Choosing a Career Is One of the Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make—Not Surprisingly, It Pays to Be Informed

Whether you’re a newly minted college graduate or you’ve spent some time in the workforce and you’re looking for a change, your next move is an important one. Choosing the right career can set you up for success no matter how you define it. Some professionals are chasing financial independence, others prioritize personal fulfillment, and some just want the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Regardless of what motivates you, your career is where you can realize those lifelong goals. Unfortunately, choosing the right career is a decision the vast majority of people will get wrong.

The data doesn’t lie, and an overwhelming 9 out of 10 people between the ages of 21 and 65 regret rushing into a career. While you can always change course, the decision comes at a cost, and the same study found that switching careers can cost as much as $90,000 over the course of several years. Going from a field where you have a wealth of experience to one where you’re a novice will slash your paycheck, and you might even need to take unpaid internships to gain the required experience. It’s not a decision to take lightly, so it’s best to get it right the first time if you can.

The Information Gap

Why do so many people fall into careers that end up being a poor fit? It’s simple—lack of information. We can’t possibly know everything about every profession out there, and that’s okay. The problem is that we let other people sway us instead of attempting to satisfy our own curiosity. How many times have you heard a friend say something along these lines: “I don’t know what I want to do, but my mom seems pretty happy as a doctor.” Now hold on just one second.

SCLA has built a library of hundreds of interviews with professionals offering honest, first-hand insight into their careers. If you want to know the truth about a profession, including the good, the bad, and the never-would-have-guessed, explore this resource today.

Here’s an idea of the careers in the SCLA Career Insider’s Library. Join or Login to SCLA to read the full interviews.

*Interviews also available in Spanish

Career Field Industry
Insurance Entrepreneur, Insurance Agency Owner
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Medical Director Outpatient Clinic
Law Enforcement Police Officer
Public Relations Media Relations Executive
Sales, Medicine Sales Manager, Medical Devices
Lawyer Lawyer, Senior
Chef Culinary, Private Chef
Finance, Retail Banking Bank Vice President
Alternative Medicine Acupuncturist
Lawyer Lawyer, Family Law
Technology, Data Technology, Big Data Analyst
Real Estate Sales Real Estate Agent
Healthcare, Physical Therapist Physical Therapist
Healthcare, Dentist Dentist, General Practice
Finance, Mortgages Loan Officer
Healthcare, Podiatrist Podiatrist
Sales, Healthcare Sales, Senior Medical Sales Representative
Entertainment Marketing Marketing, Entertainment Company
Marketing Marketing, Senior Manager
Business, Fitness Fitness, Gym Owner
Advertising Marketing, Proposal Coordinator Advertising Agency
Entrepreneur, VIdeo Media Video Production Company, Owner
Marketing Marketing, Consumer Marketing Manager
Waste Management Manager, Waste Management
Landscaping Entrepreneur, Landscaping Company
Marketing, Media Marketing, Promotions
Technology Technology, Director Global Accounts
Financial Services Financial Services, Retirement Planning
Engineering, Aerospace Aerospace Engineering, Director of Business Development
Technology, Client Relations Customer Service, Technology Startup
Marketing, Healthcare Marketing, Chief Brand Strategist, Pharmaceuticals
Lawyer Lawyer, Cosmetics Company
Entrepreneur, Food Services Entrepreneur, Bakery Owner
Education, Teacher Teacher, Skills Trainer Special Needs
Retail Retail, Sales Associate
Finance Financial Analyst
Insurance Insurance, Senior Claims Representative
Technology, Government Contracting Entrepreneur, Government Contracting IT
Interior Design Entrepreneur, Interior Design Company
Music Artist/Producer, House Music
Banking Banking, Senior Operational Risk Consultant
Federal Government, FDA Government, Commissioner Regulatory Affairs FDA
Fitness Personal Trainer
Technology, Software Technology, VP Software Development
Consulting Consultant, Operations
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Nephrologist
Technology, Management Technology, Manager Data Center Solutions
Marketing, Food Retail Marketing, Director Customer Relationship Retail
Graphic Design, Advertising Art Director, Advertising Firm
Banking, Retail Banking, Personal Banker / Teller
Photography Photographer
Accountant Accountant
Technology, Management Technology, SVP of Sales and Marketing
Insurance Sales Insurance, Vice President of Sales
Event Planning Event Planning and Promotions
Retail Retail Sales Associate
Human Resources Recruiting Executive
Real Estate Real Estate Agent, Small Company
Real Estate Real Estate Investor, Commercial Properties
Marketing Marketing, Account Director
Technology, Mapping Technology, Sales Mapping Business
Social Services Social Services, Lead Youth Residential Counselor
Higher Education Higher Education, Program Coordinator
Risk Management Actuary, VP Risk Management
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Facial Reconstruction Surgeon
Technology, Management Technical Manager
Education, Esports Esports, Professor
Education, Esports Esports, Director of University Program
Education, Esports Esports, Head Coach
Lawyer Lawyer, Trial Attorney Department of Justice
Education, Teacher Teacher, Special Education
Financial Services Banking, Senior Relationship Strategist
Lawyer Lawyer, Corporate General Counsel
Healthcare, Nurse Nurse, RN Hospital
Finance, Construction Finance Director, Construction Company
Education, Management Higher Education, Director of Online Operations
Education, Management Education, Superintendent of Schools
Writer Writer, Blogs
Healthcare, Physicians Assistant Physician Assistant
Marketing, Technology Marketing, Senior Professional
Healthcare, Physician Physician
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN)
Entertainment, Television Television, Audience Coordinator
Nonprofit Nonprofit, Director of Family Support Services
Sales, Air Filter Technology Sales, Air Filter Products
Healthcare, Nurse Nurse, Pediatric ICU
Lawyer Lawyer, Employment and Contracts
Entertainment Entertainment, Creative Coordinator
Technology, Consultant Technology, Cybersecurity Advisor
Nonprofit, Management Nonprofit CEO, Youth Travel Organization
Engineer, Healthcare Physician Engineer
Construction, Management Construction Management, Senior VP
Media, Education Educational Media, Managing Director
Nonprofit, Social Service Nonprofit, Director
Technology, Software Technology, CEO Software Engineering Business
Scientist, Research Scientist, Director Center for Cancer Research
Education, Teacher Teacher, High School Math
Human Resources, Healthcare Recruiter, Physicians
Architect Architect
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Radiologist
Higher Education, Professor Professor, English
Nonprofit Nonprofit, Director of Engagement
Marketing, Communications Marketing Communications Director
Psychology Psychologist, Partner in Consulting Firm
Accountant Accountant
Finance, Investments Investment Advisor
Medical Marijuana, Healthcare Entrepreneur, Medical Marijuana Caregiver
Chemistry, Product Development Chemist, Technical Director Product Development
Nonprofit, Healthcare Nonprofit Behavioral Health, CEO
Education, Teacher Teacher, Middle School World Studies
Lawyer Lawyer, Chief of Administration and Policy, Government
Education, Nonprofit Nonprofit, CEO Junior Achievement
Real Estate Investor Real Estate Investor / Property Manager
Technology, Consulting Technology, VP of Operations IT Consulting
Education, Recruiting Education, Director of Recruitment, Boarding School
Banking Banking, Director or Market Support
Healthcare, Nurse Nurse, RN (Wound, Ostomy)
Medical Dietitian
Sports, Nonprofit Nonprofit Director, Sports Organization
Technology, Sales Technology, Software Sales
Lawyer Lawyer, Child Services
Lawyer Lawyer, Senior Staff
Human Resources, Recruiter Recruitment Coordinator
Accounting Accountant and Administrative Support, Small Business
Biotechnology Project Manager, Biotech Firm
Accounting Controller
Electrician Electrician, Master
Event Planning, Hospitality Wedding Planner
Lobbyist, Biotechnoogy Regulatory Affairs Associate, Biotechnology
Associations Associations
Public Health Public Health
Education, Teacher Education
Non-profit, Healthcare Non-profit, Healthcare
Education, Teacher Education
Graphic Design Graphic Design
Lobbyist, Lawyer Lobbyist, Lawyer
Real Estate Marketing Real Estate
Consulting, Marketing Consulting, Marketing
Human Resouces, Consulting Human Resouces, Consulting
Higher Education Program Manager, Scholars and Honors College
Higher Education Higher Education, Director of Scholars Program
Advertising Advertising, Director
Behavioral Therapy Behavioral Therapy
Travel Consultant Travel, Customer Success Manager
Cosmetology Hair Stylist
Healthcare, Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapist
Property Management Real Estate, Owner Property Management Company
Education, Teacher Teacher, 4th Grade
Cleaning Business Owner Entrepreneur, Carpet Cleaning Company Owner
Technology, Management Technology, Chief Technical Officer
Technology, Developer Technology, Software Developer
Residential Cleaning Housekeeper, Self-Employed
Real Estate, Property Management Real Estate, Property Asset Manager
Engineer Engineer, Corrosion and Materials
Installer, Telecom Installment Technician and Fiber-Optics Splicer
Education, Teacher Teacher, Elementary School
Finance Mortgage Banking Mortgage Banker
Non-Profit Nonprofit, Membership and Admin Coordinator
Electrician Electrical Contractor
Commercial Construction Warehouse Manager
Higher Education Professor, Accounting
Technology Software Engineer, Smart Home Devices
Technology Software Engineer Level 5
Property Management Real Estate, Property Management VP
Property Management Real Estate, Property Manager
Lawyer Law, Trial Consultant
Healthcare, Education Health Promotion Coordinator
Entrepreneur, Wedding and Floral Business Bridal and Floral Businesses, Owner
Education, Teacher Teacher, Middle School English and Literature
Automative Technician Automotive Technician, Lead Heavy Duty
Engineering, Semi-Conductors Engineer, Semi-Conductor Test Design
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Emergency (ER)
Scientist, Research Scientist, National Institutes of Health
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Emergency (ER)
Higher Education, Athletics Athletic Director, Air Force Academy
Higher Education, Administration Education, Senior Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs
Nonprofit, Public Policy Nonprofit, Lobbyist
Power and Energy, Business Development Sales, Manager of Federal Business Development
Healthcare, Management Health Clinic, SVP Operations
Accounting Accounting Manager, Sustainable Energy
Retail Retail, Fashion Buyer
Sales Technology Sales, Commercial Account Manager
Scientist, Quality Control Quality Manager, Laboratory
Entrepreneur, Floral Entrepreneur, Owner Floral Business
Emergency Management Disaster Relief Director
Psychology Psychologist, Industrial/Organizational
Consultant Consultant, Sales and Marketing
Human Resources Human Resource Director
Finance, Investing Investment Firm, Senior Strategist
Death Care Entrepreneur, Founder Death Care Company
Education, Counselor Counselor, Middle School
Education, Teacher Teacher, Middle School Spanish and ESOL
Sales Sales, Account Executive
Digital Marketing Marketing Agency, Digital Client Strategy
Sports, Fitness Fitness, Program Director and Owner Swim Program
Recruiting Recruiter, Staffing
Real Estate, Management Commercial Real Estate, Principal
Social Worker Social Worker, Permanency Specialist Post-Adoption
Event Marketing Marketing, Manager Advertising, Promotions, and Events
Lawyer Divorce Lawyer
Entrepreneur, Advertising Firm Promotional Advertising Company, Owner
Customer Service Customer Experience, Director
Lawyer Attorney, Regulatory Counsel for the FDA
Lawyer Trial Attorney, Attorney General’s Office
Hospitality, Management Hospitality, VP Food and Beverage
Healthcare, Customer Service Patient Service Representative
Physical Therapist, Healthcare Physical Therapist, Dementia Patients
Sales, Construction Construction Sales, Senior Project Management
Accounting Accountant, Senior Vice President of Finance Solutions
Entrereneur, Cleaning Cleaning Business Owner
Sales, Sports Sales Director, Sports Team
Management, Biotech Biotech Company, CEO
Business Development Sales, Director of Business Development
Sales, Management Sales Director, Assisted Living
Informational Technology Technology
Engineering Engineering
Accounting Accountant
Consulting Consulting
Law Lawyer
Marketing, Biotechnology Marketing, Biotechnology
Real Estate, Sales Real Estate Sales
Technology Technology, Director of Azure Apps
Technology Technology, Senior Account Manager Software
Writer, Speaker Author, Historian, Public Speaker, Documentarian
Busines Development Business Development, Biotechnology Company
Sales, Technology Technology Sales, Senior Director of Corporate Development
Sales, Technology Technology Sales
Customer Service, Technology Technology, Customer Success Manager
Federal Cloud Sales, Technology Technology, Federal Government Sales
Real Estate Development Real Estate
Healthcare, Physical Therapist Healthcare
Technology Technology
Sports Sports
Healthcare,Speech Pathologist Healthcare
Packaging Business
Education, Teacher Education
Education Education,Teaher
Healthcare Healthcare, Acupunturist
Healthcare, Mangement Healthcare, Life Coach
Food Service, Mangement Food Service, Mangement
Construction Construction
Construction, Roofing Construction
Education Education,Teacher
Administartion Administartion
Sonoographer, Military Sonographer, US AirForce
Entrepreneur, Bitcoin Mining CEO, Bitcoin Mining Company
Journalism, Newspaper Journalist, Senior Copy Editor
Lawyer Lawyer, Partner
Communications Communications
Recruiting, Human Resources Recruiting, Human Resources
Education, Teacher Education
Lawyer Law
Healthcare, Dentist Healthcare
Retail Entrepreneur, Retail
Cyber Security, Technology Technology
Education Higher Education, Professor
Healthcare Healthcare, Operations
Finance Finance, Insurance
Advertising Advertising, Account Supervisor
Venture Investing, Healthcare Investment Manager, Venture Capital
Real Estate Sales Real Estate Broker
Lawyer Lawyer, Real Estate
Real Estate Sales Real Estate Home Sales
Sales, Books Sales, Bookseller at Barnes & Noble
Healthcare, Physician Physician, Chief of Vascular Surgery
Education, Teacher Teacher, Math
Lawyer Lawyer, Discrimination Unit
Banking Banking
Food Service, Mangement Food Service, Management
Interior Design Interior Design, Retail Construction
Sales, Food Hospitality, Food Sales Manager