Americans spent roughly 1.8 trillion minutes commuting in 2014, according to a Washington Post analysis of census data, and that number has most likely grown since. If you're like the average American and commute nearly an hour each day, you could spend those five hours of transit time every week learning how to make a career change, start your own business, pay off massive debt and more. Put your commute to work for you with these eight career-minded podcasts.
*Paychecks & Balances
"We started this podcast because we couldn't find a show that made conversations about work and money fun, informative and relatable to people that look like us," Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones told NBC News last year. Jones and Garrett take on a range of issues with candor, humor and know-how, including acing performance reviews, paying off $47,000 in debt and dealing with co-workers who are dating.
*How I Built This
Who doesn't love a good origin story? "How I Built This," hosted by Guy Raz, features one-on-one conversations with entrepreneurs of all stripes from companies you might not have heard of (such as online personal shopping service Stitch Fix and children's toy company Melissa & Doug) to ones you definitely have (such as Lululemon, Zappos and Wikipedia). Raz is a former war correspondent who has reported from more than 45 countries, and his thoughtful interviews always elicit rich insights and anecdotes from guests.
*Switch, Pivot or Quit
A jewelry designer (whose wares have been sported by Beyoncé), author and former NBA publicist, Ahyiana Angel knows a thing or two about transitioning among vastly different fields. This female-focused podcast offers wisdom, inspiration and encouragement to women considering career changes. As described on the website, the podcast "features new episodes every week that highlight professional risk-taking women as they share insight and explore introspective topics."
Daily grind got you feeling ground down? Like a shot of espresso, each 10-minute episode of "Daily Boost" offers a quick morning pick-me-up to help you start your day with a positive mindset. Energetic host Scott Smith is a motivational speaker and health and fitness coach. Smith also hosts "The Business Boost" for keeping entrepreneurs on track and inspired.
Successful independent-business owners Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon launched "Being Boss" in January 2015 and have released hundreds of episodes since, boasting a whopping 5 million downloads. With episodes such as "Saying No," "Say What You Want" and "Money, Mindset and Energy," "Being Boss" is tailored to entrepreneurs but offers lessons that will help you in your career whether you're working for yourself or somebody else. As Shannon and Thompson often emphasize, "you can be boss without being the boss."
*The School of Greatness
During the second professional football game Lewis Howes ever played, he dove to catch a ball, collided with a wall, broke his wrist and effectively ended his football career -- a career for which he'd left college early. Out of those sour lemons Howes made some pretty sweet lemonade: an online business-advising empire; a New York Times best-selling book; and "The School of Greatness," a top-ranked weekly podcast that features discussions with notable athletes, celebrities and businesspeople. The goal, in Howes' words, is to help listeners "find out what makes great people great."
*The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss' New York Times best-seller "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" offers tips, tools and tricks for automating and delegating tasks so you can spend less time working and more time living. Ferriss brings these same values to his podcast, "The Tim Ferriss Show." Ferriss' summation of the show: "I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas ... to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use," including favorite books, time-management tricks, morning routines and exercise habits.
*Career Advice Podcast
Multinational recruiting firm Hays Worldwide produces this new podcast, which covers such fundamental but tricky subjects as creating an outstanding resume, drafting and handing in a resignation letter, and asking the right questions during a job interview.
All of these podcasts are available for download from the iTunes store, Apple Podcast app and Stitcher. Best of all, they're all free. Download a few for your ride home (before you start your drive) and, while you're stuck in traffic, learn how to become unstuck in your career.