25 of the best career tips from female celebrities

Posted by
Jasmine Andersson

Success is such an intangible concept, that it feels as though we might never know if we’re truly bossing it. 

And, as women, we’ve got a lot to contend with. From bouts of imposter syndrome to the stubborn gender pay gap, it can sometimes feel as though success is but a distant dream. 

But that’s where we’re wrong. Even some of the most successful women in history had to fight through adversity to make it to the top – but they did make it. So, without further ado, we’ve collated some of the best gems of A-lister career advice, to get you through each working day. 

Peruse the gallery below for pearls of wisdom to take with you into the boardroom...

Images: Rex Features

  • Beyoncé

    “Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.”

  • JK Rowling

    “You have to be open-minded when those early opportunities present themselves; take advantage of them whether they’re going to make you a lot of money or not.”

  • Michelle Obama

    “Don’t be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered … Lead by example with hope, never fear.”

  • Arianna Huffington

    “Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone to success”

  • Amy Poehler

    “Remember, the more difficult you are early in your career, the less you will work and the better the work will be.” 

  • Angelina Jolie

    “I don’t believe in regret, I feel everything leads us to where we are and we have to just jump forward, mean well, commit and just see what happens.”

  • Cher

    “Women have to harness their power—it’s absolutely true. It’s just learning not to take the first ‘no’. And if you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.” 

  • Barbra Streisand

    “Stay true to yourself. People respond to authenticity.”

  • Bette Davis

    “Being called very, very difficult is the beginning of success. Until you're called very, very difficult you're really nobody at all.”

  • Rihanna

    “Keep your eyes on the finish line and not on the turmoil around you.” 

  • Jane Fonda

    "Stay curious, stay interested. It’s much more important to be interested than to be interesting."

  • Tina Fey

    “’Yes, and…’ is one of the most important phrases in life. To me, YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute.”

  • Kristen Wiig

    "You have to do what you really, really, really, really want to do, even if it scares the s-t out of you."

  • Bobbi Brown

    “Whether you are a stay-at-home mum, or on the red carpet, or in Afghanistan, the better you feel, the better you do your job."

  • Laverne Cox

    “There are lessons in everything. The bad, the good. Our job is to listen, and to continue to learn, so that maybe we get better at this. Maybe get a better life.” 

  • Alicia Keys

    “I thought I had to be perfect. I would often make choices I thought would make everyone else happy. I lived at a pace that was “good for my career,” whether it was good for me or not. I have learned how important it is to check in with myself and listen, really listen.”

  • Madonna

    "Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support, and enlightened by."

  • Grace Coddington

    “I only do things that are fun. I don’t ever want to do things that are boring. If you do things that are boring, you don’t put your heart and soul into it and it’s a waste of time.”

  • Lupita Nyong’o

    "You fail, and then what? Life goes on. It's only when you risk failure that you discover things."

  • Melissa McCarthy

    “I think if anyone tells you the odds are slim, just keep walking. Just do whatever the hell you want to do, because they don't know what they're talking about. When you love something, and you work really really hard at it, you can do it.” 

  • Alesha Dixon

    “Do something that, when you wake up every day, makes you smile. Being happy is more important than anything else.”


  • Maggie Smith

    “Don’t be so nervous about everything.”

  • Helen Mirren

    “Women have got to stop being polite. If I ever had children, which I don't, the first thing I'd teach a girl of mine is the words 'f - off.' 

  • Hillary Clinton

    “‘You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that.”

  • Mindy Kaling

    “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.” 

  • Lady Gaga

    "I feel sad when I'm overworked and I just become a moneymaking machine and my passion and creativity take a backseat. That makes me unhappy. So what did I do? I started to say no. I'm not doing that. I don't want to do that... And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am." 

  • Joan Rivers

    “If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present is”

  • Shonda Rhimes

    “I was going to say yes to all the things that scared me, that made me nervous, that freaked me out, that made me think I'm going to look foolish doing it. Anything that took me out of my comfort zone I was going to do it, if asked to do it."

  • Amy Poehler

    “You can't do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own.”

  • Ellen Degeneres

    “Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and lost and you see a path. Then, by all means, follow that path.”

  • Nora Ephron

    “It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened: You can always change your mind.”

  • Maya Angelou

    "My paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, gave me advice that I have used for 65 years. She said, 'If the world puts you on a road you do not like, if you look ahead and do not want that destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to you place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a new path.'"


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez  

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