33 Enlightening Career Quotes to Inspire Your Nonprofit Job Search

If you were to throw a dozen or so of the most successful professionals in a room and ask them what matters more in regards to achieving your goals –– one’s ability to work hard, or one’s ability to stay inspired –– there’s a fair chance a disagreement would break out.

This is hands down one of the most strongly debated topics in the professional world with both sides arguing what’s more important.

But why is this important to nonprofit professionals?

Well, because working in nonprofits is quite a bit different from working in corporations. Unlike the corporate world, nonprofits exists purely to support the hearts of people in need.

According to the National Council of Nonprofits, “They provide a way for people to work together for the common good, transforming shared beliefs and hopes into action. They give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblest causes.”

This in itself, is inspiring. And while we won’t pick a side in this debate, we will say this… it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you don’t have the purpose and intentions to put you on the right path.

When aspiring nonprofit professionals reach out to us about finding a fulfilling career in nonprofits, one of our Founder’s first pieces of advice: is to dig deeper into your inspiration, find your purpose and the intentions serving that purpose. Some of the best professionals we know, have built this foundation. They know not just “what” they need to do, but more importantly, “why” they need to do it.

So, we’re encouraging you to find the building blocks that will help you create a meaningful, fulfilling career in nonprofits.

What better place to pull inspiration for your career than from literature dedicated to that very purpose?

Below, you will find 33 enlightening quotes about how to land your dream job. They will help improve self-awareness. They will make you feel like reaching for something deeper. But, let them do more than this for you… let them serve as your trustworthy guide on your quest for a fulfilling career in nonprofits.

33 Enlightening Career Quotes to Inspire Your Nonprofit Job Search

By Founder, President & Author: Nurys Pedersen, Careers In Nonprofits


“Taking responsibility and deciding to Make Your Mark often times requires leaving the known for the unknown.”


“When you have dared asked those who seem to have a job they love, the answer is almost always the same: “I knew what I wanted and I went for it.”


“I plan, I prepare, and I accomplish. And so can you.”


“One of the main changes I made to get to where I wanted to be, was to connect with my Professional Identity, my true north star, and to only engage in work activities that kept it alive.”


“Having a Career Map on hand, designed and brought to life by you, will propel you forward with confidence, clarity, and a strong sense of who you really are, what you really want, and how you will get there.”


“Operating from a frustrated, fearful, doubtful, and unclear space will result in more of the same. You have to clear the space for wonderful things to happen.”


“Once you are in control and functioning in your Professional Identity, the outcomes will align with who you are and with your desires. Your presentation to the world will be genuine.”



“As you seek clarity, a great place to start is by asking yourself who you want to be in your new role. Not the job title, but who that person is who is going to show up at the interview, on the first day at work, and for every day thereafter.”


“Who you want to be and what you want to do are two completely different things, and being clear on each is essential.”


“Your Professional Identity will never let you down, confuse you, or act from ego.”


“Once you are clear on how you will show up, what role you will play, and what your Professional Identity is, be faithful to it. These don’t change with every interview or new job.”



“I highly encourage my clients to remain faithful to their Professional Identity throughout every step of the way. Take pride in it. You have gifts and talents that no one else has.”


“Taking the time to carefully craft your unique Career Map, bringing forth all the exciting goals you want to reach in your professional and personal life and why, will bring energy, drive, and motivation to your journey.”



“There is danger in looking outward for what only looking inward can give you. It starts with you. With your interests, your talents, your passion, and your destination.”


“Knowing your purpose allows you to show up and more easily communicate how you can make a difference within the organization and what makes you unlike others.”



“Purpose brings out the very best in people… It is that something that will pull you through on the bad days and that will help you assess your next steps.”


“One step forward with purpose gives way to the next step forward with purpose. Purpose breeds purpose. You can’t have too much of it. It is the energy behind your journey.”


“Nonprofits are interested in knowing that yes, you do have a passion for their mission, but what is your purpose behind it?”


“How do you know what your purpose is? By discovering your values. What do you value most?”


“Do something daily that moves the needle in all of your goals. Even if that is just making a call, sending an email, or doing research. Take an action that adds progress, not just movement.”


“… Purpose is inward and gives you meaning; intention is outward and is something you give of yourself to others. You give intention to your role, your organization, your team, and the world.”


“As you are committing to living your professional life on your terms, your intentions will help align with others along your path, as well as the projects and the outcomes that you are interested in pursuing.”


“The yearning for more will always be there if you don’t stop to figure out what it is and how to fulfill it.”


“Losing sight of the end goal as well as focusing on the wrong emotions will slow your progress.”


“Practicing being in an empowered state on a daily basis will help you manage your emotions and operate from a place of ease. Being gentle and patient with yourself during this process will keep you on course.”


“Remind yourself that you are not going to achieve your dreams in the safety of your comfort zone.”


“One mental hack that always helps and empowers me and my clients is thinking of the person they have to become to meet their goals, to envision how they will be different once they arrive at their destination.”


“Embarking on a journey that guarantees moving you along and arriving at a destination of your choice is your professional right and duty.”



“The impact a happy professional makes to the nonprofit sector and to the world is priceless.”


“Bringing others with you enhances the journey.”


“I’ve seen firsthand how successful professionals have made a dramatic turn for the better once they are in the driver’s seat with a clear vision of the road, a map in hand, and a compass.”


“Let your light shine bright. It doesn’t serve to play it small. Take risks, make smart moves.”


“Behind every happy and successful nonprofit professional, there is a Career Map.”

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