17 inspirational #passiton career tips from some famous women at the top of their game

‘You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that’, Hillary Clinton

Victoria Beckham ss17 show look
(Image credit: Giannoni/WWD/REX/Shutterstock)

‘You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that’, Hillary Clinton

It's time to banish the negative stereotype about women at work. Who says that two women working in the same office are naturally in competition with each other, or that female bosses are bitchy to their interns?

Most of us now recognise that sisterhood is key when it comes to business and helping other women up the ladder (instead of pulling it up after us) is better for everyone in the long run. In reality, many of us make our best female friends at work and are more likely to be cheering each other on.

As part of Marie Claire's #PASSITON campaign, we're encouraging women like you to contact us with your best piece of career advice you'd give to another women. And in the spirit of sharing the love, we've rounded up a few great tips from our favourite game changers along the way. So read on, and be inspired...

1. MICHELLE OBAMA ‘When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.’

2. CAITLIN MORAN ‘Always be nice to everybody. Don’t fall into the cynicism or sarcasm trap. I’m amazed at the amount of people on Twitter who’ll slag me off and then I’ll click on their bio and it will say they’re wannabe journalists or that they’re editors of magazines and newspapers and stuff and I take their names down and I write them on a little post-it that says “shit list” and when they come to me in a couple of months’ time and say “Can you tweet my blog?” I won’t.’

3. 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.’

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres

4. SHERYL SANDBERG ‘Women shouldn’t enter the workforce already looking for an exit. Don’t put on the brakes – keep a foot on the accelerator pedal right up until a decision has to be made.’

5. BEYONCÉ ‘The reality is, sometimes you lose. And you're never too good to lose, you're never too big to lose, you're never too smart to lose. It happens. And it happens when it needs to happen. And you have to embrace those things.’

6. HILLARY CLINTON ‘Too many young women I think are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others. Believe me, this is hard-won advice I’m putting forth. It’s not like you wake up and understand this. It’s a process.’

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
(Image credit: Rex Features)

7. HEIDI KLUM 'Success doesn’t happen by waiting for things to happen because there are other people who are hungry. The early bird catches the worm.’

8. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON ‘A key component of wisdom is fearlessness. Which is not the absence of fear, but rather not letting our fears get in the way.’

9. MINDY KALING ‘I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, “Is that OK?” after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and using phrases like “mark my words” like she is Clint Eastwood. How many women say stuff like that?’

10. 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.’


(Image credit: Rex)

11. TINA FEY ‘My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this: When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.’

12. VICTORIA BECKHAM 'I was never naturally the brightest of students. Then I went to theatre college and I was never the most talented. I have always had to work. Nothing has ever just landed in my lap.'

13. 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.’

14. AMY POEHLER ‘What I have discovered, is this: 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. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.’


15. OPRAH WINFREY ‘When you’re doing the work you’re meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you’re getting paid.’

16. MARY KATE AND ASHLEY ‘No is a full sentence.’

17. GLORIA STEINEM ‘I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children and a career. I’ve yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing.’

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.