Ask Kate Anything: Finding the right career

Dear Puzzled,

You are not alone. This is an issue that many people struggle with.

It seems unfair that a person fresh out of high school, at the age of 18, is expected to know what they want to do with their entire life. It’s a lot of pressure.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s your life. Do not go down a specific career path because your parents or anyone else want you to. Each person is different, with different talents and passions, and those are what should be helping you determine what you will be doing with your life.

It’s OK if you haven’t figured that out yet. Sometimes people are lucky and figure it out early on, but so many others don’t know until they’ve tried a few different options.

The Career Center at Pierce has tools to help students figure out a good career match including a Career Exploration Research Sheet, which helps assess skills and interests according to the Career Center website. This could be a good start to get you thinking about where your talents and skills would best fit, and in what career you might thrive.

Something else to consider is to simply start taking classes you have never thought about before.

Pierce College offers more than 80 degrees and certificate programs, so you are at the right place to explore your options. Look at the course catalog and do some research into each program. Choose five that seem interesting to you, and start exploring them one by one. Sign up for classes you would have never considered.

If you take classes and find out that you are not interested in a certain program, that’s a step in the right direction. You may not know yet what you want to do, but at least you’re starting to get a grasp on what you don’t want, which will help you narrow it down.

Two beautiful things about community college are the low cost, and the fact that you don’t have to get in and out in a specific amount of time. If you look around, you will find students of all ages. Many are back in school after years in a career they didn’t love to find something better and make themselves more marketable for a job they can be excited about.

So don’t put a time restraint on yourself. Work wherever you need to for now to pay the bills while you figure out what career would be best for you.

When you find classes that excite you and hold your interest, follow through and take more of those classes. Talk to the teachers and see what information they have for you about jobs in their field.

Whether you are 18, 81, or anywhere in between, it’s never too late to pursue your passions, whether they are old or new, and find out how you can use them to fund your life.

Do you have a question for Kate? Don’t shy away, ask Kate anything by sending an email to If you have a question of a sensitive nature, your identity will be kept a secret.