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30 Work Quotes to Motivate Young People

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor, advocates for life with maximum productivity and minimal amount of stress in the workplace.

30 Work Quotes to Motivate Young People

30 Work Quotes to Motivate Young People

Millennials are possibly the largest generation in the workforce (according to several research groups), and many employers are frustrated with their work ethic. Even as they blame their substandard performances on misunderstandings with their bosses, many of them are denied promotions or are being fired. Obviously, not every young person demonstrates an intolerable attitude, but J.T. O'Donnell (Founder and CEO of WorkItDaily) has seen enough in various studies to make three general observations about them.

  1. They show no sense of responsibility toward the improvement of their capabilities; they wait on the employer to spell out the next step, or to find resources for their self-development.
  2. They lack drive and professionalism; they put in the least amount of time, and demand much flexibility in how and when they do their jobs.
  3. They are easily dissatisfied. When the novelty of the new job wears off in a few months, they complain and get ready to quit.

The following three groups of quotes aim to motivate the young people in the form of daily or weekly posts on the bulletin board, as ice-breaker topics in staff meetings, or in any other way that will grab their attention.

Sense of Responsibility

(1) Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, "Certainly I can!" Then get busy and find out how to do it. (Theodore Roosevelt)

(2) Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you. (Henri Frédéric Amiel)

(3) Whatever you are doing, you are making manhood. Half-hearted work makes only half a man. (Bob Burdette)

(4) Though [the ants] have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. (Proverbs 6: 7,8)

(5) Responsibility to yourself means . . . learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work. (Adrienne Rich)

(6) What the society thinks is of no interest to me. All that's important is how I see myself. I know who I am. I know the value of my work. (Robin Sharma)

(7) If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development. (Brian Tracy)

(8) If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them. (David Thoreau)

(9) To become a master at any skill, it takes the total effort of your heart, mind, and soul working together in tandem. (Maurice Young)

(10) You can either complain about how hard your life is, or you can realize that only you are responsible for it. (Glenn Beck)

Drive and Professionalism

(11) Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people. (Proverbs 22:29)

(12) The smallest thing, well done, becomes artistic. (William Matthews)

(13) How can you expect to do a great thing well when you half do the little things? These are the stepping stones to the great things. (Orison Swett Marden)

(14) No great work is ever done in a hurry. . . To do anything great requires time, patience and perseverance. (W. J.Wilmont Buston)

(15) Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Ephesians 6:7)

(16) A professional is one who does his best work when he feels the least like working. (Frank Lloyd Wright)

(17) Open your mind before you open your mouth. (Subroto Bagchi)

(18) Dress how you want to be addressed. (Bianca Frazier)

(19) Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work. (Gustave Flaubert)

(20) Without hard work and discipline it is difficult to be a top professional.
(Jahangir Khan)


(21) Do your best, not because your work is worth it, but because you are. (Young People’s Weekly)

(22) Three men, all engaged at the same employment, were asked what they were doing. One said he was making five dollars a day. Another replied that he was cutting stone. The third said he was building a cathedral. . . He [the third] saw further and more clearly. (Omaha Bee)

(23) This is my work. . . Of all who live, I am the one by whom this work can best be done in the right way. (Henry Van Dyke)

(24) No task is too small to be done well. For the man who is worthy, who is fit to perform the deeds of the world, even the greatest, sooner or later the opportunity to do them will come. (G. W. Goethals)

(25) A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing. (George Bernard Shaw)

(26) Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. (Proverbs 12:24)

(27) A young man’s message to young men . . .First, what success means: the doing well of whatever he does in whatever position he is. Second, the price of success: hard work, patience and a few sacrifices. (Edward Bok)

(28) Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. (Proverbs 13:11)

(29) How to win in life: work hard; complain less; listen more; try, learn, grow; don't let people tell you it can’t be done; make no excuses. (Germany Kent)

(30) Don’t you dare think about giving up! EVERYTHING has a process. Work with the process, not against it. Move forward with purpose and never stop believing. You can do this! (Stephanie Lahart )

Opinion Poll

© 2018 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 14, 2019:

Alyssa, thanks for your encouragement. Happy that you are following my quotes. I appreciate you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 14, 2019:

Alyssa, thanks for your encouragement. Happy that you are following my quotes. I appreciate you.

Alyssa from Ohio on January 14, 2019:

These are great quotes! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 27, 2018:

Thanks, Lawrence. I also listened to that speech. I appreciate your input of that very practical quote.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 18, 2018:


Some really good sayings here

I've got one to add to this that I watched a famous actor use the other day.

"I've learned more from my failures than I ever learned from my successes"

(Denzel Washington)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 18, 2018:

Natalie, Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Thanks for your kind, supportive comment.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on November 17, 2018:

These are great quotes, Dora, and framing it based on the three general observations about them is a terrific way to present it. I particularly like the quote by Germany Kent. Happy Thanksgiving.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 06, 2018:

Thanks, Marlene. The story you shared about your father is a great illustration of the message we share here. Thanks very much for your input.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 05, 2018:

These are all very inspirational quotes. As I was reading through the responses, the comment by Rajan Singh Jolly's uncle caught my attention because a long time ago, when my dad first retired from the military, the only job he could find to feed a family of seven was to be a janitor and sweep the floor of one of the largest companies in the area. Well, when the executives saw how well he did sweeping the floor (after just one day), they offered him a better position. Over time, he became a manager and then retired from that job with great honor. I think German Kent (#29) regarding commitment says it well.

Antonio50S on November 01, 2018:

Ok, if MsDora allows, i will explain.

I "don't believe" independent thinkers have all the answers to all challenges, it's about making the faith "personal to ourselves" and depends on whether the faith group or religious organization is helping you to do that.

There's benefits to large religious organizations as well with set rules, but human beings being what they are, "imperfect" those same rules can be open to abuse as well.

It's all about the Gospel message. How can you become "all things to all men" obviously not literally, when your in an organization that's inflexible and satisfies only you ?

I don't have all the answers and don't need to either. I'ts about agreeing to disagree, and realising that some things are more important than our own personal views. It's all about reaching and helping others.

As i said i don't have all the answers, i'm just human like all the rest, but i do know God can bypass any religious organizations, even the laws of nature to reach you, me, or any individual.

Our faith is not dependant on anything or anybody, i'ts between us and God.

Like ( Rich Mullins ) American singer and Gospel singer from Nashville said, ( it's not where we go, it's who we follow )

Rich is probably the only human being i really have respect for. Though he's not with us any longer, he literally gave away all his earnings from his musical career to feed the poor and to identify with them, but what i really like about Rich the most, he knew who he was, he knew all his faults and struggles, the most real person i come across yet.

Most Christian Hub Writers just want to make a name for themselves, or that's how it appears, but if we say anything that's ( not quite comfortable ) to our ears, we shut-off.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 31, 2018:

Hello, Antonio50S, What is mainstream faith group? Do independent thinker always have the answers to all challenges? Your should do yourself a lot of good if you can respond to the question. Thank you.

Antonio5OS on October 31, 2018:

To Mrs Dora. I hope some of my own comments have been a little helpful ? but won't be commenting any further on any of your pages or articles.

I'm not a people follower, and really don't feel comfortable saying anything for the benefit of large religious organizations ( Other Than Mainstream Faith Groups & Churches ) who think "independently" but as i said, hope some of my own comments have been helpful.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 29, 2018:

Rajan, your uncle comes from a generation which put value on integrity. We are privileged to have learned from them. Now, it's our duty to teach what they taught us. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 29, 2018:

Shaloo, so pleased to provide something refreshing for you. Hope that this new week will be less stressful.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 29, 2018:

Blossom, pleased to see you. I appreciate your kind comment. Here, I'm sharing the wisdom of others.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 29, 2018:

Very motivational; quotes. This reminds me of my maternal uncle who always says " Do your work better than what anyone else can do even if it is just sweeping the floor. Your work is bound to get noticed sooner or later". This attitude of complete devotion to work is something I learned from him when I started working.

Antonio50S on October 29, 2018:

One thing i noticed about the above quotes.

[ Not one of them is judgemental ] but truly motivational, but woud also like to add, we should "NEVER" be so busy as to avoid the bigger questions of life.

In Gods eyes, there's a purpose behind all things, including work.

Solomon may be seen as one of the wisest persons ever to live, but spent most his life doing the wrong things making huge mistakes, it took the teacher a whole life time to work this one out, and God made sure his experiences were recorded for our benefit for every generation till the master arrives.

( Ecclesiastes 12:13 ) "Ecclesia" meaning church or congregation in Greek.

"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man"

Only the creator of life knows the meaning and purpose of life & what we need to do to make us happy. God in the bible challenges people to put him to the test, test him out, but when things starts to work towards our favour, we may see it as coincidence, but it takes a while for us to "never forget in the light what we learn in the darkness"

Regarding them silver spooner's, got lots of them in my own families, they may have everything the world has to offer, but God knows how "poor in spirit" they are, the message is for them as well, "As you know"

To much wealth for "some" can distort reality, and the real meaning to life.

Shaloo Walia from India on October 28, 2018:

After a particularly stressful week at work, this hub comes as a perfect read. Thanks for sharing!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 28, 2018:

Denise, it's especially those born with silver spoons in their mouth, who need the motivation to earn for themselves. Still, at different times and in different circumstances, we all benefit from some motivation. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 28, 2018:

Bill, I'm hoping that the young (as well as the older) people will find them useful.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 28, 2018:

Some powerful quotes we should all take to heart, Dora. Thank you for the research on this one.

Antonio50S on October 27, 2018:

Under relative normal upbringing then yes, agree with the question you asked about the quotes.

All them work quotes are very good, youth need to read them, but also think the world we live in now is a differrent place from 30 years ago.

Cannot speak for all youths, but there's a lot young homeless people living on the streets with "mental health" issues. People walking past them, telling them to get a job when they don't know anything about their backround or mental health state.

Not only do some of them come from broken homes with mental health issues, they even have to disguise their illness and pretend to be normal as well because of how society perceives them in public. Thst's hard work.

You have to exuse me for being a little defensive on these people who society condemns as unproductive. What they need is a sense of beloging, without pressure and judgements to conform to the norm. But everytime i hear a critical comment directed to the youth, or disadvantaged, i don't think they're trying to help them, they just judging and condemning them.

I know with my own ( past ) experience as a Jehovah's witness, i nearly lost one of my kids because of the blood issue, but in the end, it was the kids mom who died while the kids was young, not only did that cause me mental health issues, but also caused one of my kids to become homless as well with the same condition. In all of that, JWs did absolutely nothing to help.

So when i here anyone being judgemental or crytical towards the youth, "Especially" religious people, I'm wondering what's behind it ? Is it really to help them ? Or to make us feel we're doing something right in the eyes of God ? None of us are good & none of us are judges. We all have a mixure of good and bad.

The quotes are about "motivation" not judgements. None of us really knows the psychological make up and needs of the individual, Only God knows that, so never judge.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 26, 2018:

Hello, Antonio50S, Yes, youths have a voice. Lately, it is being suggested that youths should come first. But my input is that youths of whom I was some 30-years ago (I am now 64-years should work harder in tandem with the 30 quotes. Don't you agreed? Thank you.

Antonio50S on October 26, 2018:

With all this talk of youth and the younger generation, a song comes to mind.

"Youth of today" "Musical youth"

Don't blame the youth, don't take us for fools :) they have a voices to.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 26, 2018:

Hello, Dennis, I agreed with you. I was talking about hard work just yesterday. My 8-year old girl today told me she wants just 50 cent from me to trade with...making juice. I gave in. She gain 40 cent! Many young men I think dare not venture younder.

It seems when parents have lots of money nowadays, the tendency is to spoil the boys or girls with money to spent on flimsy items. Thank you.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on October 26, 2018:

These are awesome quotes for anyone wanting to have more motivation in life! They remind me of some of the sayings I remember hearing as a teenager, like "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" Many of our youth today have had little experience working for what they need. Much of their lives, things have been handed to them just for asking. I see that often in families I know.

Antonio50S on October 26, 2018:

About number ( 1 ) "sense of responsobility"

That was funny.

Brother-in-law a few years ago was asking me how to get this job in a large company paying good money, but had no experience.

Said to him, "Just tell them you can do it" and when the time comes you soon find yourself doing it & learning fast at the same time.

Years later, Brother-in-law is still thanking me for that advice, but it was his motivation that got him the Job :)

Antonio50S on October 26, 2018:

P.s. just like to add, also understand that "procrastinating" now" as well.

A bit like work & motivation.

Paul, though in prison, felt like a "Free Man" Felix, a Free Man was a prisoner of his own thinking.

We can become prisoners as well depending on our own attitudes on work, not facing things head on in life.

If we are going to make the effort to get up, go to work, then "enjoy it" or else, stay at home. That was the advice given to a waitress, It worked. Next day that waitress changed her whole attitude towards work. Motivations are linked to attitudes. Closely related.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV

"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you ( we ) are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom"

But any future life given us will be dependant on our attitudes.

Never take things to personal, because we just don't know, one day, our own thinking can make a complete U turn. That will be the day we become real adults.

Antonio50S on October 25, 2018:

Really appreciate you thinking of the "Millennials"

Some of them are trying very hard, but this i would like to say to them, [ No matter what the work is, having the right "attitude" towards it can lead to "motivation" ] A life of "constant pleasure" with everything given us, would soon become meaningless.

As mentioned, real wealth comes from hard work, that's the wealth we will enjoy the most. ( Proverbs 13:11 )

"Glad you thought of the Millennials"

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2018:

21 -23 are just great. I suppose I have a living to write.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 25, 2018:

Susan, thanks for your input. Hope those who need help in those ares you mentioned will be motivated by some of these quotes.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 25, 2018:

I agreed.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on October 24, 2018:

Love you message of encouragement here! You have some great words of wisdom to share.

Susan Ream from Michigan on October 24, 2018:

Ms. Dora, Excellent words of wisdom. So many young people today don't understand commitment and submission in the workplace.

Thanks for these great inspirational quotes!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 24, 2018:

Hello, Dora, you are welcomed.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 24, 2018:

Thank you, Liz. I agree that no matter our ages, we can use some of this motivation to keep us going.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 24, 2018:

Eric, glad to have your support. I think you are among the greatest motivators your children have. You all are blessed to have each other.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 24, 2018:

Miebakagh, thank you for such an encouraging forecast. Comments like yours motivate me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 24, 2018:

Linda, I fell in love with that quote also. True, some of us older ones still have to build foundation under the castles we built in the air during our youth. Hope the young can do it sooner.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 24, 2018:

Thanks, Manatita. You speak for the many who thrive on work.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 24, 2018:

You have put together a list of inspirational quotes for the young and not so young alike.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 24, 2018:

Once again you are fantastic. I am a baby boomer and my 3 millennial children have a better work ethic. Or maybe not?

I am bookmarking and coming back a few times as my comprehension work ethic goes a little slow.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 23, 2018:

Hi, ALL, this hub will trend for a long time. It has a bright future on the HubPages site. Persons outside the hub pages circle on search will find it useful. Business peoples will find it useful. Students will find it useful. I am yet to see a soul who needs improvement, encouragement, inspiration, direction, and advancement that can not benefit, except those lazy and useless who does not want a change. Here MS Dora has written excellent tips for every person that has a listening heart. Blessings! And, have a lovely day!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 23, 2018:

This is another inspiring list of quotes, Dora. I love number eight. I think that's great advice for everyone, whatever their age.

manatita44 from london on October 23, 2018:

Good write. The young needs to read this. Some behave like your man JT O'Donnell says. Work has not done me any harm. In fact, it only makes me more productive. Useful quotes

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Thanks, Sean. Your students are fortunate to have your example.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Shauna, thanks for sharing. Your son is getting it each time you tell him. He's just not ready to show it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. It does help our attitude toward them to remember that we also demonstrate some of these shortcomings. So they can also learn to improve by watching us.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on October 23, 2018:

My dear Sister, I always say to my students that the only way to be happy and prosperous in their work is doing it with extra Love! Love and respect are the keys! You have done this Hub with Love and respect, and you are living proof of my words!

Admiration for your will to help!


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 23, 2018:

Great advice, Dora. My favorite is number ten. If our youth would only realize they have the power to succeed by knowing that they are responsible for what happens in life, they'll be much better off. I keep trying to drill this into my son. Hopefully, one day he'll get it.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 23, 2018:

I particularly like 29 and 30. We have millenials in the family and we follow their career quite closely. Each one is different and being in a group sort of encourages each one to do well. The tendencies are there towards slack but they do exist in us, too. These quotes are very inspiring. I will definitely share some with them.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Tim, thanks for your kind comment. Thanks also for the additional facts you gave about managers and employees. Video games and instant gratification contribute to the poor performance in the workplace; some young people want only fun and more fun.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on October 23, 2018:

Hello, Ms. Dora,

Superb article to help with inspiring young people in the work force. One thing I've read is that the younger kids are ones who grew up with video games and instant gratification. But in the workplace, you may have three generations of people working together. Managers have to figure out how to communicate with these groups because they all have slightly different values.

However, the quotes you wrote down here are timeless and should inspire the young, middle aged, and older workers. Wonderful article and you are always a writer who inspires the young Hubber as well as those who have been writing awhile.

Much respect and admiration,



Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

True, Devika. Some are lazy, but could they have learned that from some older folks? You are right though. Independence in itself should be a motivation.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Thanks, Jackie. You introduce another of their characteristics--hiding their tracks. Bosses have their work cut out for them.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Bill, your comment speaks much about who you are, your self-perspective and self-worth. Motivation is lacking when these aspects are missing. Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Thank you, Miebakagh. I appreciate your kind comment about the value you place on these quotes. So glad that you find them useful.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 23, 2018:

Thanks, Flourish. O'Donnell mentioned the parent-child relationship you mentioned. Some of the young people expect that kind of relationship with their bosses. They have some growing up to do!

Devika Primic on October 23, 2018:

I think young people are lazy to finish up their projects. I have observed how young people are where I live. most depend on their parents to move in their lives. Some are just lazy to work and earn their way to independence.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 23, 2018:

I have worked in more than one state at a number of jobs in my lifetime Dora and I found the youth divided between the first two of your list of attitude toward work. I hope they would take your advise. I am surprised they were not fired truthfully but the youth are really talented at covering their tracks. lol

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 23, 2018:

It is an interesting phenomenon, this lack of motivation. So foreign to me that I find myself not very understanding or sympathetic.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 23, 2018:

Hello, Dora, I have not seen such powerful quotes put into one piece of paper! These mean many things to me; hard work, initiative, discipline, resourceful, and all the ethics for a successful work life. I am bookmarking the page for reference. Thank you for sharing, and have a lovely day today!

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 22, 2018:

Oh, Dora, this is spot on for advice for those who are open to it. I found in the workplace that there was a desire among some of the young professionals for quick results, constant feedback and support, and high rewards, especially flexibility and promotions. (Wouldn’t we all love that?) Parents would sometimes call in to work to try to advocate for their adult child or would try to attend their job interviews. One must grow up sometime. Wonderful quotes.

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