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New to podcast listening? Our primer for relaunchers on navigating the wonderful world of podcasts

I’m on the podcast production team that brings you the “3, 2, 1 iRelaunch” podcast each week...which is somewhat ironic, because less than 2 years ago, I had never even listened to a podcast!

My first experience with podcasts was during my career break. I had purchased the iRelaunch Return to Work Roadmap and some of the roadmap steps included listening to specially-selected episodes of the “3, 2, 1 iRelaunch” podcast. All I had to do was click on the “Play” button from within the Roadmap and the episode instantly started to play. Doing this not only introduced me to a wealth of information about returning to work, but also introduced me to the world of podcasts.

So what exactly is a podcast?

I like to think of a podcast as a series of audio recordings (episodes) about a certain topic that you can listen to whenever you want. If you’re halfway through an episode and have to stop, no problem! You can go back and pick up from where you left off when you’re ready.

What kinds of topics do podcasts cover?

Our popular “3, 2, 1 iRelaunch” podcast episodes share strategies, advice and success stories about returning to work after a career break. iRelaunch CEO and Co-Founder Carol Fishman Cohen interviews different guests, including relaunchers sharing their success stories and subject matter experts discussing various topics and issues related to relaunching. This podcast truly helped and inspired me during my relaunch.

After my Roadmap podcast introduction, I started searching for other podcasts to listen to. As a coding hobbyist, I was impressed when I found podcasts about coding. When I mentioned this to my teen son, he commented that “There’s a podcast about everything.” That may be a slight exaggeration, but there are definitely thousands of podcasts about thousands of topics. They can be educational, informative, inspirational, entertaining, or all the above! So there’s definitely a podcast (more likely, several!) for everyone.

How do I actually listen to podcasts?

You can listen to podcasts on a computer or a smartphone. If you’re listening on a computer, go to one of many podcast platform websites, find an episode you want to listen to, and click on “Play.” Here are the links to the platforms where we air the “3, 2, 1 iRelaunch” podcast:

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeartRADIO | SoundCloud | Stitcher

I love that I can listen to podcasts on my smartphone. Using a podcast app (iOS and Android phones come with a free app, but there are other podcast apps available), I can search for podcasts, then stream or download episodes to my phone and listen to them whenever and wherever I want to. This means that I can listen to podcasts in the car or while doing errands.

Podcast apps come with other features to improve the listening experience. For example, I can arrange the order in which I want to play episodes so that on a long car ride, the episodes will play continuously in the order that I want. Our Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, Shannon Amspacher's favorite podcast app is Pocket Casts if you want to take a look at some of the additional features available on other podcast apps.

What does it mean to “Follow” a podcast?

To "Follow" a podcast means that new episodes will automatically download for free to your podcast library as soon as they become available. I love following my favorite podcasts, because the app does the work for me - no searching for the latest episodes! (Google Podcasts has listeners "Subscribe" to its podcasts instead of "Follow" - but it's still free.)

You can even choose to get notifications when new episodes of your favorite podcasts become available. But if you prefer not to, the new episodes that you’ve followed will quietly wait for you in your podcast app until you open it.

Sounds great - how do I get started?

With a quick internet search, you’ll find that there are many helpful articles that walk you through the steps to find, listen to, and follow podcasts; the steps will differ slightly depending on whether you are listening on a PC/Mac or an Android/iOS phone. I’m still learning about different podcast/app features and functionality, which are continuously evolving.

Hope this gives you some helpful background on podcasts. And if you haven’t had a chance to yet, please check out the “3, 2, 1 iRelaunch” podcast and follow us!

Happy listening!