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1. The emerging work paradox is that in a post-job world, only viable long-term career is to be a temp.

Anonymous. Quoted in Management Today (February 1995)


2. No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the choice of his profession.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-55) British novelist and poet. The professor (1857), ch. 4


3. People don’t choose their career; they are engulfed by them.

John Dos Passos (1896-1970) U.S. novelist. New York Times (October 25, 1959)


4. A young person entering the work force in 2000…has almost no chance of working for the same company even a decade hence. In this world people must take responsibility for their own futures. They cannot simply count on ascending a career ladder.

Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S> management consultant and academic. “Putting More Now Into The Internet,” (May 15, 2000)


5. The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world.

George Eliot (1819-80) British novelist. Daniel Deronda (1876)


6. Total commitment to family and total commitment to career is possible, but fatiguing.

Muriel Fox (b.1928) U.S. business executive. Quoted in “Wait Late to Marry,” New Woman (Barbara Jordan Moore; October 1971)


7. Unlike a straight academic career, you end up fully recognizing that hypotheses matter, that actions matter, and the ideas that you come up with matter.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Referring to his experience as Federal Reserve chairman. Speech accepting appointment to fourth term as U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, Washington, D.C. (January 4, 2000)


8. Portfolio working

Charles Handy (b.1932) British business executive and author. Referring to changing career patterns. The Age of Unreason (1989)


9. Tomorrow’s typical career will be neither linear nor continuous, nor will it always be upwards. Instead, one’s life work will take more of a zig-zag course.

Tom Horton (b.1926) U.S. chairman of American Management Association. Management Review (1990)


10. I’m just a guy who probably should have been a semi-talented poet on the Left Bank. I got sort of side-tracked here.

Steve Jobs (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, cofounder and C.E.O. of Apple Computer Company, and C.E.O. of Pixar, Fortune (October 1, 1984)


11. The power of the position is giving way to the power of the person. A formal title and its placement on an organization chart have less to do with career prospects and success…than the skills and ideas a person brings to that work.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter (b.1943) U.S. management theorist, academic, and writer. When Giants Learn to Dance: Mastering the Challenges of Strategy, Management and Careers in the 1990s (1992), ch.11


12. The traditional corporate career may soon share the fate of the dad-at-work-mom-at home-two-kids nuclear family: an oft-invoked ideal that applies to fewer and fewer people.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter (b.1943) U.S. management theorist, academic, and writer. When Giants Learn to Dance: Mastering the Challenges of Strategy, Management and Careers in the 1990s (1992), ch.11


13. In many corporations managers now work with one eye on their resume. Assignments that used to be seen in terms of their political value in the promotion game are now assessed for their resumr value.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter (b.1943) U.S. management theorist, academic, and writer. When Giants Learn to Dance: Mastering the Challenges of Strategy, Management and Careers in the 1990s (1992), ch.11


14. I suppose in my case shouting about all that stinking, rotten business going on in Washington simply takes the place of shouting at the devil.

Vivien Kellems (1896-1975) U.S. industrialist, feminist, and lecturer. Explaining why she didn’t succeed her father as a Disciples of Christ minister. Toil, Taxes, and Trouble (1952)


15. Your career is literally your business.

Theodore Levitt (b.1925) U.S. management theorist, writer and editor. Only the Paranoid Survive (1996)


16. Copywriters don’t usually run the company. But the great thing about this business is it isn’t really traditional.

Judy McGrath (b.1952) U.S. president of MTV. “MTV Honcho Judy McGrath,” (Jonathan Sapers; 2000)


17. I learned I was a better copywriter than writer-writer.

Judy McGrath (b.1952) U.S. president of MTV. Referring to why she left journalism. “MTV Honcho Judy McGrath,” (Jonathan Sapers; 2000)


18. The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.

  1. Wright Mills (1916-62) U.S. sociologist. The Power Elite (1956), ch. 1


19. I’ve got her tits but I didn’t want her career.

Tara Newley (b.1965) British actor. Referring to her mother, actor Joan Collins Style (August 2000)


20. The world’s best poker players don’t hanker for jobs in casino management.

Tom Peters (b.1942) U.S. management consultant and author. Liberation Management (1992)


21. Soon the emphasis will be on getting a life instead of a career, and work will viewed as a series of gigs or projects.

Jonas Ridderstrale, Swedish academic and author. Funky business (co-written with Kjell Nordstrom; 2000)


22. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.

Gloria Steinem (b.1934) U.S. entrepreneur, editor, and writer. Radio interview. LBC (April 2, 1984)


23. Project management is the furnace in which successful careers are made.

Thomas A. Stewart (b. 1948) U.S. journalist and author. Intellectual Capital (1997)


24. I should have worked just long enough to discover that I didn’t like it.

Paul Theroux (b.1941) U.S. travel writer. Observer Magazine (London) (1979)


25. Whether it’s choosing a career or deciding what charity to get involved with, the choice should come from your heart. Ultimately, you are the one who has to get up every morning and enjoy what you are doing, so make sure it matters to you.

Dave Thomas (1932-2002) U.S. founder of Wendy’s “Dave Thomas Serves up Advice for Graduates of All Ages,” USA Today (2000)


26. I got my start by giving myself a start. C.J. Walker (1867-1919) U.S. business executive. Quoted in On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker (A’Lelia Bundles; 2000)


27. Never burn bridges. Today’s junior prick, tomorrow’s senior partner.

Sigourney Weaver (b.1949) U.S. actor. Said as executive Katharine Parker, from the screenplay by Kevin Wade. Working Girl (1988)


28. Companies that have been around for 50 years are another world to me. I entered the technology arena the same year that Microsoft was started. And the arena has always felt like a meritocracy, though there were never many women.

Ann Winblad (b.1953) U.S. venture capitalist. “Women in the New Workplace,” BusinessWeek (Mica Schneider; 2000)


29. When you retire…you go from who’s who to who’s that, like stepping off the pier (or) achieving statutory senility.

Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. On retiring as chairman of Citibank Corp, New York Times (1985)