53 Famous Motivational Quotes for Career Inspiration

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are many quotes about career success and hard work that can be both motivating and inspiring. If you're still growing in your career or you're meeting a new challenge, reading inspiring quotes can give you the confidence to overcome them. Learning inspirational quotes about career growth can help you stay focused and persistent in your career as you progress. In this article, we look at why career inspiration quotes are important and provide various quotes to inspire you at work.

Why are career inspiration quotes important?

Career inspiration quotes are direct statements from prominent people in career development, business, history, or life in general. You can also read these quotes and refer to them in order to assist others in staying motivated and focused. They can also create good feelings and inspire you to fulfil your goals. You can easily memorize them and print them on items such as banners, shirts, posters, and mugs.

Inspirational quotes to help you succeed

While pursuing your career, you may want extra inspiration to help you succeed. You may be switching jobs, pursuing an alternative career path, or developing your existing skills. These inspiring quotes about professional success can serve as a source of encouragement:

Quotes about getting started

Here are quotes to inspire you if you want some help getting started with something:

  • “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” - Pablo Picasso

  • “If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” - Jim Rohn

  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank

  • “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” - Dr. Henry Link

  • “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.” - Confucius

  • “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Ryun

  • “There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” - Jim Lovell

  • “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” - Ray Kroc

  • “Often I feel that projects overwhelm us when we look at how many hours are involved until completion. But just getting started is usually not that difficult.” - Emily Giffin

  • “Failure is not our only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.” - Jules Renard

  • “You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” - Zig Ziglar

  • “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” - Mark Caine

  • “If you genuinely want something, don't wait for it- teach yourself to be impatient.” - Gurbaksh Chahal

Related: A Guide to Self-Motivation in the Workplace

Quotes about working hard

Here are 12 quotes that inspire people to work hard at whatever they do:

  • “You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people.” - Marsha Evans

  • “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” - Henry David Thoreau

  • “Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn't guarantee success, but without it, you don't have a chance.” - Alex Rodriguez

  • “Opportunities don't happen. You create them.” - Chris Grosser

  • “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” - Thomas J. Watson

  • “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better.” - Jim Rohn

  • “Success is not a destination, but the road that you're on. Being successful means that you're working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That's living your dream.” - Marlon Wayans

  • “Some people dream of success while others wake up and work.” - Winston Churchill

  • “Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are.” - Theodore Roosevelt

  • “Whatever the job you are asked to do at whatever level, do a good job because your reputation is your resume.” - Madeleine Albright

  • “Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy.” - Jimmy Spithill

  • “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” - Thomas Jefferson

Related: How To Motivate Employees

Quotes about moving on from failure

Here are 11 quotes to inspire you when trying again to succeed:

  • “As long as you keep going, you'll keep getting better. And as you get better, you gain more confidence. That alone is success.” - Tamara Taylor

  • “At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” - Erin Cummings

  • “Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes it's built on catastrophe.” - Sumner Redstone

  • “Failure is only postponed success as long as courage ‘coaches' ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.” - Herbert Kaufman

  • “Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” - Sara Blakely

  • “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas Edison

  • “Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” - Marilyn vos Savant

  • “Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.” - Will Rogers

  • “Achievers have an enabling attitude, realism, and a conviction that they themselves were the laboratory of innovation. Their ability to change themselves is central to their success. They have learned to conserve their energy by minimizing the time spent in regret or complaint. Every event is a lesson to them, every person a teacher.” - Marilyn Ferguson

  • “We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes- understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.” - Arianna Huffington

  • “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” - Serena Williams

Related: Intrinsic Motivation Examples (Plus Why It's Important)

Quotes about being persistent

Here are quotes to reference if you want to stay persistent in pursuing your goals:

  • “Remember, it isn't the dreamers who have good lives- it's the doers. Remember also what I call the three P's of success: passion, planning, and perseverance.” - Homer Hickam

  • “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” - John Maxwell

  • “Have a dream. Have a passion. Know that there's no such thing as an overnight success.” - Christiane Amanpour

  • “No one succeeds without effort… Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.” - Ramana Maharshi

  • “Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” - Booker T. Washington

  • “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” - Vince Lombardi

  • “The three ordinary things that we often don't pay enough attention to, but which I believe are the drivers of all success, are hard work, perseverance, and basic honesty.” - Azim Premji

  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” - Robert Collier

Quotes to inspire confidence

Here are quotes that can inspire confidence in those who need it:

  • “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

  • “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” - Abraham Lincoln

  • “You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.” - Philippos

  • “There is never just one thing that leads to success for anyone. I feel it always a combination of passion, dedication, hard work, and being in the right place at the right time.” - Lauren Conrad

  • “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” - Michael John Bobak

  • “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” - Anais Nin

  • “What would you do if you weren't afraid?” - Sheryl Sandberg

  • “We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” - Marie Curie

  • “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” - Robert Schuller

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