115 Work Ethic Quotes to Motivate Your Efforts

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Wanna know the secret for lasting success in your career?

Talent and strong connections can only get you so far. To get ahead, get on top, and stay there, you need strong work ethics.

Signs of Good Work Ethic

Hard work and discipline are the foundation of a formidable work ethic. The following are some of the signs that someone possesses this attitude:

  • Being punctual. Arriving on time for work, meetings, and other appointments signals that a person understands the value of time and is disciplined enough to manage it well.
  • Produces quality work. Whether they are working under someone else’s supervision or not, a person with strong a work ethic will consistently get their job done properly and on time.
  • Embodies professionalism. Not only are people with positive work ethic dressed appropriately for the type of work they do, they are also respectful and polite in their interactions with others. More importantly, they refuse to participate in workplace gossip.
  • Understands work-life balance. Many people think that, in order to be successful, they have to disregard other aspects of their lives and focus solely on their jobs. Instead, the opposite is true. A person with strong a work ethic can work as hard as the job demands, but still takes the necessary time out for self-care. This ensures that they are at their optimal level of health and well-being.

Most employers view employees with strong work ethics as assets to the workplace. Often, these employees have more opportunities for career advancement and pay raises.

115 Best Work Ethic Quotes to Inspire You

If you’re ready to be recognized as someone who is dependable and has good work habits, let the following work ethic quotes be your beacon as you work your way to success.

  1. Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein
  2. What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” – Jason Fried
  3. Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
  4. Work ethic is important because, unlike intelligence, athleticism, charisma, or any other natural attribute, it's a choice.” – Mike Rowe
  1. I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird
  2. There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
  3. Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich
  4. If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  5. Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close
  6. Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” – Arnold Palmer
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  1. Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” – William Arthur Ward
  2. Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
  3. Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” – Tim Fargo
  4. Genes can’t make you successful if you’re not doing the work.  Yes, it’s possible that the ripped trainer at the gym has better genes, but if you haven’t put in the same reps, it’s impossible to say if you have been dealt a better or worse genetic hand.  Until you work as hard as those you admire, don’t explain away their success as luck.” – James Clear
  5. Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly
  6. Don’t work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Don’t work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

  1. Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.” – Frank Ocean
  2. Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” – Ann Landers
  3. Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela
  4. When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  5. Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan
  6. You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” – Stephen C. Hogan
  7. I have a work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it.” – Viggo Mortensen
  8. The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” – Muhammad Ali
  9. Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.” – Robert Half
  10. I learned the value of hard work by working hard.” – Margaret Mead
  11. What you do in practice is going to determine your level of success. I used to tell my players, ‘You have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.’” – John Wooden
  12. Everyone talks about age, but it’s not about age. It’s about work ethic. Winning never gets old.” – Lisa Leslie
  13. Professionalism shouldn’t be defined by a person’s paycheck, role or title. It should be defined by a person’s work ethic.” – Janna Cachola
  14. Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.” – Zig Ziglar
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  1. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
  2. Ideas don’t work for people unwilling to do the work.” – Robin Sharma
  3. You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – your training.  That’s where your roadwork shows.  If you cheated on that in the dark of morning, you’re getting found out now, under the bright lights.” – Joe Frazier
  4. The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!” – Marvin Phillips
  5. If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo
  6. Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.” – Idowu Koyenikan
  7. Developing a good work ethic is a key to success. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.” – Tyler Perry
  8. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein
  9. The best way to learn is by doing. The only way to build a strong work ethic is getting your hands dirty.” – Alex Spanos
  10. Every beautiful mind has great dreams, but rarely is anyone ever ready to work hard for their dreams.” – Terry Mark
  11. I never feared about my skills because I put in the work. Work ethic eliminates fear. So if you put forth the work, what are you fearing? You know what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not.” – Michael Jordan
  12. If you've got the confidence and the work ethic, you can make any dream come true.” – Bret Hart
  13. You have to have a work ethic, and you have to be educated in what you're doing. You have to take it seriously. It doesn't mean that everything you do has to be serious. But you've got to have the tools.” – Jakob Dylan
  14. Choices and decisions must be supported by your passion, resolve, and a productive work ethic. If these meet opportunity, your success has finally come!” – Archibald Marwizi
  15. The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” – Steve Jobs

The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” – Steve Jobs

  1. 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.
  2. Keep working even when no one is watching.” – Alex Morgan
  3. All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.” – Eric Thomas
  4. At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” – Erin Cummings
  5. Across professions, consistency is a direct product of work ethic.” – Harsha Bhogle
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  1. If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” – Ben Hogan
  2. We didn't have a lot when I was growing up, and it's the best thing that happened to me because I appreciate everything. I developed a strong work ethic, and I don't take anything for granted.” – Sarah Jessica Parker
  3. Do not worry about who gets the credit or praise of the work done. Continue work to give your best. Your reward may come unexpectedly.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
  4. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
  5. A lot about this industry is about who you know. If you set a really good example for yourself, and someone likes that, then they might recommend you to someone else. It doesn't matter what job you're in, any profession, it's always the same.” – Tom Holland
  6. I never took the work less than serious, my work ethic is ingrained in me. But I've always had a sense of humor about myself.” – George Hamilton
  7. Live by the creed that a strong work ethic, playing by the rules, and doing things the right way will bring about opportunities for success and, ultimately, happiness.” – Nick Saban
  8. The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.” – Wayne Gretzky
  9. Change starts with YOU. When you step up, you invite others to step up, too.” – Mandy Hale
  10. Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
  11. There’s a lot that’s out of your control, but the one thing that you can control is your work ethic.” – Christen Press
  12. The harder I work, the luckier I become.” – Terry Pratchett
  13. Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions.” – Maria Razumich-Zec
  14. For me the starting point for everything – before strategy, tactics, theories, managing, organizing, philosophy, methodology, talent, or experience – is work ethic. Without one of significant magnitude, you’re dead in the water.” – Bill Walsh
  15. Trying hard and working hard is its own reward. It feeds the soul. It affirms your will and your power. And it radiates from you, lighting the way for all those who see you.” – Charles M. Blow
  16. You can work really hard in your job and make a living. You can work really hard on yourself and make a fortune. Love your life, and leave a legacy worth remembering.” – Dan Miller
  17. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
  18. Our father taught us such a work ethic that if there’s something worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” – Donny Osmond
  19. A good example has twice the value of good advice.” – Albert Schweitzer

A good example has twice the value of good advice.– Albert Schweitzer

  1. Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.” – Winston Churchill
  2. Today, I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice
  3. You will never win if you don’t deal with your work ethically. All that you need to do is to stick to your principles; morals are relative.” – Ranveer Singh
  4. Work miracles by setting a good example. Others will catch your spirit! The power of a good example is the greatest miracle-working power of all.” – Wilferd Peterson
  5. I believe work is good. There is dignity in work. I also believe that a hard-work ethic forges strong leaders.” – Mike Krzyzewski
  6. Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” – Mohandas Gandhi
  7. Inspiration and work ethic — they ride right next to each other.” – Jack White
  8. In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffet
  9. Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.” – Alan Schoenfeld
  10. You can control two things—your work ethic and your attitude about anything.” – Ali Krieger
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  1. Work ethic must exceed the expectation level.” – Tom Coughlin
  2. How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard
  3. The first qualification for success in my view is a strong work ethic.” – Henry Ford II
  4. The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  5. The pen isn’t really the weapon — the work ethic is the weapon.” – Lemon Andersen
  6. You need lofty goals. Then cement it with a great work ethic.” – Jerry West
  7. I was taught a very strong work ethic that included punctuality, which I've always felt is a sign of respect for others.” – Nicole Kidman
  8. Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.” – Anonymous
  9. Money doesn’t know about clocks, schedules or holidays and you shouldn’t either. Money loves people that have great work ethic.” – Grant Cardone
  10. Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas
  11. Have a clear plan or strategy to translate your success philosophy into desired results. Adopt an effective work ethic, with a laser-focus and requisite execution strategies to produce results.” – Archibald Marwizi
  12. Believe passionately in what you do, and never knowingly compromise your standards and values. Act like a true professional, aiming for true excellence, and the money will follow.” – David Maister
  13. Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” – Shonda Rimes
  14. I’m proud of my hard work. Working hard won’t always lead to the exact things we desire. There are many things I’ve wanted that I haven’t always gotten. But, I have a great satisfaction in the blessings from my mother and father, who instilled a great work ethic in me both personally and professionally.” – Tamron Hall
  15. I know what I need to work on; I know my weaknesses, but I have that work ethic to improve every day. I have that want to be the best player at my position, and I have the belief in myself that one day that will come true.” – Justin Tuck
  16. Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.” – Mary Lou Retton
  17. Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.” – Brian Tracy
  18. I don’t know what your future is, but if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory — then you will not regret it.” – Chadwick Boseman
  19. My father was a watchmaker and an inventor. I saw him working in the house every day. The work ethic, I got from him. He worked hard and he never complained about it.” – Carl Reiner

My father was a watchmaker and an inventor. I saw him working in the house every day. The work ethic, I got from him. He worked hard and he never complained about it.” – Carl Reiner

  1. Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.” – Patrick Suskind
  2. Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.” – Joseph Sugarman
  4. The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
  5. There is no magic wand that can resolve our problems. The solution rests with our work and discipline.” – Jose Eduardo dos Santos
  6. I often warn people: Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” – George Carlin
  7. Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” – Dr. Seuss
  8. If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life, there are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee
  9. To be persuasive we must be believable, to be believable. We must be credible, to be credible. We must be truthful.” – Edward R. Murrow
  10. Without hard work and discipline, it is difficult to be a top professional.” – Jahangir Khan
  11. The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence.” – Charles Swindoll
  12. There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” – Indira Gandhi
  13. I am not afraid of work. The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did.” – Chinua Achebe
  14. Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as a punishment, and that’s the difference.” – Lou Holtz
  15. Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel
  16. I can teach anyone how to do the work, but I can’t teach work ethic and I can’t teach attitude.” – Laura Tanner
  17. It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.” – Helen Keller

Final Thoughts About Work Ethic Quotes

We hope that this collection of quotes about having a strong work ethic can ignite that spark to help you accomplish greater things in the workplace.

You may have found a favorite quote or two from the 115 featured here today. If so, feel free to re-tweet them. Also, if you love any of the artwork in this post, a share through your social media platform of choice is appreciated.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for more resources about career success, here are some articles that are worth a read:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..

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