As aspiring career women, it’s important to have some go-to, uplifting career woman quotes about jobs and life for whenever the job gets tough. And trust me, it does get tough.

These inspirational quotes for women at work are by hardworking women of business, art, science, politics, and more. They will inspire you when you feel like giving up and motivate you when you’re discouraged. I’m excited to share these 30 career motivation quotes to encourage you wherever you are in your career.

Young woman professional sitting at a patio outside and working on her career.

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What makes a successful business woman?

Before we jump to the working woman quotes, I have to interject some fine print.

As young women and professionals, the question of what makes a successful business woman is on a lot of our minds. However, instead of answering this question, I suggest we change the question by adding one word.

What makes you a successful business woman?

I added the word you because this question dosen’t have a one-size-fits all answer. If you’ve read my other posts about navigating the adulting struggle or career advice for young professionals, you know that I am skeptical of one-size-fits-all approaches.

They end up restricting us by trying to fit everyone and our diverse experiences into one slim definition. Also, it triggers the comparison game where we start measuring our own successes to the successes of others. 

We all are on this adulting and career journey together, but all of our journeys look different. Likewise, our success will look different.

Career Journey Advice for Working Women

The only one-size-fits-all advice I can give is this: do what will make you a successful business woman, based on your skills, talents, passions, and goals.

If that means waking up at 6 am to start your day with a cup of coffee in a quiet apartment—go for it. If that means sleeping in until your first meeting starts and then working through your lunch—then do that.

Perhaps success for you is being the manager of a team in the marketing department one day. Great, strive for that. Maybe owning your own dance studio or art gallery is more up your alley, chase that dream then.

Give yourself the liberty to be your own successful business woman. No one else will do it better than you.

Kara J Lovett Co.

Related: 16 Top Goal Setting Tips for Young Professionals

30 Inspirational & Uplifting Career Woman Quotes

Now onto the working women quotes! As you read these, keep your personal definition of success in mind.

At the end of the day, you’re the one in the driver’s seat, and the only one who can move your career forward is you.

With that in mind, take this list of women at work quotes with a grain of salt. Each quote came from someone who charted their own unique career path. Some of them will impact you more significantly than others depending on who you are and where you are in your career.

Let yourself be inspired by these powerful quotes, not dictated by them. 

**Note: I chose these quotes because the words and the ideas were inspiring to me as a professional woman. I did not choose a quote because I support the person who said it, or their company, or their definition of success. 

5 Successful Career Woman Quotes 

1. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

2. “There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.”  Indra K. Nooyi

3. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” 

Golda Meir

4. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

5. “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”  Coco Chanel

4 Strong Woman Quotes

6. “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” – Rosalynn Carter

7. ”Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jeminson

8. “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

– Georgia O’Keeffe
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9. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

4 Independent Hard Working Woman Quotes

11. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake

12. “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

13. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.

14. “The [wo]man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Chinese Proverb

4 Professional Woman Quotes

14. “Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.” – Sandra Day O’Connor

15. “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
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16. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

17. “Instinct won’t carry you through the entire journey. It’s what you do in the moments between inspiration.” – Cate Blanchett

7 Inspirational Quotes for Women at Work

18. “Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.”  Marissa Meyer

Some of the people you should surround yourself with are mentors! Mentorship will help grow in your career, business knowledge, and skillset.

19. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”  Sara Blakely

20. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

Virginia Rometty
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As Virginia Rometty says much more eloquently than me, challenging yourself is important to growth and developing new skills and competencies. Don’t be afraid of a challenge and seek out new opportunities.

21. “Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash

22. “Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”  Martha Stewart

23. “Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep.” Helen Gurley Brown

Wondering what schlep means? It’s a tedious or difficult journey. Starting out, your career may feel like a schlep.

Be encouraged, it feels like that way for a lot of young professional women, including me. But each step in the journey is there for a reason.

24. “Whatever you do, be different. If you’re different, you will stand out.” – Anita Roddick

Related: Get Organized with Planners for Productivity, Work, and Home

6 Career Quotes about Jobs and Life

25. “A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”  Marilyn Monroe

26. “I’m there, I’m focused, I’m a quick decision-maker. That gets me home at 6:30 every night.”

– Kelly Wearstler

27. “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.’”  Maya Angelou

28. “The way I look at – speaking as a woman – I understand what it means to be a daughter, and to be a wife, and to be a mother, and also to be a career woman. The multiple roles that women can play in a society if given the opportunity is really a tremendous asset.”  Margaret Chan

29. “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 Johnson Evans

30. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.”  Marie Curie

Related: 9 Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Work Life Balance

Mockup of all of the free screensavers with Career Woman Quotes from Kara J Lovett Co.

Get 10 of these career woman quotes as beautiful phone screensavers to continue to motivate you throughout the day. Head over to the Freebies Library on my site to download.

The Most Inspirational Quotes for Women at Work

From this list of 30 uplifting career woman quotes, I have hand-picked a couple of favorites.

  • #28 – Margaret Chan’s quote about a woman’s many roles of society. This quote for working women reminds me that my job is not my identity. I am so much more than just an employee. More than that, who I am outside of work is an asset to my work.
  • #5 – Coco Chanel’s quote about being different. I love Chanel’s working women quote because how it values “different.” Instead of wanting to be like everyone else, we should strive to be different.
  • #18 — Marissa Meyer’s quote about surrounding yourself with smart people. The working woman is successful because of a team of supportive, smart people around her. Independent hard working woman succeed because of other independent had working women and mentors. Have you found a mentor yet?

We shouldn’t hold to our plans so tightly that we miss other opportunities. Nor should we be so concerned with our goal that we forget to appreciate where are now. That’s the essence of what Indra is saying. 

What’s your favorite of these motivating career woman quotes?

A thoughtful woman in casual clothes sitting at wooden table in modern cafe. She is sitting at a table and browsing netbook

Extra Career Inspiration Quotes

In case you’re in need of some more inspiration, I’ve got a couple more career motivation quotes. While these aren’t quotes by women, they also apply to being a career woman.

11 Career Motivation Quotes from Men

Here are 11 more quotes about jobs and life by businessmen, philosophers, and artists.

  • “It’s not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts.” —Brian White
  • “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Confucius
  • “A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” —Arthur Golden
  • “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

  • “Hide not your talents, they for use were made; what’s a sundial in the shade?” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means you haven’t succeeded yet.”  Robert H. Schuller
  • “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  Albert Einstein
  • “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison 
  • “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh
  • “Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better.” – Paul Coffey

Related: How to be Confident Without Being Arrogant in the Workplace

Find Inspiration from Career Woman Quotes

I hope these uplifting career woman quotes inspired you today. While I read through them, I was inspired not to let fear dictate my decisions and to not let failure define my career.

I was reminded that confidence in the workplace can be an asset. I also appreciated the themes of hard work, patience, and perseverance in the list of quotes.

Too often, young professionals (myself included) want everything now—the corner office and the dream job. I had to learn in my first year in corporate America that things are rarely so simple. 

These quotes were a good reminder that time and hard work are “magic” ingredients we all have access to.

Career Woman Quotes Pinterest

If you’re looking for more professional women quotes, join KJL Co. on Pinterest. I have a board dedicated to Career Women and Career Advice and a board for Careeer Woman Quotes like the ones I shared here.

Outside of working related quotes, I have a board dedicated to any Inspiring Words & Quotes and Christian Quotes and Sayings. Kara J Lovett Co. is your place for encouragement and inspiration. 

Inspirational Quotes for Hard Working Woman

We have a lot of sources influencing us daily and a lot of people wanting to give us advice. That makes it extra challenging to figure out the next step in our careers. 

In those moments, I take a deep breath, read a few uplifting career woman quotes, and remind myself that the only definition of success, which matters is mine. After all, it is my career, isn’t it? 😉 

What are some powerful quotes you use as motivation? 

Leave me a comment below!

Don’t miss this! More posts about Working and the Young Professional Lifestyle:


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