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5 Common Words That Make You Sound Less Confident in Emails

Email etiquette is tricky. How do you know if you’re being annoying? Did that last exclamation mark make you go from sounding enthusiastic to sounding unhinged? Is your message redundant? Is it even being opened if you send it after 5 PM?

But, before you spend time debating whether to include an emoticon or researching the best and worst times of day to send a message, know that there’s something else that could be totally undermining your email: Your words. (Dun, dun, dun.)

Here are five words that make you sound less confident and more unsure of yourself than you even realize. So, do yourself a favor and drop ’em.


Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders of Food52, once commented that adding “just” to your emails makes you seem less confident. After taking a look at previous emails I’ve sent, I really have to agree.

Saying things like, “Just checking in” or “Just wanted to ask a question” minimizes your request. You aren’t just checking in; you’re an important person who deserves to know what’s up! Drop the extra word, and check in like a boss.


“Hopefully” is another word that I didn’t realize could greatly hinder an email’s effectiveness until someone explicitly pointed it out to me. “You shouldn’t have to be hopeful for anything,” a mentor once told me. “People just need to get things done.”

Think of it this way: If you’re telling someone that you’ll hopefully get something done by the deadline or that hopefully things will work out, you’re subconsciously showing that you don’t have control over a situation. Or worse, that you’re unreliable.


“Actually” is slowly becoming the new “literally” or “basically” in emails, with people throwing it in where it doesn’t stylistically make sense. I didn’t realize how problematic this was until I received an email from a publicist who used the word three times in a five-sentence email (one of which was that hated phrase “but actually”), and all three times were totally unnecessary! Needless to say, I actuallyhave no idea what she was trying to promote because I got so distracted.

Kind Of

This one is pretty straightforward: Using “kind of” (or “sort of”) in an email comes across as vague or ambiguous, like you’re not totally committing or have no idea what’s going on. And if that is indeed the case? Clarify the situation before you even start the email..


When I asked several professional contacts and colleagues which word they find to be the most unnecessary in emails, almost all of them pointed to “sorry,” explaining that 99% of the time, no apology is necessary. (Think, “Sorry, I can’t do Monday—does Tuesday work?”) And honestly, if you really did do something wrong, you should pick up the phone and say sorry like you mean it.

You may not be able to nail every piece of email etiquette (there are so many supposed “rules”!), but by getting rid of a few unnecessary words, you’ll immediately make your messages sound more polished, straightforward, and confident. That’s all you can really ask for, right?

3 Ways to Make a Name for Yourself in a New Industry

You’ve lost that loving feeling with your career.

Maybe you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do in your position and the luster is no longer there, or maybe you’ve always dreamed of doing something drastically different with your life.

In any case, you don’t feel engaged with or challenged by your work anymore, and you’re getting dangerously close to saying, “I’m just here so I won’t get fired.”

You’re also way too young to retire, so perhaps it’s time to finally make that leap into a new industry. But the job search is a big undertaking, and when you’re not a “known commodity” in your desired space, it can feel near impossible. So, what do you do?

I’ve come up with three steps toward making a name for yourself in a brand new industry. Before you even think about browsing position openings, it’s time to get smart, get social, and get seen.

Get Smart

Your first step toward making this transition is to make time in your schedule to do homework on the industry that interests you. Diving headfirst into research can be overwhelming, though, so start by making categories of what you want to find. Think like an entrepreneur starting a business in this field. Who are the customers, and why do they need these products or services? Who are the major companies serving these customers, and which are the biggest players? Who are the newcomers or industry disrupters? Is the industry growing or slowing?

Set Google Alerts to track companies making major moves, executives you admire, and thinkers who are influencing trends, and start regularly reading industry news, publications, and reports. For example, if you’re interested in advertising, follow Creativity for the latest agency news and work highlights, as well as Seth Godin (known for claiming “advertising is dead”) for a contrarian point of view on the industry. You should also join relevant LinkedIn groups and curate your own Twitter lists to follow conversations about what’s going on in the field.

Get Social

Once you start to get a grasp of the area that interests you, it’s time to step up and build your personal brand by starting a blog or website. Not sure what to write about? Keep an eye on the business book lists of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, then write reviews of the ones that are relevant to your industry. And don’t be afraid to have a bold, provocative opinion. Lukewarm perspectives are rarely remembered, so take advantage of being a relative outsider and engage critically with their arguments.

7 Steps to Mapping Out a Job You’ll Actually Love

There are a lot of people who aren’t so happy in their current jobs—are you one of them? If so, you’re definitely not alone. About 50% of all workers say they’re unsatisfied with their jobs, and only 15% report that they are very satisfied with their jobs.

So what if you could map out your own dream job, and then make it real? The good news is that you can do just that, and you can do it right now.

Each one of us has the power within us to create a better job—our dream job. Not only that, but with some minor changes, you might just be able to turn your less-than-great job into a truly great one. Says Hannon, “If you really want to love your job, you must first be able to step back and appreciate what’s going right about it, even if there are times when you dread that upcoming assignment, meeting with the boss, or lunch with a difficult client.”

Consider these seven awesome ways you can create a blueprint for your dream job:

Map Your Future

You are the artist of your life. Create a map of your life that describes the future you want, including your accomplishments, your work, your personal relationships, your financial goals, and more.

Don’t Let Your Past Determine Your Future

Just because you’re stuck in a career rut right now, that doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck in that same rut tomorrow. You have the power to create your own future today—use it.

Remember That Nothing Is Forever

Life is all about change, and so are jobs and careers. If you don’t like your current job, then do everything you can within your organization to change it, or to transfer to a different position or office. And if that doesn’t work, then look outside your organization for your dream job.

Look at the Big Picture

Says Hannon, “When one part of your work is not going swimmingly, more than likely there’s another bit that’s still feeding your creativity.” Zero in on that other bit by making a list of all the things that you love—or ever did love—about your job. Don’t dwell on what’s going wrong, instead, focus on growing what’s going right.

Figure Out What Would Make You Love Your Job

If your goal is to stay with the same employer, then creating the job you love may mean a transfer or temporary assignment to a different department, or mentoring a younger co-worker, or becoming involved in an industry group. Connecting with your boss and co-workers in new ways can inspire and energize you.

Understand Your Work Goals

What are your goals at work? Maybe you want to learn new skills that will enable you to earn the promotion you desire, or perhaps you would like a flexible work schedule or more autonomy and authority. Whatever your work goals might be, identify them, write them down, then work toward them one by one.

Adopt New Ways to Envision Your Career

Instead of looking at your career as a ladder that goes straight up and down, from the bottom of the organization to the top, take a tip from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who likens careers to a jungle gym. Says Sandberg, “Ladders are limiting. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. There are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym.”

The 7 Types of People Who Will Help You Be Successful

Career paths are typically messy. The straightforward and commonly accepted conception of a career path is to start at some entry-level position in a given field, gradually work your way up the ladder, and eventually retire once you’ve found satisfaction somewhere at or near the top. Most of us will never follow this path, and that’s probably a good thing. Instead, we’ll be restarting from the bottom, jumping between industries, starting a business, failing, starting again, and possibly revisiting those options multiple times.

Changing or growing your career is exciting, but it’s never easy. Acquiring new skills, exploring new options, and finding alternative paths are all difficult to do alone, and making a final decision is even tougher. Fortunately, there are many types of people who can help you find the right resources, gain the right skills, and make the right decisions for your future. You just have to know where to find them:


Mentors are ideal contacts for any emerging professional because of what they bring to the table: experience. In most cases, your mentors have been in your position already, and they know exactly what types of frustration and what kinds of conflict you’re facing. They’ve made hard decisions and have seen the impact from those decisions, and you can use their experience to put your own situation in perspective. Mentors will give you advice for free, and they might even have industry contacts who can help you in achieving your career goals—whether that means finding a new position or using new resources in your current job.


Your university’s alumni association is an invaluable resource in building your career. Because you’ll be working within a tight network of peers with a diverse career background, you’ll be exposed to a number of different potential career paths, industries, and backgrounds. By interacting with other alumni and regularly reading alumni publications, you’ll be instantly exposed to a range of new potential opportunities. Even if you choose not to actively participate in your school’s official “alumni association,” you can network with your former classmates and professors to learn of new opportunities and exchange ideas.


In most major cities throughout the U.S., there are dozens of professional networking groups dedicated solely to enabling people to meet new people—and most of them are free or inexpensive. You never know who you might meet at one of these events, but therein lies one of the greatest benefits networkers have for advancing your career—diversity. By interacting with other professional networkers, you’ll learn about new industries, new approaches, and how other people have built and managed their respective careers. If you’re looking for advice, or just some perspective, networking events are a great place to go.

Community Group Members

Chances are, there are at least a handful of local community organizations or nonprofit groups operating in your geographic vicinity. These could be anything from small business organizations to entrepreneur-focused workshops to neighborhood development groups. Scope out the types of groups available in your region, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone—most of these organizations exist to help people however they can and won’t turn you down if you show a genuine interest in their programs. Talk with individual members to get a feel for the group’s dynamics, and make new contacts.


Volunteering is always a great way to meet new people, and the volunteers you meet will be valuable additions to your professional network. They might be able to recommend you for a new job opening up at their company, or they might see potential in you as a partner for a new enterprise they’re starting up. Because you’ll be working together in a context outside of your regular job, it’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about your potential career aptitudes. Plus, listing volunteer experience on a resume never hurt anyone.


Never underestimate the power your friends can have on your career. If you surround yourself with like-minded professionals, you can work together to share advice and experiences to advance together at your respective businesses. If you surround yourself with people from different industries and at different levels of employment, you’ll get new perspectives that can help you contextualize your own position and career future. No matter what type of careers your friends have, you can always count on them for honest opinions and personal advice—which is indispensable when mapping out your future career.


Last but not least, your family will help your career flourish. Your parents or siblings might have contacts who can help you find a new position or a new resource, and they might have experience that they can share with you to lead you in the right direction. Your spouse can help you make the hard decisions and objectively determine what’s best for you in life. And most importantly, your family will be there for you no matter what career you choose—for better or worse—so you know you’ll always have a support system to rely on.

Ultimately, your career path will be of your own choosing. You’ll find the positions, you’ll build the skills, and you’ll be making the final decisions. But these seven people will help you out along the way. Making new contacts and reaching out for help can be the best career decision you’ll ever make. You never know where or how your next opportunity will come about.

13 Tricks for Impressing Anyone You Meet in Under 30 Seconds

Some experts estimate that 85% of your financial success comes not from your skills or knowledge, but from your ability to connect with other people and engender their trust and respect.

Within seconds, everyone you meet forms an impression that largely determines whether they’ll like, trust, and respect you.

Whether you’re job-hunting or fundraising or leading an organization, making a good impression is absolutely critical. (No pressure, right?)

So, whether you are looking to raise money for your company, or you are managing your team or leading your business, connecting to people and making a great impression is very important.

Here are some tips to help you win hearts and minds in 30 seconds:

Neutralize the Fight-or-Flight Response

The first few seconds of a first encounter are driven by instinctive reactions. Each person makes unconscious immediate appraisals that center around how safe they feel. Be mindful of your immediate signals, and make sure they could never be perceived as threatening.

Respect Boundaries

Be mindful of personal space and respect the boundaries of others. If in doubt, follow the other person’s cues: If they lean in, you lean in; if they stand back, you do the same. Remember that concepts of appropriate personal space vary by culture.

Feed Expectations

In business, first impressions are frequently colored by expectations. We expect people to live up to the image we have created in our minds from their reputation, phone calls, emails, or texts. We expect consistency with that general image—and without it, we feel some degree of disappointment and confusion. It’s not the time to surprise others with a new side of your personality.

Be Mindful of Body Language

It accounts for more than half of what others respond to initially—so it literally does speak louder than words. Hold yourself in a way that signals attention and an open heart, and keep a facial expression that combines authority with approachability and eye contact.

Stay Positive

The language of the brain is pictures, sounds, feelings, and to a lesser extent, smells and tastes. It’s much more difficult to translate negatives into brain-friendly imagery than positives. Work to develop a positive explanatory style.

Keep Control of Your Attitude

The general energy you give off is one of the first unconscious things people respond to. If you’re frazzled, project calm. If you’re distracted and unenthusiastic, project positivity. (You’ll not only make a better impression, but you can influence your own mood.)

Manage Your Moods

People are drawn to warmth, enthusiasm, and confidence more than anger, arrogance, and impatience. Whatever is going on around you, manage your responses to get the best response from others.


Make sure your words, your tone of voice, and your body language are all saying the same thing. Mixed messages put off others, but consistency gives you clarity and credibility.

Use Sensory Language

Activate people’s senses, and mix up your imagery to make sure you hit their strength. Whenever possible, use descriptions of visual images, sounds, textures, motion, and feelings to add meaning to what you’re saying.

Be Curious, Open-Minded, and Interested

If you can get the other person talking and keep them talking, odds are they’ll be drawn to you. Be interested and open-minded; ask questions that spark their imagination and ignite conversation.

Dress for Success

Find a personal style that represents who you are and the message you want to send about yourself. Look at your dress and appearance as packaging a product.

Have a Personal Statement

Have a personal statement prepared and memorized so you can tell others concisely and eloquently what you do, what it means to you, and why it makes a difference. Think of it not as a sales pitch, but as an engaging and artfully crafted mini-presentation.

Work through these points and you should have a great first impression all lined up.

Make Every Meeting Count

Treat every connection you make as if it’s the most important thing you’ve ever done. Because, frankly, you never know when it actually will be.

5 Tips That’ll Help You Avoid That Dreaded Awkward Silence.

Have you ever struggled to keep a conversation moving?

My first piece of advice was to not be too hard on herself. Haven’t we all found ourselves in a situation like this at least once? I know I have. The ability to move beyond the handshake and keep the conversation going can be an especially difficult skill.

I shared these five tips with her:

Tip #1: Don’t Blurt Out Everything at Once

Move slowly from one ring of the “interpersonal hula hoop” to the next. Your first goal is simply to connect on one of the outer rings—the environment or your role. For example, you might ask, “What’s the most interesting talk you’ve heard today?”

You simply want your hula hoops to touch, not overlap. As the conversation advances, you can move to deeper layers—your goals, culture, values, beliefs, and emotions.

Blurting out all of the possible connections between them was too much, too soon. It also put the focus on the postdoc student, when it should have been on the scientist. Perhaps a better way to begin the conversation was to focus on just one commonality and then ask a related question.

Tip #2: Ask for Stories, Not Answers

Ask easy, open-ended, icebreaker type questions. Don’t ask a question that only requires a bland “yes” or “no” answer. This will shut down the conversation before it even starts.

The idea is to ask for something that can be responded to in the form of a story. Your goal is to make the conversation process as easy as possible for your partner.

Try something like, “What’s been the best part of your visit to our campus so far?” or “I really enjoyed your talk. Is public speaking something that comes naturally to you?” Notice that the last question combines two interpersonal techniques—giving a genuine compliment and asking for a personal story.

Tip #3: Read the Situation

Once you’ve broken the ice, you can head toward what you have in common. Keep in mind though—you are peeling away the layers.

Take your cues from your conversation partner. Do they seem comfortable with the conversation and sharing more deeply in the “interpersonal hula hoop?” If so, then go for a deeper level question. If not, keep it slow and steady. Continue to use questions, not statements, to keep the stories flowing.

For example, “I’m a postdoc here at Penn, studying viral reprogramming, and of course I’ve read your work on X. I’m wondering, what do you think about Y (something related to X)?” or “I studied in Canada, too. What do you miss most about the North?”

Tip #4: Remember the Other Person May Also Be Uncomfortable

Again, the idea is to ask a question to give the person something to respond to. Remember:Networking situations may be awkward for them too.

By asking an open-ended question, you are helping them take the next step in joining the conversation. When you overwhelm someone with information, you probably won’t get much more than a “Wow…that’s great,” before they try to get away.

Tip #5: Welcome Opportunities to Practice Your Conversational Skills

Social functions at a university, faculty talks, and guest speaker visits are all good places to practice your conversational skills.

Also, make small talk with every person you meet—the clerk at the bookstore, the person in the bank line, people you sit next to at seminars. Force yourself to practice this skill.

Knowing the best ways to introduce yourself is an important first step. But the ability to keep the conversation going is what successful networking is all about. It takes courage and skill to turn small talk into a meaningful conversation, but it’s well worth the effort.

11 Habits You Can Start Today to Make Your Life Significantly Better.

For most of us, our work lives are pretty good. Our jobs are OK, we get along with most of the people we work with, and our careers are moving along at a reasonable clip. And outside of work, our lives are pretty good, too. We have friends and family and significant others, and we’re generally happy with the way things are going.

But who hasn’t thought that maybe, with just a slight change in some aspect of what we do each day, our lives—both in and out of work—could be significantly better? It’s true: Sometimes it takes just a slight change in the way we live our lives to make a huge difference in the outcomes we experience.

Try these 11 simple habits for radically improving your life right now and see if the outcomes you experience aren’t significantly better.

Do What You Say You’re Going to Do

Long ago I learned the importance of following through on your promises. Always do what you say you are going to do—even if you’ve changed your mind. You’ll build bridges of trust that will continue to improve your life over time.

Start Moving

The deeper we get into our careers, the more time we spend at our desks and the less exercise we get. Researchers have found that exercise doesn’t just improve your physical health, it improves the way your brain works, giving us more focused concentration, sharper memory, lower stress, and more.

Change Your Scenery

Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery to shake things up for the better. Travel to a different part of town—or a different part of the world—and break out of your old routines.

Give of Yourself

We all want to feel like we’re making a difference in the world. Guess what? We can. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization that is devoted to a cause you’re interested in, whether it’s finding a cure for cancer, helping veterans find work opportunities, or teaching entrepreneurship skills to high schoolers.

Get a New Set of Friends

While your old set of friends may be just fine, you can shift your life into a higher gear by constantly adding new friends and acquaintances—and the new perspectives and experiences they bring with them—to the mix.

Change Your Career

Are you happy in your current career? If not, then get serious about doing what you really want to do for a living. What are you waiting for?

Take a Nap

We all work hard and have lots of responsibilities, both in and out of the office. Sometimes the best way to improve your life is to take a break—even if it’s just a quick nap.

Be Real

Quit trying to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself. There’s only one of you, and you’re perfect just the way you are.

Go Back to School

There’s nothing quite like going back to school to keep your mind sharp and the opportunities to progress in your career flowing.

Forgive Someone

We all have someone in our lives who has mistreated us, cheated us, or otherwise done us wrong. Instead of letting that person hold you back, forgive him or her, and then move on, once and for all.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zonel

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and the best way to get unstuck is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something each day that you normally wouldn’t. Start small, and work up to more daring experiences that really push you.

5 Ways to Stand Out When You’re Competing With Really Qualified Candidates

You’ve got your eye on an amazing opportunity. You update your resume, perfect your cover letter, and line up your references. So far, you’re doing everything right. But before you submit your application documents, ask yourself this important question: What sets me apart?

You may have an extraordinary cover letter and resume with strong references. Great—but there will probably be other candidates with very comparable documents. So if you really want the gig, you have to be bold and prove your worth—before you’re asked to.

When I was a college student and member of the campus newspaper staff, I participated in interviewing a candidate for Director of Student Publications. While perusing her application materials, I noticed something unique: a newsletter she created announcing her hiring. It demonstrated her design and writing ability, and it made a bold statement about her desire for the job—which she got.

I still remembered that director about 10 years later, when I really wanted an open position with my alma mater, but assumed there would be other qualified individuals who wanted it, too. I asked myself what I could do—beyond writing a standout cover letter and resume—to showcase my abilities.

I ended up developing and submitting a program proposal that demonstrated my ability to plan an event grounded in theory and research, my strong writing skills, and my ability to think creatively. Less than three weeks later, I started in the new role. The proposal had served the exact purpose I wanted it to: It caught the hiring committee’s attention, confirmed my abilities, and showed a level of drive and enthusiasm that none of the other candidates demonstrated in quite the same way.

To be bold in your job search, you need to provide quality information to your potential employer beyond what a standard cover letter and resume convey. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. My approach for a position in higher education probably wouldn’t work at a corporate accounting firm. So, how do you make this work for you and your unique situation? It comes down to simply providing evidence that you are the ideal fit. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Submit a “Pain Letter”

Follow the advice of Liz Ryan, and substitute a pain letter for your cover letter. A pain letter identifies a challenge the company is facing and explains how you, if hired, would solve that problem. This demonstrates an uncommon depth of company knowledge and your unique ability to solve problems—which can seriously boost your appeal as a candidate.

Connect With an Insider

Don’t rely on a recruiter to understand your value solely based on what you put on paper as your cover letter and resume. Find someone influential on the inside of the company and send your information directly to that person—or, depending on the relationship you form, ask that person to vouch for you. It’s a gutsy move (especially if you have no prior connection to that person), but a personal reference almost always results in a higher success rate than relying solely on your cover letter and resume to get you the job.

There are a variety of ways to connect with that influencer: Try connecting on LinkedIn, joining a professional organization he or she is a member of, or use your personal network to garner an introduction. Then, continue forging that connection by conveying your passion and the value you can bring to the role.

You could send an email or LinkedIn message, for example, that says:

Hi, John,

I was researching your company because I am applying for the open marketing position there, and I came across your profile on LinkedIn. I saw that you recently published a post about the BuzzFeed approach to viral content. I’m sending a link to a website I helped develop as a marketing intern for my university’s Division of Student Life, which used a BuzzFeed approach.

As you can see from the data I’ve included, it increased traffic to online campus resources by 25%, supporting your theory. I thought this site might be an interesting resource for you. I would be happy to provide you with more details if you are interested, and I would greatly value your support in my pursuit of the marketing position.

With this, you’re making a meaningful connection, without just asking for a favor.

Showcase Your Skills

A cover letter and resume can only go so far to describe what you can do; a portfolio provides concrete evidence of those abilities. Have you done a lot of writing in your previous roles? Don’t just tell an employer that you have strong writing skills on your resume; include samples of your writing in your portfolio.

You can bring this portfolio with you to the interview, but that assumes you actually get an interview. Instead, do yourself a favor and build an online portfolio that employers can access immediately when they receive your application materials. Your portfolio then becomes a tool that helps you land the interview, instead of something you showcase at the interview.

Plus, an online portfolio also allows you to include media that a traditional portfolio doesn’t. Do you have experience developing proposals and securing funding for projects? Include a proposal, timeline, and photos or a time-lapse video of the project in your portfolio.

Demonstrate Your Value

In addition to an online portfolio, consider submitting additional documents that can demonstrate your value to the company. Think about what the company needs, and develop something unique around that. For example, you could develop a proposal for a new program, an out-of-the-box marketing tactic, or a grant opportunity. The opportunities are endless—you simply have to use your knowledge of the company and your creativity to develop something relevant and realistic.

This approach will demonstrate your depth of knowledge of what the company needs and your ability to realistically meet those needs. It also proves your effort and enthusiasm—qualities that any sane employer wants in every employee.

Ask Bold Questions

When you snag an interview, you’ll certainly need to prepare for the questions that interviewer will ask you—but don’t forget that the interview is a two-way street. You should prepare a few questions of your own to help you decide if this is the right position for you and show just how interested you are in pursuing the opportunity.

This doesn’t mean you should be overly aggressive—but being willing to ask straightforward questions will show you know what you want. Lily Zhang suggests three strong wrap-up questions here.

I recently interviewed for a new opportunity on campus. I came to the interview with two proposals—one for a new counseling practicum position and one for a new student group—both closely aligned with the goals of the office. I hadn’t been asked to develop either item as part of the application process, but I saw an opportunity to showcase my potential impact in the role.

I closed the interview by asking one of Zhang’s bold wrap-up questions (among several other pointed questions), and in general, I did everything in my power to make it easy for everyone involved in the hiring decision to see what I envisioned for this new role and to understand that I had the experience to pull it off. And guess what? I started my new job April 13.
In your job search, you can submit the same old cover letter and resume like every other job seeker, or you can look for a way to stand out from the competition for all the right reasons. Will you make the investment in yourself?

32 Career Mantras That Will Inspire You at Any Stage of Your Career.

If You’re Looking for Motivation

Feel like you’ve been staring at your computer screen for hours and now your eyes are glazing over? These quotes will give you that little extra push to finish your day strong.

  • Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.

    Julie Andrews

  • Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.

    Sam Levenson

  • You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead.

    George Lucas

  • Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

If You’re Looking to Be a Better Leader

Let’s be real here: Managing people is hard. Really hard. The next time you find yourself dealing with a particularly challenging employee, one of these mantras can remind you what’s important.

  • Whoever is happy will make others happy too.

    Anne Frank

  • There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

    Edith Wharton

  • The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

    Groucho Marx

  • Good leaders need a positive agenda, not just an agenda of dealing with crisis.

    Michael Porter

  • Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.

    Margaret Cousins

If You’re Going Through a Rough Time at Work

You’re bound to hit a rough patch at work sometimes, whether it’s because of a difficult upcoming deadline or a boss who’s making you miserable. These quotes will help you through.

  • You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

    Albert Einstein

  • Either I will find a way, or I will make one.

    Phillip Sidney

  • Do not wait to strike til the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.

    William Butler Yeats

  • Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

    Vince Lombardi

  • Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.

    Walt Whitman

If You’re Dealing With Unpleasant People

Demanding clients, evil bosses, rude co-workers, oh my! Keep your cool no matter what people throw your way.

  • When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

    Dale Carnegie

  • Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

    Carl Jung

  • Do not forget small kindnesses and do not remember small faults.

    Chinese Proverb

  • We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.

    Denis Diderot

If You’re Looking for Direction

It’s okay to feel a little aimless every so often over the course of your career. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get back on track and re-focus.

  • If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

    Milton Berle

  • Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.

    Babe Ruth

  • Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

    Joseph Campbell

  • It is never too late to be what you might have been.

    George Eliot

  • The more you do stuff, the better you get at dealing with how you still fail at it a lot of the time.

    John Mulaney

If You Just Want Something Uplifting

Looking for an inspiring quote just because? You don’t need a reason to want to feel uplifted and enlightened.

  • No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

    Robin Williams

  • The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.

    Thomas Jefferson

  • Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

    Jim Rohn

  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

    Arthur C. Clarke

  • If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

    Thomas A. Edison