks is here to help. They provide advice and motivation from top achievers in various fields – the perfect thing if you need a little motivation to get your career going.

Here are three TED Talks to jump-start your career ambitions:

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love, so you might be excited about a TED Talk that advocates large feasts and constant dating as a way to improve your work life. That’s not the angle Gilbert takes, but her perspective still provides an important lesson about how applying softer skills to the office can lead to big, concrete rewards.

People sometimes view creativity as something separate from normal day-to-day jobs. Artists and authors (Gilbert included) leverage a lot of creativity in exchange for money. But most of us don’t have that kind of job. Filling out TPS forms or processing insurance claims or responding to customer-service tickets might seem a far cry from writing a book.

However, Gilbert argues that unconventional thinking provides a path to success in any field. Apply creativity to any task and you can find a better way to perform it … a version of the old “work smarter, not harder” career advice.

Tim Ferriss: Smash Fear, Learn Anything

You have to be interested in what someone has to say when they’ve written a book called The 4-Hour Workweek, right? That’s Tim Ferriss.

But he’s not on stage to teach techniques about how to avoid putting in effort at work (though he is serious about his free time; he holds the Guinness world record for most tango spins in a minute). Instead, he is about efficiency … about getting a lot done in as little time as necessary.

Here, he gives a lesson on how people learn. Specifically, he argues that many of the barriers we encounter are self-constructed. We worry we can’t learn a new skill, and this fear prevents us from really committing to the learning process.

Anyone who has ever been intimidated in a meeting or has felt overrun by the forward march of technology can attest to the truth in Ferriss’s thesis. Once you move past that fear, you can open up new horizons in your career that you didn’t know existed.

Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

People often seek happiness and satisfaction through work. They either look for a job that gives them personal enjoyment or they maximize their income as best they can, hoping to buy happiness with the cash they earn. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall short on both ends: an unsatisfying job that also doesn’t pay enough to afford lavish hobbies.

Shawn Achor, psychiatrist and the CEO of Good Think Inc., suggests this perspective fails because it gets the order backwards. You might not be able to make yourself happy by becoming successful at work. However, he believes happy people will find themselves more successful in their working lives.

With this in mind, Achor argues that positive thinking can tap into this vein of happiness, and lead to career advancement in turn. A person can lift their view of the world, leading to better work outcomes, and from there, a more satisfying career path.

Finding a perfect work situation can go a long way in stoking motivation. A top-flight recruiter, like SmartTalent, can steer you to the perfect position for your long-term growth. Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.