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
Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.
—Bobby Unser (1934–2021) American Automobile Racer
No decent career was ever founded on a public.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
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
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.
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
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
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
Let a man practice the profession which he best knows.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
Work to become, not to acquire.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
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
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
He believes that marriage and a career don’t mix. So after the wedding he plans to quit his job.
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
I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot…And I missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is precisely…Why I succeed.
—Michael Jordan (b.1963) American Sportsperson, Businessperson
Look around the habitable world: how few know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.
—Juvenal (c.60–c.136 CE) Roman Poet
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
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
An artist’s career always begins tomorrow.
—James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) American Painter, Etcher
Don’t worry if your job is small and your rewards few. Remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you.
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
Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
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 think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.
—Lou Holtz (1893–1980) American Stage Performer
To hunger for use and to go unused is the worst hunger of all.
—Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–73) American Head of State, Political leader
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
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
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