Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you are talking about life. And life must really have joy. It’s supposed to be fun.
—Barbara Bush (1925–2018) American First Lady
A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him. My advice: Don’t worry about yourself. Take care of those who work for you and you’ll float to greatness on their achievements.
—H. S. M. Burns (1900–71) American Businessman
He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion. He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over a deepening channel into an infinite sea. This talent and this call depend on his organization, or the mode in which the general soul incarnates itself in him. He inclines to do something which is easy to him, and good when it is done, but which no other man can do. He has no rival. For the more truly he consults his own powers, the more difference will his work exhibit from the work of any other. His ambition is exactly proportioned to his powers. The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base. Every man has this call of the power to do somewhat unique, and no man has any other call. The pretence that he has another call, a summons by name and personal election and outward “signs that mark him extraordinary, and not in the roll of common men,” is fanaticism, and betrays obtuseness to perceive that there is one mind in all the individuals, and no respect of persons therein.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Community colleges play an important role in helping people transition between careers by providing the retooling they need to take on a new career.
—Barack Obama (b.1961) American Head of State, Academic, Politician, Author
I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
—Gloria Steinem (b.1934) American Feminist, Journalist, Social Activist, Political Activist
Your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you do what you are expected to do.
—Brian Tracy (b.1944) American Author, Motivational Speaker
If I had my career over again? Maybe I’d say to myself, speed it up a little.
—James Maitland Stewart (1908–97) American Film Actor
No decent career was ever founded on a public.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
He was at a starting point which makes many a man’s career a fine subject for betting, if there were any gentlemen given to that amusement who could appreciate the complicated probabilities of an arduous purpose, with all the possible thwartings and furtherings of circumstance, all the niceties of inward balance, by which a man swings and makes his point or else is carried headlong.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Do you want a successful career or a close relationship with your family? Both! Do you want a focus on business or have fun and play? Both! Do you want money or meaning in your life? Both! Do you want to earn a fortune or do the work you love? Both! Poor people always choose one, rich people choose both.
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author
Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiselling and scraping and polishing.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Professionals are people who can do their job when they don’t feel like it. Amateurs are people who can’t do their job when they do feel like it.
Look around the habitable world: how few know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.
—Juvenal (c.60–c.136 CE) Roman Poet
Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day…
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an immediate knowledge of its ugly side.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
There is no way to penetrate the surface of life but by attacking it earnestly at a particular point.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.
—E. M. Forster (1879–1970) English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist
The first essential in a boy’s career is to find out what he’s fitted for, what he’s most capable of doing and doing with a relish.
—Charles M. Schwab (1862–1939) American Businessperson
Each of the professions means a prejudice. The necessity for a career forces every one to take sides. We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
He believes that marriage and a career don’t mix. So after the wedding he plans to quit his job.
Clearly, society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a woman’s natural fitness for the career of mother: the alternatives are all too expensive.
—Ann Oakley (b.1944) English Sociologist, Writer, Feminist
Work to become, not to acquire.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
You have to know exactly what you want out of your career. If you want to be a star, you don’t bother with other things.
—Marilyn Horne (b.1934) American Mezzo-Soprano
My gift is that I’m not beautiful. My career was never about looks. It’s about health and being in good shape.
—Shirley MacLaine (b.1934) American Actor, Dancer, Author, Activist
Great performers are, by definition, abnormal; they strive throughout their entire careers to separate themselves from the pack.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.
—C. Wright Mills (1916–62) American Sociologist, Academic
The best career advice to give to the young is “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.”
—Katharine Whitehorn (1928–2021) English Journalist, Writer, Columnist
The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.
—David Ogilvy (1911–99) British-American Advertising Executive