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An Unexpected Use For Motivational Quotes? Ace Your Next High-Stakes Career Event

An Unexpected Use For Motivational Quotes? Ace Your Next High-Stakes Career Event

In a high-stakes event -- job interviewsalary negotiation, performance review, business pitch -- you want to be at your best from the start. In over 15 years of executive recruiting, I have hired thousands of job seekers across various levels and industries, and the best job interviews started off strong. From the time I met the candidate at reception, even the small talk was articulate and engaging. For other job interviews, however, it took time before the candidate warmed up, with performance improving only after the first few minutes into the interview.

You want to be at your best from the start. You need a way to harness your peak performance at will from the moment you enter the building – even if your commute was stressful, even if your nerves don’t cooperate. You need a trigger that instantly focuses you on this high stakes career event and commands you to perform at your best.

One such trigger is a motivational quote. Find one that inspires you and gets you pumped up. Write it on an index card. Read it right before you check in at Reception. This is a simple yet powerful tool to call on your best, help calm your nerves, and put you in a positive mood right before an otherwise stressful event. Here are some of my favorite call-to-action motivational quotes:

Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. – Napoleon Bonaparte

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. -- Thomas Edison

We are the hero of our own story. -- Mary McCarthy

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. -- Anatole France

Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain

No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty. - George Eliot

When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny. – Bertice Berry

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.' -- Mary Anne Radmacher

There are no limits. There are plateaus, and you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. -- Bruce Lee

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible...and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. - Christopher Reeve

I hope my achievements shall be these...that I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been. -- C. Hoppe

I don’t think in terms of failure….I don’t feel like anyone outside of me should be setting limitations.People should be encouraged to shoot for the moon. -- Whoopi Goldberg

The important thing is this:to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. -- Charles DuBois

I believe it is better to live a dream rather than to simply dream it.The dream is the start of something greater, something that impels us to make daring decisions.And it’s true that the person who pursues a dream takes many risks.But the person who does not runs risks that are even greater. -- Paulo Coelho

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.-- Peter Marshall

What is your favorite call-to-action motivational quote?


Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business coach with SixFigureStart®. She has worked with executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, Gilt, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, and other leading firms. Her latest book is Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career (Forbes Media, 2015). She also writes a weekly advice column on Forbes (where this post originally appeared).

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