Some of the most valuable inspirational quotes for career growth are often some of the most common and trite. However, there's a reason for that – they have value. It's one thing to be inspired to greatness, it's another to also get some helpful, specific ideas from quotes about next steps in life. Here are 12 quotes that will not only inspire you to better manage your career, but will also motivate you to act.
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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Do you have a written career plan, or are you waiting for bosses to notice you? If you want to move up the ladder, make it happen, don't wait for it to occur.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Unknown
This quote has been used by leaders from business tycoon Joseph P. Kennedy to football coach Knute Rockne for a reason. If you hesitate, shrink or hide when things get difficult, people won't look to you for leadership. When others around you get nervous, take the lead if you can and you'll inspire confidence and show that you have the leadership skills companies want.
“What you heard isn’t what I said.” – Unknown
One of the key soft skills for managers and executives is the ability to communicate effectively. Whether you're sending an email, writing a memo or making a presentation, you must focus not just on what you're saying, but what your audience is hearing. Effective communication begins and ends with understanding your audience and what you want them to learn.
“Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison
Anyone can have a great idea, but not everyone can make it work. That's true of most business ventures. If you want to be an entrepreneur, most of your success will come from doing the mundane things like writing a business plan, asking for advice, running tests and fixing mistakes. Do you have a dream or a daydream?
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“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy
While this quote refers to patriotism and civic duty, it should guide you every time you interview for a job. Don't just focus on your accomplishments and achievements – focus on presenting how you can specifically help your potential employer's company and present yourself that way.
“Always give more than expected.” – Larry Page
If you strive to do the minimum to make sure you're not fired, you'll eventually fall short and show your bosses you're just looking to get by. Each time you're given a project, ask yourself what extras you can deliver.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
The most successful entrepreneurs in history all have one thing in common that the average business person doesn't have – multiple failures. You learn each time you fail, and you never make those mistakes again. Don't be afraid to take risks.
“There is no ‘I’ in team.” – Unknown
Even when you are obviously responsible for your team's success, don't crow about it. The more modest you are, the more people will see you have self-confidence and want to follow you.
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“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.” – Bob Hooey
Sometimes we get so obsessed with our product, our company and our brand, we forget that we exist to make our customers and clients happy. Start with that goal first.
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers
If you have a good thought, you can always share it a bit later. Once you say something stupid, however, you can't take it back. Make it a habit during meetings to think before you speak.
“Measure twice, cut once.” – Russian proverb
Like Ben Franklin's, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," this quote reminds us to count to 10 and think about what we're about to do before we act if we want to reduce the number of unnecessary mistakes we make. Have you dotted all your i's and crossed all your t's?
“I do not regret the things I've done, but those I did not do.” – Rory Cochrane
This is a common refrain of people on their deathbeds. How many great things are you "planning to do" that you've (only) been planning to do for years?