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Famous Words of Wisdom That Give Great Career Advice

Published: Monday 17th August 2015

Lord Alan sugars half face with a quote beside

Inspiration can come from many sources – a poem, a speech, the words of a song, a film, a photograph.

Words of wisdom and inspirational quotes can be really helpful to give you a new outlook on life, when you’re feeling particularly down. Take your career, for instance. No matter what stage you’re at or what you do, words of inspiration can help you to make the most out of any situation. 

If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again

It’s claimed that Robert the Bruce uttered these words after watching a spider try to spin a web on a cave wall. Although the spider repeatedly fell from the wall, it climbed back up the wall over and over again, until finally, it managed to spin its web. Bruce, in hiding after a military defeat, took heart from the spider’s perseverance and the rest is, as they say, history.

Finding the job that’s right for you isn’t always a quick or easy process. Life can have a habit of throwing in a few detours and speed bumps on the road to a happy and successful career. If you treat these impediments as challenges to be overcome, believe in yourself and stay focused on achieving your objectives then, like the spider, you will be successful. 

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”

One of U2’s most popular and enduring songs; the lyrics take you on a journey of one person’s ongoing quest to find meaning and understanding. However, the notion that lies behind them can be applied equally well to someone in search of the job and career that’s right for them. 

While some people know from a young age the career they wish to pursue, many others are less certain. It’s easy, therefore, for someone to find themselves in a job that doesn’t offer the desired level of stimulation or job satisfaction. The answer is, as the song suggests, to try something else. 

Rather than blindly changing career and hoping to find the right job through pot luck, a more sensible course of action is to undertake some voluntary work in your spare time. Apart from performing a socially beneficial service, working as a volunteer can offer a person the opportunity to try different types of job roles in different industry sectors. This ‘try before you buy’ approach can help a person to find their ideal job with the minimum amount of disruption and upheaval. 

“I shall return”

These words, spoken by General Douglas MacArthur after the Japanese conquest of the Philippines in 1942 may have been a promise made to others but they work equally well as a promise to oneself. 

Many people will apply for a job, succeed in reaching the interview stage but unfortunately fall at that final hurdle. If that happens to you then do not allow yourself to be crushed by disappointment. Instead, quietly remind yourself of MacArthur’s words. Ask for feedback on your interview performance, ascertain where you fell short and make good those deficiencies. Your chance will come again. MacArthur made good on his promise. You can too. 

“I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have” 

When author Coleman Cox wrote the above in 1922, he wasn’t suggesting that luck cannot be random. Rather, he was saying that people can, through hard work and endeavour, put themselves in a position from which to be able to make the most of whatever circumstances transpire.

No-one can predict when an attractive career opportunity will present itself, but a person can make sure that they are prepared when that moment arrives. By paying heed to Cox’s words and taking full advantage of whatever opportunities may exist to gain skills, experience and qualifications – a  person can ensure that they are ready and in position to benefit whenever the possibility arises. 

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

These words of wisdom from US basketball coach John Wooden are so true when it comes to your job search. It’s important to get the small things right when you’re applying for a job. A spelling error or a missing word in a CV or application form may not seem like a big issue, but it’s something that a recruiter will take note of. Likewise, failing to bring examples of your work to an interview may not cause someone to shout ‘stop the presses’ but it may nonetheless count against your application. 

Small errors are easily prevented. All that you need to do is invest a little time, patience and care in your job search.

If you’re not having much success in your job search, Zoek have more hints and tips available in our Zoek blog. For all of the latest job vacancies in your local area, download Zoek for free on your Android or iPhone to receive push notification that best match your criteria.

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