Words to Work By. Quotes About Work.
Quotations of famous and not-so-famous individuals often stir and sum up our feelings, opinions, and viewpoints in a more useful fashion than a lengthy dissertation on a topic. Quotations can encourage us and inspire us, while they often merely epitomize our frustration and even despair.
Work may not be the most important aspect of our lives, but it usually is close to the top in producing exhilaration or it can lead to the depths of dissatisfaction. These quotations are designed to provide a quick thought on our work and our workplaces. We hope you enjoy an opportunity to pinpoint work issues or to reflect on how and why we can improve our outlook toward a job and improve the climate of our workplace — especially if we occupy a position of leadership that affords an opportunity to improve the workplace of others.
We intend for this to be a work in progress. If you have quotations of your own invention or by others please send an email to Mac Irvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work: something that is or was done; what a person does or did, an act, deed, proceeding, business.
Oxford English Dictionary
Vocation: the function or career toward which one believe himself to be called.
New World Dictionary
Light is the task when many share the toil.
Take this job and shove it.
I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely.
A true calling reveals its presence by the enjoyment and sense of renewed energies its practice yields us.
May all your labors be in vein.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
There’s a big difference between working at the same place and working together.
Air Tran Annual Report
Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
I like my job and am good at it, but it sure grinds me down sometimes, and the last thing I need to take home is a headache.
TV commercial for Anacin
Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?
If you really want something in life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers.
If adults don’t like their jobs, they don’t go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed.
It is better to have loafed and lost than never to have loafed at all.
The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best.
No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
Booker T. Washington
The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do.
Booker T. Washington
The more one works, the more willing one is to work.
A man works from sun to sun. A woman’s work is never done.
If our offices are our new neighborhoods, if our professional titles are our new ethnic tags, then how do we separate ourselves from our jobs? Self-worth isn’t just something to measure in the marketplace. But in these new communities, it becomes harder and harder to tell who we are without saying what we do.
Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.
If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in winter.
Aesop’s Fable (ant to grasshopper)
Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
We labor soon, we labor late,
Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.
The monastic life is no more a state of perfection than the life of a farmer or artisan. All men, whatever their calling, ought to seek perfection in their calling.
But till we are built like angels – with hammer
No man is born into the world whose work
J .R. Lowell
It is work which gives flavor to life.
Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace.
Be all that you can be.
Army recruiting commercial
You find something to do that makes you feel good about yourself. You are really miles ahead of most people.
Army recruiting commercial
The spear, the net, the plow, the loom and many other technologies served to give the ancient cultures their surviving strength. Today’s technology liberating the human spirit from the oppression of ancient labors is servant, not master, of our enduring beliefs.
W.H. Krome George
Work bears witness who does well.
A day’s work is a day’s work, neither more nor less,
George Bernard Shaw
When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.
George Bernard Shaw
A day’s work is a day’s work, neither more nor less, and the man who does it needs a day’s sustenance, a night’s repose, and due leisure, whether he be a painter or ploughman.
George Bernard Shaw
Labor is work that leaves no trace behind it when it is finished, or if it does, as in the case of the tilled field, this product of human activity requires still more labor, incessant, tireless labor, to maintain its identity as a work of man.
The enlightened employer devotes its time, effort, money and other valuable resources toward the goal of assisting each and every person within the company to attain his or her highest possible level of achievement.
Joe H. Clark
A good supervisor is not one who can outwork ten employees, but instead a supervisor who can convince ten employees to outwork him.
Joe H. Clark
Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times.
He that will not labor must not eat.
Though this is a fable, the moral is good:
There is no trade or employment but the
If you work for yourself you do it for your own amusement, which is all right; if you work for others,
Guy De Maupassant
In the morning, when thou art sluggish at rousing,
Be satisfied with your business, and learn to love what you were bred to.
Work is the sustenance of noble minds.
Our greatest weariness comes from work not done.
A piece of work
If all the year were playing holidays,
Leave no rubs or nor botches in the work.
Great is work which lends dignity to men.
Good for the body is the work of the body,
Henry David Thoreau
The callous palms of the laborer are conversant with finer tissues of self-respect and heroism, whose touch thrills the heart, than the languid fingers of idleness.
Henry David Thoreau
A man does not live to work, he works to live.
Man is destined for work and called to it.
John Paul II
Unemployment affects, from the material and physical to the mental and spiritual. It therefore very much concerns the church.
John Paul II
All creatures are the work of God’s hands. And so are human beings. The command God gives us is to have dominion over the objects of creation, the things which God has made. The responsibility he gives us is to produce useful things, things which have meaning in themselves and real values. Meaningful work is creating as God creates.
C. Benton Kline, Jr.
Not all men are called to a specialized or professional job; even fewer to the heights of genius in the arts and sciences; many are called to be laborers in factories, fields, and streets. But no work is insignificant.
Martin Luther King Jr.
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hard toil can roughen form and face,
Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Measure not the work until the day’s out and the labor done.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work: it is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing. It is the everlasting right of man.
It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe.
A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
Work is a grand cure for all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind–honest work which you intend getting done.
Blessed is he who has his work; let him ask no other blessedness.
The best worship, however, is stout working.
I am glad that the eight-hour day had not been invented when I was a young man. If my life had been made up of eight-hour days, I do not believe I could have accomplished a great deal.
There is no substitute for hard work.
As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.
I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.
I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
There ain’t no rules around her! We’re trying to accomplish something!
His genius he was quite content.
A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.
A man cannot eat for 8 hours a day, cannot sleep for 8 hours, cannot make sex for 8 hours; the only thing a man can do for 8 hours is work.
Hard work is the best investment a man can make.
C. M. Schwab
The high prize of life, the crowning fortune of a man, is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sum of wisdom is, that the time is never lost that is devoted to work.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
But do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The gods sell us all good things for hard work.
Our best friend is ever work.
Any man with nothing to do has a hard job.
Soft jobs make soft people.
The hardest job is no job.
The fellow who doesn=t need a boss is often selected to be one.
Doing nothing is the most tiresome job.
The other fellow’s job is always easier.
There may be luck in getting a good job, but there’s no luck in keeping it.
All work is noble.
Hard work is the best investment a man can make.
Work is the only capital that never misses dividends.
Your work expresses you more correctly than your tongue.
I don’t want to do that B its too much like work
If you intend to work, there is no better place than where you are; if you do not intend to work, you cannot get along anywhere.
A man ain’t no bigger than the job it takes to give him a swell head.
It’s a poor job that can’t afford one boss.
A job is an uncomfortable thing to be down on.
Hard work conquers the worst of luck
The fellow who works for a song has trouble meeting his notes.
Work as if everything depended on you; pray as if everything depended on God.
Work well done makes pleasure more fun.
People who dream all night can=t work all day.
Never look at half-done work.
It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others.
“If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.”
Better to wear out than to rust out.
In the sweat of thy face shalt, thou eat bread.
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
“Do you see a man excellent in his work? He will serve before kings….”
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it; the eye is not
satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.
If anyone will not work, he shall not eat.
II Thess. 3:7
Man goes forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for the self alone, but for the common good.
Episcopal Book of Common Prayer
Labor is the handmaid of religion.
It’s all in a day’s work.
Work is a curse and nothing else.
Ancient Greek saying
He that would eat the kernel must crack the shell.
A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.
Handle your tools without mittens.
In every rank, or great or small, Tis industry supports us all.
The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself.
Why do strong arms fatigue themselves with frivolous dumbbells? To dig a vineyard is a worthier exercise for men.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
If you don’t like this job, don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass.
The road that brought you in here can also take you out of here.
It’s my way or the highway.
My job is to make your life miserable.
Sign on supervisor’s desk
What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of work, because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.
Many hands make light work.
Heaven is blessed with perfect rest but the blessing of earth is toil.
Henry Van Dyke
I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.
A company cannot increase its productivity. People can.
Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.
Radio Broadcast. (Addressing President Roosevelt.)
The worker feels himself at home only during his leisure hours, whereas at work he feels homeless. His work is not voluntary but imposed forced labor. It is not the satisfaction of a need, but only a means of satisfying other needs.
Life’s race well run,
Life’s work well done,
Life’s victory won,
Now comes rest
Edward Hazen Parker
The end crowneth the work.
An American workman will give equal attention simultaneously to three, four, or six machines or tools, while the British workman is compelled by his trade union to limit his attention to one, so that employment may be given to half a dozen men.
The woman stenographer or bookkeeper who receives forty dollars per month where a man was receiving seventy-five is a scab. So is the woman who does a man’s work at a weaving machine, and the child who goes into the mill or factory.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.
Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Work continues to be critically important in the self-identity of Americans, closely linked to the demand for self-reliance. The problem is not so much the presence or absence of a work ethic as the meaning of work and ways it links, or fails to link, individuals to one another.
Robert N. Bellah
I am a strong believer that one of the most satisfying things in life is to create a highly moral and ethical environment in which every individual is allowed and encouraged to realize their God-given potential. There are few things more satisfying than to see individuals reach levels of performance that they would have thought was virtually impossible for themselves.
Kenneth Lay (In Business As A Calling)
Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed, quietly and unobtrusively, by someone else. I just don’t happen to think it’s an appropriate subject for an ethic
Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, Make me feel important.
Mary Kay Ash
When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.
The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.
Logan Pearsall Smith
Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self and it is a task no longer; it is joy; it is art.
If a guy doesn’t look at business as a vocation, he=s not going to make it. And the vocation changes as you grow. For me, it was one thing at 30, another at 50 and at 60. The one consistent thing — I loved challenges.
Paul F. Orrifece (In Business As A Calling)
I never worked a day in my life. It’s not work when you love what you’re doing.
The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
The best work never was and never will be done for money.
My father always told me, Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
General George Patton
Clearly the most unfortunate people are those who must do the same thing over and over again, every minute, or perhaps twenty to the minute. They deserve the shortest hours and the highest pay.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Don’t be condescending to unskilled labor. Try it for a half a day first.
When work is a pleasure, life is joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery.
Your life work is a statement of Who You Are. If it is not, then why are you doing it? Do you imagine that you have to? You don’t have to do anything.
“Conversations with God” ( Neale Donald Walsch)
The worst fault of the working classes is telling their children they’re not going to succeed, saying: There is life, but it’s not for you.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.
Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.
The will to succeed is important, but what’s even more important is the will to prepare.
I don’t try to outwork anybody. I’m not that insecure. We work until the job gets done, then we go home to be with our families.
We don’t stay in the office until after midnight, but some people can do in fifteen minutes what others will spread over two hours. When a coach says he works sixteen hours a day, it’s his security blanket. Then when he loses, nobody can say he was outworked.
Making a success of the job at hand is the best step toward the kind you want.
Bernard M. Baruch
Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.
Any man who has a job has a chance.
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
People who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.
A tremendous number of people in America work very hard at something that bores them. Even a rich man thinks he has to go down to the office everyday. Not because he likes it but because he can’t think of anything else to do.
W. H. Auden
There’s many a one who would be idle if hunger didn’t pinch him; but the stomach sets us to work.
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
and hope without an object cannot live.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
Work is the inevitable condition of human
life, the true source of human welfare.
The happiness of men consists in life. And life is in labor.
When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
One is not idle because one is absorbed. There is both visible and invisible labor. To contemplate is to toil, to think is to do. The crossed arms work, the clasped hands act. The eyes upturned to Heaven are an act of creation.
Good luck is a lazy man’s estimate of a worker’s success
I’ve had enough success for two lifetimes, My success is talent put together with hard work and luck.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
The law of work does seem utterly unfair, but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the workers gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash also.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”
ARemember that you are needed. There is at least one important work to be done that will not be done unless you do it.”
Charles L. Allen
Women can do any job men can and give birth while doing it.
In the sweet old country where I come from nobody ever works, nothing gets done.”
The fellow who doesn’t need a boss is often selected to be one.”
The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be the one uniting all working people, of all nations, of all tongues and kindreds.
My father taught me to work; but he did not teach me to love it.
I hold that if the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all the eating and none of the work, He would have made them with mouths only and no hands.
It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.
Harry S. Truman
I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.
Harry S. Truman
In the Great Society, work shall be an outlet for man’s interests and desires. Each individual shall have full opportunity to use his capacities in employment which satisfies personally and contributes generally to the quality of the Nation’s life.
Lyndon B. Johnson
No man need sympathy because he has to work. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
The work ethic holds that labor is good in itself; that a man or woman becomes a better person by virtue of the act of working. America’s competitive spirit, the work ethic of this people, is alive and well on Labor Day, 1971.
Richard M. Nixon
Honor lies in honest toil.
No man ever listened himself out of a job.
If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.
Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve through not dying.
I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.
Charles Horace Mayo
Don’t sacrifice your life to work and ideals. The most important things in life are human relations. I found that out too late.
Katharine Susannah Prichard
Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.
David O. McKay
You can always find reasons to work. There will always be one more thing to do. But when people don’t take time out, they stop being productive. They stop being happy, and that affects the morale of everyone around them.
The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.
Labor for labor’s sake is against nature.
When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?
For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke
It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.
Henry Ward Beecher
My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.
Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.
Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
How do I work? I grope.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Drive out fear so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
W. Edwards Deming
I slip from workaholic to bum real easy.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.
To youth I have but three words of counsel: Work, work, work.
Otto von Bismarck
“The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.”
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until get to the office.
The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
People who work harder at their jobs than they have to are a little bit crazy
There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.
Do it my way or watch your butt.
Raising Arizona (the movie)
A career is a job that has gone on too long.
Tell your boss what you think of him, and the truth shall set you free
As a nation, we have developed a sense of the value of technology and of a scientific approach to it, but we have meanwhile taken people for granted.
William G. Ouchi
The growing hunger for community offers new doorways for spirituality to enter and enrich our workplace.
I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.
Jerome K. Jerome
Taste the joy that springs from labor.
His brow is with honest sweat,
He earns whatever he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
One half of the world must sweat and groan that the other half may dream.
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.
H .W. Longfellow
The laboring people are only poor because they are numerous.
Work determines our status and shapes our social interaction. Some people can hardly talk to a stranger without first knowing what he or she does for a living.
Joanne B. Ciulla
The flexible workplace can be a solution to the problems families face, or it can be the root of their problems. We have gone from moving our homes into the organization or moving the organization into our homes. It again raises the question of whether life should be part of work or work part of life.
Joanne B. Ciulla
It’s easy to see why — aside from the income it provides — having a job is so desirable in our culture. Work works for us. It offers instant discipline, identity and worth. It structures our time and imposes a rhythm in or lives.
Joanne B. Ciulla
“The trouble with unemployment is that you never get a day off.”
“I am a great believer in luck and the harder I work the more I have of it.”
“Things that are bad for business are bad for the people who work for business.”
“Work is more fun than fun.”
“What counts is not the number of hours you put in, but how much you put in the hours.”
“I like to work half a day. I don’t care if it’s the first twelve hours or the second twelve hours. I just put in my half every day. It keeps me out of trouble.”
“Every man’s work is a portrait of himself.”
“Term, holidays, term holidays, till we leave school, and then work, work, work till we die.”
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
~C. Northcote Parkinson
“If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them high principles, the just fear of God, and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.”
“I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man.”
“Work is the best of narcotics, providing the patient be strong enough to take it. I dread idleness as if it were Hell.”
“The real essence of work is concentrated energy, people who really have that in a superior degree by nature are independent of the forms and habits and artifices by which less able and active people are kept up to their labors.”
“Some who are not paid what they are worth ought to be glad.”
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
“An idea is not worth much until a man is found who has the energy and the ability to make it work.”
“Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”
~Philip Dormer Stanhope
“People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.”
“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”
“Before you rob your first bank, knock off a couple of gas stations.”
“Labor, if it were not necessary for existence, would be indispensable for the happiness of man.”
“Too many people quit looking for work when they find a job.”
“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?”
“When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work.”
“I encourage boldness because the danger of our seniority and pension plans tempt a young man to settle in a rut named security rather than find his own rainbow.”
“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”
“Behold the turtle: He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”
~James Bryant Conant
“The trick is to make sure you don’t die waiting for prosperity to come.”
“I make progress by having people around who are smarter than I amBand listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am.”
~Henry J. Kaiser
“The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”
“Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes; lesser ones exist on wishes and inclinations. The most glowing successes are but reflections of an inner fire.”
“A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.”
“A man can fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”
“I have no complex about wealth. I have worked hard for my money, producing things people need. I believe that the able industrial leader who creates wealth and employment is more worthy of historical notice than politicians or soldiers.”
~John Paul Getty
“The great companies did not know that the line between hunger and anger is a thin line.”
“All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have time to enjoy it.”
“Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life. Now it’s money.”
“Early to bed, early to rise, work like a dog and advertise.”
~Melvin Van Peebles
“Work and love, these are the basics. Without them there is neurosis.”
~Dr. Theodore Reik
“I think housework is the reason most women go to the office.”
“Your mental health will be better if you have lots of fun outside of that office.”
~Dr. William Menninger
“When white-collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy, but their personalities as well. They sell by the week, or month, their smiles and their kindly gestures, and they must practice that prompt repression of resentment and aggression.”
~C. Wright Mills
“More free time means more time to waste. The worker who used to have only a little time in which to get drunk and beat his wife now has time to get drunk, beat his wife Band watch TV.”
“The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race.”
~Eugene V. Debs
“Show me a country in which there are no strikes and I’ll show you that country in which there is no freedom.”
“Anybody who has any doubt about the ingenuity or the resourcefulness of a plumber never got a bill from one.”
“If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.”
“No tin-hat brigade of goose-stepping vigilantes or Bible-babbling mob of blackguarding and corporation-paid scoundrels will prevent the onward march of labor.”
~John L. Lewis
“Samuel Gompers spent his life trying to keep Labor from working too hard, and he certainly succeeded beyond his own dreams.”
“Labor unions are the worst thing that ever struck the earth because they take away a man’s independence.”
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.”
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“People don’t look for kinds of work any more, ma’am, he answered impassively. They just look for work.”
“If you leave your work for one day, you’ll be out of practice for three.”
“Those who work their minds rule; those who work with their backs are ruled.”
“To do his work well a workman must first sharpen his tools.”
“If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.”
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
“We must be dreamers and doers who can help make the dream of a better life possible for tens of thousands of workers and their families in all disciplines.”
“The grapevine is the most effective, but unreliable mode of communications in the workplace.”
~A. McArthur Irvin
“An employer who fails to manage change will soon be involved in managing discontent.”
~A. McArthur Irvin
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
“Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.”
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”
“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?”
~Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen)
“As regards intellectual work, it remains a fact, indeed, that great decisions in the realms of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual, working in solitude.”
“Looking for a job is a full-time job. You just don’t want it to become a career.”
“As a society, Americans attribute noble qualities to work.”
~Secretary of Labor Task Force
“Do something, even if it is wrong.”
~Saying attributed to Army
“The late 20th century male particularly defines himself as a worker, much more than as a family man or a member of a religious community. So when he strikes out, he strikes out at the most significant part of his world.”
“There is increasing evidence that an unsatisfactory work environment B work overload, lack of control over one’s work, non-supportive supervisors or co-workers, limited job opportunities, role ambiguity or conflict, rotating shift-work and machine-paced work — may contribute to psychological disorders.”
~Centers for Disease Control
“It is difficult to soar with eagles B when you work with turkeys.”
“Working people are brighter than we think. Their jobs may be drab, but they transcend them.”
“Many of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit.”
“Ought not there be an increment, earned though not yet received, from one=s daily work Can acknowledgment of man’s being?”
“Those persons who want by the yard and try by the inch need to be kicked by the foot.”
~W. Willard Wirtz
“Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.”
“Never mistake motion for action.”
“The shortest answer is doing the thing.”
“I know hardly anyone who works too hard. I believe in hard work and long hours of work. Men do not breakdown from overwork, but from worry and from plunging into dissipation and efforts not aligned with their work.”
~Charles E. Hughes
“Unpaid work never commands respect.”
~Harriot Stanton Blatch
“Work though we must, our jobs do not automatically determine our priorities concerning our marriages, our children, our social life, or even our health. It’s still life, constrained as it may be by limited disposable income or leisure time, and we’re still responsible for making it something we enjoy or endure.”
~Melinda M. Marshall
“Courage, determination, and hard work are all very nice, but not so nice as an oil well in the backyard.”
“Work saves us from melancholy. Pleasure exposes us to it.”
“It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.”
~John Stuart Mill
“No man goes before his timeCunless the boss leaves early.”
“Nothing of a worthwhile, durable nature in the world has ever been produced with sweat.”
“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.”
“The greatest producer of real work is necessity.”
“Work is life, you know, and without it, there’s nothing but fear and insecurity.”
“There are far too many people in the world who live without working, and far too many who work without living.”
“He that will not live by toil Has no right on English soil!”
“Being forced to work and forced to do your best, will bred in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.”
“Toil is the true knight’s pastime.”
“I don’t like workCno man does, but I like what is in work: the chance to find yourself, your own realityCfor yourself, not for othersCwhat no other man can ever know.”
“Work is valued by the social value of the worker.”
“Labor itself is but a sorrowful song, The protest of the weak against the strong.”
“To generous souls, every task is noble.”
“His sole concern with work was considering how he might best avoid it.”
“Pennies do not come from heaven — they have to be earned here on earth.”
“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”
“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson
“We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.”
~John Dos Passos
“Hard work. Well, that’s all right for people who don’t know how to do anything else. It’s all right for people who aren’t lucky. But once you’re lucky, you don’t have to work for other people. You make them work for you.”
“Work is and always has been my salvation and I thank the Lord for it.”
~Louisa May Alcott
“Love and work are viewed and experienced as totally separate activities motivated by separate needs. Yet, when we think about it, our common sense tells us that our most inspired, creative acts are deeply tied to our need to love and that, when we lack love, we find it difficult to work creatively; that work without love is dead, mechanical, sheer competence without vitality, that love without work grows boring, monotonous, lacks depth and passion.”
“The function of work is to provide man with a living: not for the purpose of enlarging his capacities to create. The social meaning of work derives from the acts of creation it makes possible.”
“Treat people as adults. Treat them as partners; treat them with dignity; treat them with respect. Treat them B not capital spending and automation B as the primary source of productivity gains. These are the fundamental lessons from the excellent companies research. In other words if you want productivity and the financial reward that goes with it, you must treat your workers as your most important asset.”
~Thomas J. Peters
“Work becomes at once a delight and a tyrant. For even when the time comes and you can relax, you hardly know how.”
~Alice Foote MacDougall
“The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.”
“I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.”
“This is the advent of automation, which in a few decades probably will empty the factories and liberate mankind from its oldest most natural burden, the burden of laboring and the bondage to necessity. Freedom from labor is not new; it once belonged among the most firmly established chores of the few.”
“Work to survive, survive by consuming, survive to consume: the hellish cycle is complete.”
“You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.”
“Work is love made visible.”
“I don’t have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it.”
“Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.”
“Home is where I work and I work everywhere.”
“The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.”
“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them.”
“Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.”
“Change before you have to.”
“The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.”
“I don’t know that there are any shortcuts to doing a good job.”
~Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.”
“Getting fired is nature’s way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place.”
“When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.”
~Henry J. Kaiser
“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
~Frank Lloyd Wright
“I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
“Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.”
“If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.”
~Darryl F. Zanuck
“If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.”
“It’s not the employees you fire that make your life miserable; it’s the ones you don’t”
“You can be a tremendous success and only work half-days. It doesn’t matter if you work the first twelve hours or the second twelve hours.”
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.”
“You are whom you are, not what you do”
~ Harvey Pennick
“I was looking for a job when I found this one”
“My heart is in the work”
~ Andrew Carnegie