Are you feeling a little uninspired in your career? Are you thinking about getting a new job, changing fields entirely or starting your own business? Wherever you’re at in your career, these career advancement quotes will inspire you to do your best, try something new, or give you a little confidence to go out in the world and start your own business.
Recently I decided that the job that I was at wasn’t a good fit for me. Over time, I realized that life is too short to spend any more time at a job that wasn’t making me happy or bringing me any fulfillment.
Shortly after I came to this realization, I decided to leave the company that I was at for a new company – and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in the last few years. My new job allowed me to move to a new city, work completely remote, and has had the best benefits I’ve ever had at any job.
If you want a little inspiration on your job search, whether you want to move up in your career or pursue a different career path, these inspirational quotes will inspire you to do exactly that.
This post is all about Career Advancement Quotes.
1. “You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own.” – D.M. Dell
How often do you compare yourself to others at work? If the answer is pretty often, you could be doing yourself a huge disservice. Everything you bring to the table is unique to you – you are the only person who can do what you do the way you do it.
You will naturally move up in your career if you continue to learn new skills and challenge yourself. It’s important to remember how much progress you’ve made and the things you’ve already managed to create – there is no one person with exactly the same skills or experience as you.
2. “The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It’s easy to want the next best thing – that promotion, that recognition, or that raise. But the only way to get there is by putting in the necessary work today. Today matters!
If you do want a promotion or a raise, it helps to know what exactly you should be doing now to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask your manager what it will take for you to get to that next step. That way, you know exactly what you need to do to get there.
3. “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player
Luck seems to come to those who work hard. If you want to get “lucky” and achieve big results, focus on consistently producing great work, and you’ll be surprised at the fortune that comes your way.
4. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
When something inconvenient or frustrating happens to you at work, how is your attitude? Do you tend to react calmly and search for solutions? Or do you make sure everyone knows how frustrating the situation is?
People will remember how you reacted when things got tough. Typically the people who react negatively to inconveniences just make things harder for everyone else.
If you want to advance in your career, it helps to be the person who brings solutions and remains calm, instead of the person who adds stress to an already stressful situation.
5. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
Everyone starts somewhere. If you want to be great, you must first be willing to be a beginner. Take that first step and keep going. Focus on mastering your craft and on not giving up and then see where that takes you.
6. “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
As great as it would be to have everything we’ve ever wanted at the snap of our fingers, the reality is that great success in our careers takes work and takes time.
Instead of focusing on the time it takes to get to that next step in your career, focus on doing what it takes to get there. Time will pass whether you put in the work or not, so you may as well work toward the things you desire most.
7. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
This can be applied to so many areas in your career, but for example, let’s say you’d really like to be paid more but there haven’t been any conversations around your compensation between you and your manager.
While it can feel like the most difficult thing, you might have to be the one to initiate that compensation conversation.
Oftentimes, the things we want most won’t be handed to us. So if opportunity doesn’t come knocking, you might have to get out of your comfort zone and plant the seeds of that opportunity yourself.
8. “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn
Are you the kind of person that always says “I’ll be happy once X is over” or “I’ll be happy in the next phase of my career”? If so, what makes you think you don’t deserve happiness in your career right now?
If you are unhappy in your current role for whatever reason, it’s time to start thinking of ways you can make your current situation better.
Do you want to work on a new project? With different people? Do you want a different boss? Or a different role at a different company entirely?
You deserve to be content where you are. If you’re not, start brainstorming what you want in your career and go find it!
9. “The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.” – Brené Brown
We often avoid the things we fear, even if facing them head on will make us stronger or more experienced. Take public speaking for example. The more you do it, the better you will be at it.
The hard thing won’t always be hard if you continue to show up and work at it!
10. “You can control two things: your work ethic and your attitude about anything.” – Ali Krieger
These are wise words. Throughout your career, things will happen that are outside of your control. For instance, you might be assigned a task that you really don’t want to do, or you might have to work with coworkers that make things much more difficult.
In instances like this, you can choose to embrace the hard work and have a good attitude, or you can choose not to. No matter what, the situation you are in will come to an end.
Would you rather have it come to an end knowing you showed up as the best version of yourself? Or with regrets that you could’ve worked a little harder or had a better attitude?
11. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Whether you want to do well on a particular assignment, or you want a completely different role, you must first believe in your abilities. No one can make you believe in yourself but you.
If believing in yourself and your capabilities can help you advance your career, why not try it?
12. “If you desire to do something, there is part of you deep down that knows you’re capable or else you wouldn’t waste your time thinking about it.” – Jen Sincero
Whatever your career goals, if you can’t stop thinking about them, you clearly believe in yourself in some way. Don’t give up on the thing that you can’t stop thinking about.
13. “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” – Tim Ferriss
Have you ever negotiated your salary? Asked for a raise? Asked for a promotion? All of these can be uncomfortable to talk about with your manager but they are also often necessary if you want to make more money or move up in your career.
14. “A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” – Arthur Golden
You can either focus on doubting yourself or spend your energy focusing on moving forward and getting better. Where focus goes, energy flows.
Do you want to move backward? No? The important thing is to focus on where you want to go versus on whether you’ll be able to get there or not!
15. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player of all time, and he admits that he was trusted to take the game winning shot 26 times and missed.
This just goes to show that no matter how good you are at your craft, you will not be perfect, and it is completely normal to fail from time to time.
Take time to learn from your failures, dust yourself off, and get right back up again.
16. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Just because you have reached some semblance of success in your career doesn’t mean it is ever-lasting. All successes do eventually come to an end at some point.
But the same goes for failure. If you stumble and fail at one thing, that does not mean that you are doomed to failure for the rest of your life.
No matter where you are in your career, whether you’ve just accomplished something or failed, it is your decision to keep going or give up that’ll determine if you have a successful career.
17. “You miss a 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
This quote is along the same lines of “if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no””. If you don’t ask for the things you want (like a raise or a promotion) then they may never come to you.
You should be sure that you’ve actually put in the work and time before asking to advance in your career, but if you believe you are deserving, it may be time to have those conversations with your manager.
18. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
In your career, if you want something to happen, you have to be willing to put in the work. Unfortunately we can’t just sit around and wait for good things to occur, we have to do our best to make them happen through the work that we do.
19. “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Ayn Rand
This quote is a great reminder to not compete with others, but rather compete with who you’ve been in the past. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself, not being better than everyone else. Maintain focus on you and what you can control.
20. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray
Some people are perfectly content working for someone else, while some want to start their own business and be an entrepreneur. If you relate to the latter and want to start your own business, you should try to.
Otherwise, you may work from someone else for the rest of your life.
Many people these days, especially with the rise of the use of the internet, are starting their own small businesses on the side of their full-time jobs until they have the means to quit their full-time job and pursue their own business full-time.
If that sounds like something you’d like to pursue, now’s the time.
21. “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” – Olin Miller
Procrastinating at work just makes things feel so much harder. Oftentimes when you start the thing that you’ve been putting off, you realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be!
22. “Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.” – T. Harv Eker
It is human to be unsure about your pursuits, but it’s up to you to decide if you are going to let the doubt, worries and fears stop you entirely, or if you’ll keep moving forward despite them.
23. “Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” – Dennis Waitley
If you want to be successful, you can expect to have to keep learning as you go. It would be silly to assume that you can become everything you want to be without learning anything else.
Learning makes us more knowledgeable, more experienced, and better able to serve others – it’s a foundation of success!
24. “If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.” – Jane Fonda
No matter what career path you choose, there will always be inconveniences, frustrations, and roadblocks. For example, you may have a manager that is tough to please or you may find yourself lacking the tools you need to perform your job duties effectively.
All sorts of problems can pop up during our careers, but it’s important to expect that inconveniences are totally normal and experienced by everyone.
Do what you can to make the best of any situation, but if at the end of day your work circumstances are impacting your mental health, don’t be afraid to start looking for other job opportunities or for a career change entirely.
25. “There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
Personally, I think this is one of the most inspirational career quotes. If you want to live a bigger life than the one that you are currently living, you have got to go for it!
We only have one shot on this earth. Spending years in a career that doesn’t light you up or help you grow is a big sacrifice to make because you can’t get those years back.
26. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
Life’s too short to do work that doesn’t light you up. Like Steve Jobs says, you’ll know when you find it.
27. “The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes the reward isn’t about the outcome, but about all you overcame to get there.
28. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
A reminder from Albert Einstein that mistakes are totally normal, if not a good thing. Mistakes are a sign of growth.
29. “Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life.” – Theodore Roosevelt
If you want to experience career growth, you have to focus on personal development, too. If you want to be a great leader, or even just a great employee, it helps to not only work on becoming a more well-rounded worker, but a more well-rounded human being in general.
30. “The more one does, the more one can do.” – Amelia Earhart
The more you try, the more you will learn. The more that you learn, the more you are capable of. Maybe the secret of success is just to keep trying.
31. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison.
I love that Thomas Edison chooses to believe that he has just tried 10,000 different ways, but all of those tries aren’t failures. In fact, they’re the opposite.
Those 10,000 tries are getting him closer to finding out the best way that really works!
32. “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” – Henry David Thoreau
I personally think this is one of the best career quotes. It’s about not looking at what other people are doing, but about looking within and being present, so that you can figure out what you want to do with your one precious life.
Great people spend a lot of time being present so they can determine what they want most in this life and then go after it.
This post was all about the very best career advancement quotes.
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