How to Choose a Career

The wise have said - “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That sounds really great, but how realistic is it to find a job that you look forward to going every day? Afterall, as science continues to find ways to keep up alive and healthier for longer, you will inevitably be sending a majority of your life “working.” It’s worth doing some planning to make sure you don’t end up going down a path that isn’t right for you.

As we approach the time where high school students start to determine what schools they want to apply to and what careers they want to pursue, there are X questions you need to ask yourself.

  • What am I good at? Determine what your strengths and weaknesses are and maximize on your strengths. If you are great at art but don’t want to gamble in a career as a traditional artist, maybe you can explore being an architect, drafter or graphic designer. Have an understanding of your strengths and work to find a career the leverages your abilities.

  • Have I done my Research? There is no reason to guess what the average day of a doctor, lawyer, sales man or teacher could possibly look like - we have the answers to these questions all around us. You just need to ask. If you are interested in becoming a dentist or scientist, find someone successful in that field and ask if you can shadow them for a day. Possibly do an internship. Ask them lots of questions like “How many hours a week do you usually work and what is your schedule.” “What are the pros and cons of being in your profession?” “How do you maintain a work life balance?” “What does the average person in your profession usually make once they graduate college and what can they expect after working in that profession for 10 years.” My favorite question to ask is “If you had to do it all over again, would you do the same profession?” Ask lots of questions while being present and open to their answers.

  • Is college right for me? Some may think that it’s better to skip college and go straight into the work field. There are plenty of stories of entrepreneurial billionaires who never finished school and went off to make their fortunes another way. As the cost of school continues to rise with some graduate degree alone costing more than $500,000, it’s easy to see why skipping school altogether maybe a viable option. As tempting as it may sound to skip school, statistically speaking it maybe the worst decision you make. A study done by the PEW Research Center showed that people who graduated with at least a bachelor's degree or more on average can expect to earn $45,500, compared to $30,000 for those who have done a little college and $28,000 for those who only graduated from high school. See Chart 1.

  • Career Chart

At San Diego Tutor, we pride ourselves as not only great tutors but also great mentors as well. Take advantage of that and ask your mentor what the college admissions process was like and how they decided what school and major they chose. Most of our mentors were in your same shoes just a few years ago so who better to ask? No matter what direction you go, don’t forget to stop and enjoy this time. It may feel a little overwhelming right now, making these big decisions. Trust yourself that you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. Bring the right attitude and and approach every opportunity with enthusiasm and nothing will stop you!

For a list of more questions to ask yourself and others to better prepare you for the college admissions process, send us an email to

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