How to Choose a Career and Be Successful

How to choose a career and be successful is a topic that comes up for us at a young age.

How to choose a career

How to choose a career

Most of us were told when we were kids to study hard and get good grades so we could get a good job.

We were encouraged to go to college or university as that would give us a better chance to be successful.

How to choose a career was very much based on our perceptions of what we thought a particular job or profession would be like.

Factors that that we considered included the prestige or perceived status of various roles, the money that we could ultimately earn and how much we thought we would like the particular career.

From a very young age kids get asked what they want to be when they grow up.

When my brother was young he told people he wanted to be either a Doctor or drive a garbage truck.

Of course these are the type of fantasies young children have. Then a few more years down the track they are forced to make choices on what subjects to study so they can pursue a given career.

The Reality – Does Education Make you Successful?

In reality there are many famous successful people who were college drop outs.  These include;

  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs
  • Richard Branson
  • Michael Dell
  • Larry Ellison
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Ray Kroc
  • Robert Kiyosaki

And what is successful anyway?

Is it being rich and famous?

Is it doing what you love?

Is it making a difference?

Is it having freedom?

Or is it all of these things?


How to choose a career and be successful – the catalyst for this post.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been driving my husband to see an eye specialist.

He had a few problems that were compounded by a severe allergic reaction to eye drops that were prescribed for him.  In total so far there have been 7 visits.

Let me be clear this is not about making the medical profession wrong as I have great respect for what many doctors do. However there is much I do not like about the system.

The Scene  for these visits

When we arrived for each appointment and notified the staff at reception we took a seat in the waiting room.

The atmosphere was heavy and no one seemed to smile. This included patients and staff.  It felt very much like a factory.

Ivan, my husband, would finally be called by someone who did some basic tests each time before he saw the specialist.

Then he would come back to the waiting room until the specialist called his name.

Given I spent a lot of time in this waiting room over the last weeks I got to think about this topic.

Just why did these specialists choose this particular profession?   I wondered if they were there because they wanted to help people, or was it the prestige or the money?  – I pondered.

There was no evidence they were enjoying what they were doing.  Well if they were they had not told their faces and their body language suggested anything but happy.

In a previous life in my career

I have worked with many specialist doctors both when I was an accountant and later as a financial planner. I specialized in taxation minimization and these guys usually earn a lot of money.

Many of the people that became my clients had gone into the profession for some of the reasons I mentioned – helping people, prestige and money.  Many of them were not happy and most of them were very nice people.

The waiting room – the factory

My mind tumbled back to my previous career and my clients as I sat in this waiting room observing people looking unhappy.

I started to think of this subject on how to choose a career and be successful.

I thought of the college dropouts that have gone on to do amazing things and have a successful fulfilling life.

I thought of the people I know in home base businesses who are living amazing lifestyles and  many are earning the sort of money that specialist doctors make. They have all worked hard to get where they are but the people I know are having fun and loving what they are doing. Isn’t that how it should be?

Many  of the people who are in my home based business do have degrees and have worked in professions but are choosing to make lifestyle choices.

As I said earlier this post is not intended to knock the medical profession. Heck they do some amazing work and I am grateful that people do choose to do these roles. I just feel sad they look so unhappy.

How to Choose a Career and be Successful – my conclusion


I do not believe we need a degree to be successful.

And to me successful is very much about being happy, doing what you love, feeling inspired and making a difference. It is about having freedom and fun.

It is not just about the money but of course money gives us the ability to do amazing things in our life.

I have a degree  but I have learned more from the personal development courses, books I have read and working on myself than I did at University.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one.  How did you choose your career? What does being successful mean to you?

If you would like to know more about the business I am part of which has a fabulous culture and people are having fun check out my short video here.

I also have a video and some more on this topic on my other blog – How to Become Rich Without a Degree

Make it a great day.






Sue Price

Skype: sueprice


Click here to work with me personally

51 thoughts on “How to Choose a Career and Be Successful

  1. Ankit Jaiswal

    Hey Sue,
    Do what you Love is very true and a best thing to do. A person looses all his motivation if he is not working on what he love.
    But there is another fact that sometime he have to do something what he don’t love that much. In other words he LIKE his work and because his love cannot give him enough money he have to look for other thing what he LIKE.
    Not to mention Money is a very big motivating factor.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Ankit

      I agree not everyone can make enough money from what they love. There are many struggling musicians for example. I believe we can supplement our passion though with other work that we can like. For example a home based business can supplement many other loves.

      Thanks for your comment here.


  2. Anna O'Sullivan

    Great article regarding choosing the right “profession”! Unfortunately, the way things work out for most people, they make choices for their careers based on what you’ve mentioned – making money, prestige and what was expected of them. The main reason for this in my opinion is that at the time we need to make a decision on what schooling we need for our career, most of us don’t really know what we really want to do for the next 30 to 40 years!! The lucky once end up in careers that is suited to their talents and therefore love what they do and become very successful. Most on the other hand aren’t so lucky! I chose the health care field because that’s what was expected of me from my parents. Thank goodness I chose Chiropractic over Medicine as it resonated with my personal values and I was able to love what I did once I graduated and started my practice!

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Anna

      I think you made a wise choice in chiropractic as opposed to medicine as it does give you the opportunity to have a relationship with your patients and to be proactive. I have been visiting Chiropractors for most of my life.

      I did not even choose accounting really it was just that I was good at certain subjects and therefore ended up in that direction.

      I agree with you that most of us do not know what we want to do for the next 30 to 40 years. How could we at a young age and especially as we do not really know what the profession is going to be like once we are in it.

      Thanks for your comment here Anna I appreciate it.


  3. di

    Hi Sue,

    Loved this story Sue. Today I was in a doctors surgery for about three hours. No need to go into that story, but…. The waiting room had a jigsaw puzzle… I’m not good at jigsaw puzzles, well at lest I thought I wasn’t. Spending three hours there I taught myself a few strategies of how to find the missing pieces. Thats not the story.. The story that relates to your story is…. Due to the fact that I decided that I would find a strategy to change my believe about not being good at jigsaw puzzles. It made me very absorbed and excited that I was learning to do this hard puzzle. My excitement enrolled EVERYONE… the waiting room energy changed. The receptionist started laughing at how good she is at jigsaw puzzles, one of the doctors said he was really bad… it went on….I was gob smacked to see how people started to not only smile, but laugh, when they were taken out of their thinking and joined into a very different mind set of the waiting room.
    It got me thinking about exactly what you are saying, with a slight edge…. would these people like their jobs more if we learnt at school how to be more ourselves and have the opportunity to discover what we really really love to do.
    Hope that story was not too long Sue
    di recently posted..Can Kangaroos SwimMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Di

      Of course you story is not too long Di. Thanks for sharing it and adding to the conversation.

      I love your story of the jigsaw puzzle and the fact that you got people involved is fantastic. While I was reading your comment I was trying to visualize it in the eye specialist. I am taking Ivan there again tomorrow so maybe I will buy one on the way down. 🙂 Jigsaw puzzles re on my list of limiting beliefs that I can not do them. But I have not tried in 20+ years.

      Di I am so with you in that young people learning at school how to be themselves and know what they really loved to do. That is the place to start for sure.

      Thanks Di for your fabulous comment.


  4. Adrienne

    Hey Sue,

    Oh poor Ivan, an allergic reaction to eye drops. How horrible for him and seven visits back and forth. I know that’s never fun.

    You know I have some harsh opinions about this myself. My niece and I have talked about this in length because as a young girl her parents wanted her to go to college, get a degree and then work someplace that she would enjoy. She was just like me and my Mom. She had a hard time comprehending what the text books said so she didn’t do well in school and knowing that college would be very difficult for her she just didn’t want to go. She also at that young age did NOT know what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

    Most of use don’t grow up with some love of something in particular or a passion for something we’ve always wanted to do. I had no type of counselors to help me figure out my life and that’s why many people do what they feel will be best for them and then end up hating what they’re doing. They don’t know how to do anything else so they lead miserable lives in a career they hate and that just sucks.

    Had things not happened the way they did for me I would still be in corporate American miserable as can be. So this is just something I know is hard on the younger generation trying to figure out at 17 and 18 years old what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing for a living. How the heck do they know.

    I’m sure more and more people are like that too. I’m glad though that the online world is a place they can go with no experience and if they truly want something better they can achieve it.

    Great topic Sue, really great topic.

    Hope Ivan is doing better and have a great week.

    Adrienne recently posted..Thankful Thursday: Blogging, YouTube, Social Media, GoogleMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Adrienne

      It sure has not be any fun for Ivan and for me as I have not got much done with all the taxiing. We have been there again today. Hopefully getting to the end of it.

      You niece is like many other kids I think. Not everyone does well in the school system. It is not about intelligence it is just some people are not academic or like you say don’t comprehend text books.

      I agree young people do not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Really it is a crazy idea.

      Just as well things happened like they did for you Adrienne as it would have been very sad to think you would have been stuck in jobs you hated. That is no way to live your life.

      I also think that these days the corporate world demands more and more of people. People leave home and the crack of dawn to get to the office and come home often when it is dark. I know guys that never see their kids as they are in bed when they get home. That is sad.

      I hope more people check out their options and consider the online world.

      Thanks for your comment here Adrienne. You too have a great week.


  5. donna merrill

    Hi Sue,

    I think having a degree in a profession you love is great! If someone wants to be a doctor, and is loving what he/she does that is fine.

    But for many people, I find that they get a degree and go off doing something else. I remember when I worked at a job. It didn’t last long, only a few years. I had that entrepreneur spirit in me. And so that lead me into various different businesses that I developed.

    Oh there was a lot of negative feed back from family and friends. But I was always happy doing what I do. To this day, if I go to a family occasion, people look at me sideways. “Oh that’s Donna…she’s a little nuts” Because they all have jobs, which they hate. I’m the free spirit in the bunch.

    When it comes down to it, I just ignore the naysayers, live my life and do what I darn well please. Sometimes having your own business is difficult financially. But you have to be ready for those ebbs and tides of your financial situation.

    donna merrill recently posted..Create Your Awesome AuthorityMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Donna

      I chuckle thinking of your family thinking you are a little nuts as I am sure mine are the same. Many people could not understand how I could give up a safe secure profession like accounting to do the various things I have done. I grew up with a sense of being different I think I always have been.

      I agree a degree for someone who is going to end up loving what they do make total sense. Most do not though as you know. I also think it is sad when people look so darn unhappy as these doctors in this place do. It truly is a factory.

      I know you live your life as you please Donna and you are a shining example of it.

      Thanks for your awesome comment here. Hope your week is going well.


  6. sylviane from

    Great, great point, Sue,

    As I was on the phone with our common friend Donna, I was telling her how when I was going to go back home to France right after my separation with my husband in 2001, my brother told me that I would not be able to find a job in France since I had no degree.

    I remember telling him that I could speak, read and write 3 languages fluently which wasn’t the case when I left, but no matter what I said he was unshakable.

    This society where so many people say they have faith in God with the lips show no faith whatsoever as to how God can show us the way for us with or without diplomas and degrees. (Just my thought:))

    I think that at times people who handle professions are not that happy because they’ve only chosen those more by elimination of what they’d dislike the least, rather than passion.

    I work with a lot of students around me and I see that all the time.

    I’m glad you didn’t lose your time sitting in that waiting room and came up with this great post. I had to laugh at your brother’s choice. Kids are so funny!
    sylviane recently posted..How To Deal With Overwhelming EmotionsMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sylviane

      Wow you brother sounds like a very closed minded person and how terrible he could not see your many talents. I agree with your comment on faith and I really believe sometimes people without degrees are more aware and in touch with the other elements of them and not just mind.

      Oh yes I am sure that is how most people choose degrees – elimination – well said.

      Oh yes my brothers choices of what he would be were funny and they were the two for a long time. I think he had worked out they were polar opposites by the time he dropped and kept it going for bit as it got a laugh from people.

      Thanks for your comment here Sylviane.


    2. Akaahan Terungwa

      Hello Sylviane,

      It’s indeed sad that degrees are overrated. But what is in a degree than a certification that a person is so qualified in a certain field? But, what if that qualification has taken place (or better still, supersedes that of a person with a degree), wouldn’t it be right to simply pay respects?

      Many a folk are really narrow minded…but you really cannot blame your brother – it’s a societal thing.



      What final choice did you settle on?
      Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..KEN EZEANI IS A SCAMMER – AND A CHEAP LIAR!My Profile

      1. Sylviane Nuccio

        Hi Akaahan,

        Degrees are so much in the culture that even a company where you already work won’t promote you as much or as easily if you don’t have a degree. They will almost always favor someone who does. I’ve seen that with my own eyes.

        Thankfully, we can still be successful with or without degrees.

          1. Sue Price Post author

            Terungwa I think many challenges we face like this are very global now. It is not just Nigeria and it is in western cultures too.

            Have a good week.


  7. Lorraine Reguly

    People who love what they do never have to work a day in their lives…

    I’m fortunate that I love my job, even though I might gripe about it on occasion. 😉 I like setting my own hours and working at my own pace. It’s great!

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Lorraine

      That is awesome that you love your job. It is so wonderful to hear someone say it as I hear way too often people saying they hate what they do.

      Setting your own hours is so important.

      Thanks for your comment here Lorraine. I trust everything is going well in your life. I loved the poem you sent Adrienne that she shared on her blog. Very beautiful.


    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Adi

      Good on you for following what you want to do. I think everyone has to make up their own mind what they are doing with their lives. As a parent I tried not to push my ideas but I know it was not seen that way.

      I know one guy online who is an engineer but now markets online full time and earns more in a month than his annual salary. Pretty good I think.

      Thanks for finding me Adi and for your comment here.

      Have a great rest of your week.


  8. Jeff Sollee

    Hi Sue,

    I am a first time reader here, but this post struck a chord with me. After High School, I decided I wanted to take “one year off” (which quickly turned into 10) before even thinking about going back. I didn’t go back sooner because I didn’t have any interest in it. I took a few classes and realized that college was not for me. I didn’t like going, and like you said, I feel like I learned a lot more out in the real world, than I would reading books.

    The one thing that has came along in that time that has interested me is Online Business. It makes my eyes light up, and even my family can see it. It would be better if they supported the decision, but I will earn their support, so I am not worried about that.

    I am with you completely! Do what you love! Rich is not determined by a number in a bank account. I think that it is determined by the positive mark that you left on this earth. To me, being successful is far more than money… It is more about helping people to achieve their own goals in their own life.

    Thank you for writing this post and showing that it is OK to not follow the norm, and always do what makes you the happiest!

    I look forward to reading the next post!

    All the best,
    Jeff Sollee
    Jeff Sollee recently posted..So You Started a Blog… But What’s Next…?My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Jeff

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving such an awesome comment.

      Ah it is funny how that one year can turn into ten. It seems it was not a bad thing though in your case as clearly college was not for you.

      I think the best way to get our family support is by showing them something is working. Great you too love the online world. To me it just makes sense.

      I love how you have defined rich and yes helping others achieve their goals is perhaps the most rewarding thing we can do. I love it “the positive mark you left on this earth.” Beautifully said Jeff.

      I have a stepson who did not like the school system at all. His brother has a PhD so I have been very in tune with this topic. My stepson who hated school is highly intelligent he just did not like that way of learning.

      Thanks for your comment Jeff and hey nice to meet you.


  9. Akaahan Terungwa

    Hello Sue,

    I left the legal profession to pursue something I loved. Back then, it wasn’t exactly clear what it was but the words of Steve Jobs (at the 2007 Stanford Commencement) kept ringing “…until you find it, don’t settle!’ I wasn’t going to argue other people’s cases all the days of my life and call that a life!

    Today, I wake up everyday with purpose – and the joy and delight I feel is amazing! Each day, I get better and better and never tire with my work! Can you imagine?

    But, it is my submission that most people always miss the mark when choosing a career and unduly favor other indexes. For me, the watch word has been: “if I am already rich, will I still admire what I want to be today?” If the answer is a no, then, that isn’t it!

    And believe me, your work becomes so effortless when you operate at this level and a great job is inevitable! Everything becomes pure fun – and no stress: even when others see a work of genius!

    Make the day great!



    Did Kiyosaki never really finish school? I always believed (from the presentation in Rich Dad, Poor Dad) that he did.
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..KEN EZEANI IS A SCAMMER – AND A CHEAP LIAR!My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Terungwa

      I never knew you were in the legal profession. My daughter did a year and half of a law degree and she came to the conclusion she was not going to enjoy it. So she changed. Good on you for following what you loved – or at least going in search of it.

      It is wonderful to wake up with purpose. That is what we are meant to do so good on you for finding it.

      I love that you are also having fun doing your work. For me that is very important.

      Robert went to college but did not finish. Well that is how I understand it anyway. He is not fond of the education system. But I am sure you know that. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment here Terungwa and enjoy your weekend.


  10. Tamal Anwar

    Hi Sue, I never liked crowded places, concerts, fairs etc -so I never wanted to be part of a crowd.

    The society feeds us bullshit right from the beginning when we are kids. Here in my country Bangladesh it’s even worse, you need to obtain high grades, get enrolled in a better college, get a degree, get a better job and marry someone, repeat the same with your kids. You are being compared with other kids about grades, tutions, colleges etc.

    I really love my internet work and it has given me the kind of freedom. I am a drop out by choice, I saw that there’s nothing practical I can learn from my college.

    Now I am happy and have control in life. So what if I am not a doctor or an engineer, I do what I love and I love what I do.
    Tamal Anwar recently posted..Top 10 Ways for Teens to Make Money Online -Adults Too!My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Tamal

      I agree we are fed BS from a very young age. Sometimes though people believe what they are telling us. It is good to be able to think outside the box and clearly you can do that. Good on you for creating a life you love. The fact the internet gives you freedom is so much better.

      It sounds pretty intense in Bangladesh. Australia is a little more relaxed but what you are describing still exists.

      Thanks for your comment here Tamal.


      1. Tamal Anwar

        I don’t like the way of academic education, they teach us how to act like a machine (following instructions, doing what others do) rather than to act like humans (finding your own path etc)

        Here in my country (also in India & Pakistan) things are messed up everywhere. Now it’s getting even worse. They are leaking exam question papers so that the students can get A+ in public exams. As a result there are millions of students getting A+ grades in high schools but not enough colleges for them to be.

        I get emails from people who want my tips to earn money. Sometimes I get email from Engineering students who don’t even know how to spell Engineering. That’s how the education level is degrading in my place.
        Tamal Anwar recently posted..How to Earn Even More Money With Your BlogMy Profile

        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Tamal

          Thanks for returning here and sharing more. I agree with you that formal education makes people more like machines than thinking in a resourceful, creative manner.

          Wow the fact that there is corruption in the system is not good. I think the stats of people with degrees who cannot get jobs will continue to grow around the world. Much better to learn skills and be in charge of your own destiny.

          A bit sad when an Engineering student cannot spell the word.

          Thanks for sharing here again and have a great week Tamal.


    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Hanuman

      Thanks for finding my blog and for your comment here. It is an interesting topic for sure.

      Have a good day.


  11. Sanjay

    I think the difference is, how do you define successful? I’ve meet different entrepreneurs and their successful definition is different from one another. Now, go back to what I do 🙂

    1. Sue Price Post author

      I think however we define success and what is right for us is what matters.

      Thanks for your comment here.


  12. Mark

    Bravo Sue!

    I’m definitely in your camp about professionals! Thank goodness they chose their career paths!

    However, just like you pointed out, other professionals who discovered a different or their real passion in life were able to turn it into a business and career they truly love! And are extremely passionate about!

    And that’s why their typically so much happier and fulfilled! May we all aspire and eventually get to that exact same place in life!

    for then, we will have chosen a that will not only make us extremely happy and successful! But potentially extremely wealthy as well!
    Mark recently posted..Three Simple Business Lessons I Discovered While Playing Basketball On The Weekend!My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Mark

      I am with you in may we all aspire to get to the place where we are extremely happy with our work and also very successful in all aspects.

      I have never been really unhappy in what I have done in the past but I did get to a point where I had to make a total career change for my happiness.

      I think too many people stick with careers or jobs they do not like and that is sad.

      Thanks for your comment here Mark.

      Have a great rest of your week.


  13. Sudipto

    Hey Sue,
    Very interesting post and Yes, getting a degree doesn’t mean we can easily get success. For getting success in any field, the most important factor is focus and hardwork. We can only focus on those things which we love to do, so we have to choose those things as option for career which we love. Thanks for sharing this post with us.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 12000 In IndiaMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sudipto

      Yes we need focus and hard work to be successful. It applies to success in any area really.

      Thanks for your comment here.


  14. Dr. Diana


    Only when we can become a successful person when we are doing work in that field which we love most. Parents should take care of their kids choice regarding their career selection. Because if you don’t know the wish of your children then you are not a good parents.

    Dr. Diana
    Dr. Diana recently posted..Creative Spring CleaningMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Dr Diana

      Welcome to my blog. I agree parents should certainly guide their children to do work that is in alignment with what they love doing. I know way too many parents who have encouraged their children to go into fields for wrong reasons.

      Thanks for your comment here.


  15. Atinder

    Hello Sue,

    There was the time hen my parents wanted me to become a doctor or a pharmacists, but I never wanted to become a doctor. So, I moved in the field of Computers and Now, I am a professional Blogger and Guess What? there is no need to have any degree in this field. Only thing, which counts here, is Knowledge. am i right?
    Atinder recently posted..How to Get Organic Traffic to your Blog?My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Atinder,

      We sure don’t need a degree to be a blogger but yes we need knowledge. I think for me that is the point of difference. We need to learn but it does not have to be through a formal education system. Of course if you had wanted to be a doctor or pharmacist it would be different. Good on you for following your own path.

      Thanks for your comment Atinder.


    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Aisha,

      Thank you for your comment here. I appreciate your kind words as I have not blogged on this blog for sometime. This is a WordPress blog. I am now using the Kalatu platform. If you would like to you can check it out here.

      Thank you,


    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Rosemary,

      I agree we should do what makes us happy and making a difference. I am not sure all success brings fame but if that is what people want then that is good too. I think at the end of the day we all want the freedom to live life how we want it. Thanks for your great comment.

  16. anwar

    Wow Sue! What a great article you have written. actually I am a teacher. So I have to study a lot to teach my students with new techniques. You have discussed from drop out students to successful rich people. Your examples are really praise worthy. Now I can easily motivate my students with the help of your great article.
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Anwar, I apologize for not responding to you comment until now. I have not been blogging on this particular blog for sometime now and did not see your comment. I sure hope my article will assist in motivating your students. I have teachers in my family so understand your responsibility. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Pitram,

      I agree we have to do what we love or it will not work. Thank you for your comment here


  17. Claire Greenhow

    How do you measure success? Some people know from the outset what they want to do, others stumble their way in to a career. Either way, degree or no degree, doing something you enjoy is so important. There are so many opportunities out there, there’s something for everyone to excel in to make a difference.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Thanks for your comment Claire. I agree we must enjoy what we do or we will never be happy. I think we all have our own definition of success. For me it includes happiness as well as financial rewards and making a difference.