All custom calligraphy items are made-to-order in our little Beijing artwork-mounting workshop.

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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Career"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Devotion to your Profession / Career
  2. Realize Your Ambitions...
  3. Smooth Sailing
  4. Musashi
  5. New Life
  6. Live for What You Love
  7. New Beginning
  8. Life in Harmony / Balanced Life
  9. A Bright Future
10. Life in Harmony / Balanced Life
11. Karma
12. Success
13. 5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
14. Choose Life
15. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Devotion to your Profession / Career

China cóng shì
Japan jyuu ji
Devotion to your Profession / Career Wall Scroll

This word is often used to describe the devotion someone has to their profession - However, it can just mean career, depending on context. We don't highly-recommend this selection for a wall scroll.

In more simple terms, this word also means undertake / to deal with / to handle / to do. It does not have to refer to a career issue, as it could be used to encourage someone that is beginning their university studies etc.

This kind of makes sense in Japanese, however, there is a slight deviation in the way they write the first Kanji in Japanese.

Japanese for Devotion to ProfessionPlease note that Japanese use an alternate version of the first character. Click on the character to the right if you want the Japanese version of this two-character Devotion-to-your-Profession calligraphy.

Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success

China dà jiǎn hóng tú
Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success Wall Scroll

This four-character proverb is used in Chinese to mean "realize your ambitions" or "exhibit your ambition and success." It's used to talk about someone with great career ambitions. Almost literally, it expresses the idea of someone unfolding a great career like a map or a set of blueprint plans.

Very literally translated, these four characters mean, "Great unfolding of a huge map" or "Great exhibition of an colossal plan."

Smooth Sailing

China yī fán fēng shùn
Smooth Sailing Wall Scroll

一帆風順 is just what you think it means. It suggests that you are on a trouble-free voyage through life, or literally on a sailing ship or sail boat. It is often used in China as a wish for good luck on a voyage or as you set out on a new quest or career in your life. Some may use this in lieu of "bon voyage."

The literal meaning is roughly, "Once you raise your sail, you will get the wind you need, and it will take you where you want to go." Another way to translate it is "Your sail and the wind follow your will."

一帆風順 is a great gift for a mariner, sailor, adventurer, or someone starting a new career.

Note: Can be understood in Korean Hanja but rarely used.

See Also:  Bon Voyage | Adventure | Travel


The most famous Samurai
Japan mu sashi
Musashi Wall Scroll

武蔵 is the short title for a man long in legend. Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most famous Samurai in all of Japanese history. While coming from a lower class, his new sword and fighting techniques put him on par with the best that feudal Japan had to offer. His long career started with his first duel was at age 13!

He is credited both with using two swords at once, and never losing a single battle in his career. After becoming a Buddhist, and getting older, like many old warriors, he took up a peaceful and solitary life until his death around 1645 A.D.

Note: Technically, Musashi is his given name, and Miyamoto is his surname. However, it's suggested that he assumed both of these names, and also had a few other names at childhood, as well as being given a Buddhist name. It's hard to know what to call him, as with most Kanji, there are multiple pronunciations. The characters for Musashi can also be pronounced "Takezō." But, everyone in modern times seems to know him by the name Musashi.

New Life

Japan shin sei katsu
New Life Wall Scroll

This literally means "new life" or "new livelihood" in Japanese Kanji.

This word is most appropriate if you are starting a new career, or otherwise are starting a new chapter in your life or a new beginning.

Note: This is not the most common word selection for a calligraphy wall scroll. But if you're a westerner, you can bend the rules a bit.

Live for What You Love

Japan jin sei ou ka
Live for What You Love Wall Scroll

人生謳歌 means, "live for what you love" in Japanese.

The first two characters mean "human life" or simply "living." The last two characters mean, "merit," "prosperity," or "what you enjoy." This phrase can suggest working or staying busy for your own goals (in your career).

See Also:  Prosperity

New Beginning

China yī shǐ
New Beginning Wall Scroll

伊始 is a short version of "new beginning" or simply "beginning" in Chinese characters.

You can also translated this as "from this moment on," "starting now" or "henceforth."

In day-to-day speech, this word can apply to starting new job, beginning a new career, entering a new chapter of your life, or taking a new position (in politics, scholarship, etc).

Life in Harmony / Balanced Life

Japan cho wa sei katsu
Life in Harmony / Balanced Life Wall Scroll

This Japanese title suggests that you have, or want to get your life in balance.

The first two Kanji mean harmonious or in harmony.

The second two Kanji mean "life." More specifically this refers to your livelihood, career, and the daily activities that comprise your life or living.

A Bright Future

Incredible 10,000-Mile Flight of the Peng
China péng chéng wàn lǐ
A Bright Future Wall Scroll

鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times to wish someone a long and successful career.

It's really about the 10,000 Flight of the Peng (Peng, also known as Roc is a mythical fish that can turn into a bird and take flight).


庄子 - Zhuangzi

Breaking down each character:
1. Peng or Roc (a kind of bird).
2. Journey (in this case, a flight).
3. 10,000 (Ten Thousand).
4. Li is a unit of distance often referred to as a "Chinese Mile," though the real distance is about half a kilometer.

Direct Translation: "Peng's Journey [of] 10,000 Li."
Literal meaning: "The 10,000-Li Flying Range Of The Roc."
Perceived meaning: "To have a bright future" or "To go far."

This proverb/idiom comes from the book of Zhuangzi. It tells the tale of a huge fish which could turn into a gigantic bird. This bird was called "peng" and was many miles long. This legendary size allowed the Peng to fly from the Northern Sea to the Southern Sea in a single bound.

Wishing someone "a Peng's Journey of 10,000 Li," will imply that they will be able to travel far without stopping, and will have great success, a long career, and a prosperous future.

Life in Harmony / Balanced Life

Harmonious Life
China hé xié shēng huó
Life in Harmony / Balanced Life Wall Scroll

This title suggests that you have, or want to get your life in balance.

The first two characters regard the idea of balance, harmony, and peace.

The second two characters mean "life." More specifically this refers to your livelihood, career, and the daily activities that comprise your life or living. Some would translate those two characters as "one's daily existence."

Note: We have a couple of titles for this idea. This version is more of a noun, thus "The Balanced Life" verses a verb form like "Balancing [Your] Life."


Single character for Buddhist Karma
Japan gou
Karma Wall Scroll

業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.

Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.

The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).

See Also:  Buddhism


China chéng gōng
Japan seikou
Success Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese word for "success" is often used to refer to "career success" but is also used for other successes in life.

It matches the western dictionary definition of "The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted." And it's also used it this old Chinese proverb: Failure is the Mother of Success which means Failure is the Mother of Success.

Sometimes this word is translated as prosperity but success, succeed, or successfully are more correct definitions.

See Also:  Prosperity

5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood

Samyag Ajiva / Samma Ajiva
China zhèng mìng
Japan sei myou
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood Wall Scroll

正命 (right living) is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism.

Right Living, along with Right Speech and Right Action constitute the path to Virtue.

Right Living means that a Buddhist should only take a job or pursue a career in a field that does no harm. Buddhists should not work in the arms trade, as pimps or in the field of prostitution, as a butcher or in a shop that kills or sells meat, in a laboratory that does animal research, or any other business that involves scheming or unethical behavior.

Another definition: Avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Choose Life

China xuǎn zé shēng huó
Choose Life Wall Scroll

This can mean to choose life instead of death (or suicide) or to choose to live life to the fullest.

I think of it as the key phrase used by Renton (Ewan McGregor) in the movie Trainspotting. While Chinese people will not think of Trainspotting when they see this phrase, for me, it will always be what comes near the end of this colorful rant:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Devotion to your Profession
從事 / 従事
jyuu ji / jyuuji / jyu ji / jyujicóng shì / cong2 shi4 / cong shi / congshi ts`ung shih / tsungshih / tsung shih
Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success
dà jiǎn hóng tú
da4 jian3 hong2 tu2
da jian hong tu
ta chien hung t`u
ta chien hung tu
Smooth Sailing 一帆風順
yī fán fēng shùn
yi1 fan2 feng1 shun4
yi fan feng shun
i fan feng shun
Musashi 武蔵mu sashi / musashi
New Life 新生活shin sei katsu
Live for What You Love 人生謳歌jin sei ou ka
jin sei o ka
New Beginning 伊始yī shǐ / yi1 shi3 / yi shi / yishi i shih / ishih
Life in Harmony
Balanced Life
調和生活cho wa sei katsu
A Bright Future 鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡
péng chéng wàn lǐ
peng2 cheng2 wan4 li3
peng cheng wan li
p`eng ch`eng wan li
peng cheng wan li
Life in Harmony
Balanced Life
hé xié shēng huó
he2 xie2 sheng1 huo2
he xie sheng huo
ho hsieh sheng huo
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

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Cherry Blossom
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Ki Aikido
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.

A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.

Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

Some people may refer to this entry as Career Kanji, Career Characters, Career in Mandarin Chinese, Career Characters, Career in Chinese Writing, Career in Japanese Writing, Career in Asian Writing, Career Ideograms, Chinese Career symbols, Career Hieroglyphics, Career Glyphs, Career in Chinese Letters, Career Hanzi, Career in Japanese Kanji, Career Pictograms, Career in the Chinese Written-Language, or Career in the Japanese Written-Language.