15 Powerful Career Quotes to Get You Through the Week

No matter how much you like your job, sometimes you just need a boost. It can be tough to stay motivated, especially if you’ve had a clash with your boss or you feel like your career has stalled. The good news is, we have some words of wisdom you can go to for a little pick-me-up.

Here are 15 powerful career quotes to get you through the week.

1. Discomfort can be a good thing

Scott Peck quote

It’s when things get tough that we shine. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. –M. Scott Peck

Your work life won’t always be comfortable. However, sometimes a little discomfort is what you need to move forward and go after what you really want. This is the message psychiatrist M. Scott Peck was trying to convey in his book The Road Less Traveled.

Next: You might need to cut some people out of your life.

2. Be mindful of the company you keep

Mark Twain quote

You become who you surround yourself with. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. —Mark Twain

If you have friends or acquaintances who constantly put you down, it’s time to cut them loose. Negative people can start to have an impact on how you see yourself. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in your abilities and who will encourage you. You can accomplish great things when you have supportive people in your corner.

Next: Be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

3. You can’t wait for someone to give you your big break

Milton Berle quote

Make your own way in life. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. –Milton Berle

There are times when it’s necessary take the reins and create your own career opportunities. If a job you really want doesn’t work out, create your own opportunity. This could mean exploring entrepreneurship and starting your own business.

Next: Have no fear.

4. Cast fear aside

Les Brown quote

Make sure you’re working towards your dreams. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown

You can’t go very far if you let fear rule you. A fearful heart will prevent you from living out your career dreams. One way to get rid of fear is to create a vision board. If you can see what you want to accomplish, this will give you the motivation you need to reach for your goals. Take Les Brown’s advice and stop living your fears.

Next: What are you waiting for?

5. Take risks

Elbert Hubbard

Criticism comes with any accomplishments. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. —Elbert Hubbard

Moving your career forward will require you to take some calculated risks. It rarely pays off when you play it safe. Always keep stretching yourself by learning something new and bringing fresh ideas to your workplace. Keep growing and be available to take on more challenging roles.

Next: Get your mind in the right place.

6. Have the right mindset

Henry Ford quote

Mindset is one of the most important factors in success. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford

If you want to be successful in your career and in life, it’s important to have a healthy mindset. Whatever you believe you can accomplish will usually be the outcome. Most times, what you think is what you get.

Next: You can do this.

7. See yourself as an overcomer

Carlton Fisk quote

No one idolizes those who had everything handed to them. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career. —Carlton Fisk

Obstacles are part of work life. It’s unlikely you’ll work at a job where there are no challenges. What’s important is how you respond to the challenge. If you see yourself as an overcomer, you can do accomplish anything. Instead of trying to avoid challenges, look for ways to overcome them.

Next: If you do this, each work day will be a breeze.

8. Find work you love

Steve Jobs quote

Loving what you do will change your mindset. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

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. –Steve Jobs

It will be hard to get up early each morning and go to work if you don’t enjoy your job. Working in a career that makes you miserable can have a negative impact on your health and your personal life. It’s important to find work you’re passionate about. This way, each workday won’t feel like torture.

Next: Your job matters.

9. There are no small jobs

William James quote

Every job plays a role in making things happen. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. —William James

Although it might not feel like it at times, your job matters. Each role at your place of employment, from the mail sorter to the chief executive, has an important role. If one person decides not to do his or her job well, everyone suffers. No matter what job you have, perform your role as if everyone depends on you; it’s likely they do.

Next: Dive in.

10. Do the work

Beverly Sills quote

The hardest things are often the most worthwhile. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. —Beverly Sills

Do you want to be a success? You have to put in the work. Nothing in life worth having will be handed to you. For example, if you have a skills gap, go back to school and take a course in the area you need work on. First, check with your company’s human resources department to see if they have any tuition reimbursement benefits. If they do, take advantage of this benefit. You never know, your hard work could result in a promotion.

Next: Keep going.

11. Don’t give up

Harriet Beecher Stowe quote

When you’ve hit the bottom, you can only go up. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn. — Harriet Beecher Stowe

When times get tough, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel. However, the tough times are exactly when you should press even harder and keep moving toward your goal. Your breakthrough will often come when things are the toughest.

Next: Know your worth.

12. Have confidence in yourself

Arthur Golden quote

You need to believe in yourself even if no one else does. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. — Arthur Golden

It’s important to have unwavering confidence in your abilities. No one can step in and be confident for you. It’s your job to motivate yourself and believe you can accomplish whatever you set out to do. If you have trouble when it comes to public speaking, for example, take a class so you can get over your insecurities. Use the tools available to you so you can be the best version of yourself.

Next: You’re not perfect.

13. Allow yourself to make mistakes

Sheryl Sandberg quote

Perfection doesn’t exist. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Trying to do it all and expecting it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy. –Sheryl Sandberg

Pressuring yourself to be perfect can leave you paralyzed with fear. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything right all the time. There will be times when you fail, and that’s OK. This is how you learn and do better the next time around.

Next: Keep learning.

14. Expand your skillset

jennifer Ritchie Payette quote

Expand what you have to offer. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Your career is like a garden. It can hold an assortment of life’s energy that yields a bounty for you. You do not need to grow just one thing in your garden. You do not need to do just one thing in your career. —Jennifer Ritchie Payette

It’s great to be very good at one thing, but if job opportunities dry up in that area, you’ll need a skill to fall back on. It’s important to learn as much as you can about several topic areas. It’s also a good idea to find ways to use your current skills in other ways. For example, consider teaching a class or offering your skills as a consultant.

Next: Doing this could help you live longer.

15. Get a life

Cheryl Strayed quote

It shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. | Graphic by Nicole Moore/The Cheat Sheet

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. –Cheryl Strayed

Although it is important to have a successful career, it shouldn’t be your only goal. Don’t forget about work-life balance. What’s the point of having a great career if your relationships are failing and your health is poor? Make time for what matters.

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.

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