If you go to work just to get a paycheck, it's likely you're not getting much fulfillment from your career. Maybe you would like your career to be interesting and engaging, and many jobs can offer that. But some jobs are more than interesting and engaging. They bring value to society. They make the world a better place. If you're like the majority of Americans, you may desire work that is meaningful. You might be surprised to know, you're not alone. Studies find that approximately 90 percent of Americans want work that has some deeper impact on society and the world over a job that just pays well.
If you would consider switching careers, but aren't sure what you would do, here are five jobs that could inspire you.
When you think of an attorney, you probably don't think of someone who is working to make the world a better place. Attorneys get a bad wrap because some attorneys are considered to be "ambulance chasers." This means they're always looking for someone who's been in an accident that was the fault of another person so they can capitalize on the pain and suffering of that individual. Those attorneys probably deserve the bad rap attorneys as a whole receive, but the majority of attorneys are doing work that is good and necessary.
Consider the case of nursing home attorneys. Nursing home attorneys fight for justice and change on behalf of those that can't fight for themselves. The statistics are alarming. As many as 5 million cases of abuse against people who reside in nursing homes experience some type of abuse each year. Abuse comes in the form of negligent care, such as bed sores; financial exploitation by those they should be able to trust; physical and sexual abuse; and even wrongful death.
Nobody should have to live the last years of their life in suffering. Nursing home attorneys become the voice for the elderly and their work ensures nursing homes are held to higher standards or even closed down permanently when necessary.
There are many other examples of law specializations just as important to people as nursing home attorneys. Native American law is a growing field and is important to tribes who are struggling to retain their sovereignty. Environmental law becomes increasingly important as the world struggles to combat global warming. When you think of attorneys, think about the majority who are in their jobs to effect change. They are the ones willing to take on the courtroom fights in order to achieve a better life for everyone else.
Child Welfare is not a career for the faint of heart. Child Welfare workers must investigate claims of abuse against children, and then when evidence of abuse exists, they must remove the children from the home. They'll also work a plan with the family if it is deemed possible to reunite the family after the conditions that caused the abuse have been corrected. It's not easy seeing abuse in its varying forms and it's not easy separating children from their parents.
Tens of thousands of parental rights are terminated every year in the United States for the most heinous cases of abuse. For these parents, returning the child or children home would only be a guarantee of further abuse. Someone has to work on the side of the children, otherwise, they would never be able to leave the abusive situation, and that is where the reward for the worker comes in.
The education requirements to get into child welfare vary by state, but some states only require a bachelors degree. Other states might require a masters degree in clinical social work.
The church pastor is more than the person who provides the Sunday sermon. The role of the church pastor is often times an exhausting one, yet one that is necessary. The pastor is involved in every aspect of the church, from financial matters to overseeing staff. The pastor is also always on call. If a church member experiences serious illness, or even death, the pastor is called upon to provide grief counseling for the family, or simply offers of support and a prayer.
Pastors oversee hundreds of marriages during their time in service, and they also oversee many funerals for people with whom they may have been close. When a member of their church is experiencing issues, they may call upon the pastor for guidance.
A pastors work week is never finished and the pastor is one of the most needed and sought after members of a community. For those that feel the calling to be a pastor, the rewards will be immense, and so will the hours.
If you have a big heart and enjoy the company of children, a job in special education may be a good fit for you. Special education teachers provide a customized learning curriculum for each of their students. In a special education classroom, the learning needs of each child will be unique and diverse. The children will also have varying degrees and types of abilities.
A special education teacher requires certifications beyond that of a typical teacher. That's because a special education teacher is tasked with more duties. A special education teacher regularly performs assessments on the children in the classroom and works closely with parents to develop goals for the school year. They also must assist children who have physical disabilities, and depending on the grade taught, this can be demanding.
A patient person with a positive demeanor is a good fit in this field. They should also be organized and willing to work as a team with other professionals who work closely with the children. A special education teacher has the opportunity to transform the way a child understands and interacts with his or her world.
Many times a substance abuse counselor is someone who has struggled with addiction themselves, and so they can empathize with those they help. However, you don't have to have a history with a chemical dependency to do well in this field. It's likely that you know someone in your family or a friend that has struggled with substance abuse.
A substance abuse counselor works alongside the person who is trying to overcome his or her addiction. They provide counseling and action plans. A substance abuse counselor must understand how difficult it is for a person to shake a bad habit. It isn't as easy as stating they need to stop.
As a part of the health sector, the need for substance abuse counselors is expected to grow faster than average when compared with careers outside the health sector. If you enjoy helping people and have a knack for staying open-minded, you could be a good fit in this field.
These are just several careers in which people have the ability to make a positive impact on society. Jobs that make a person feel good about the work they are performing are often demanding and lack the glamour of higher paying jobs such as CEOs and other corporate management jobs. Yet, people continue to seek these jobs out, and they continue to care for those they help in their professional capacity, which shows the reward must be great.
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