It is both normal and admirable to want a career path that helps make a positive impact in the world. But there are a lot of career options out there, and not all of them are about helping others. If serving others is a priority in your life, here are five careers that make a difference.
In terms of careers that make others’ lives better, nursing is one of the first to come to mind. Nurses are the ones on the ground getting to know patients, putting them at ease, directly administering care, and often saving lives. Nursing also allows you a high degree of specialization—after just a few years you can perform many of the same functions as a medical doctor. For example, a nurse anesthetist performs many of the same tasks as an anesthesiologist.
If you have a protective streak or are passionate about justice, you might consider a career in law enforcement. Police officers are tasked with keeping the public safe, but it's not just about chasing down and arresting criminals. Police officers are also there for people who might be going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. But law enforcement careers are not limited to police; game wardens, substance abuse counseling, and criminology are other options.
If you prefer animals to humans, working in veterinary medicine may be an ideal fit for you. Depending on specialty, veterinarians work with a diverse array of animals every day, performing duties that range from advising owners on care, diagnosing illnesses, and prescribing medications. This field also requires a high degree of compassion and gentleness, as veterinarians are also responsible for helping pet owners make end-of-life care decisions.
Early Childhood Educator
Early childhood educators do more than just teach children how to read, write, or color within the lines. Teachers help children learn how to navigate social situations for the first time. They are also key in instilling a love of learning in children from a young age. It’s that curiosity and love of learning that leads to children becoming the next generation of nurses, scientists, educators, etc. It can be argued that early childhood educators have the power to help shape the future itself.
Executive Director of a Nonprofit
Nonprofits are all about making positive changes in the community and the world, and an executive director is responsible for keeping a nonprofit running effectively. Executive directors are in charge of administration, event planning, community outreach, and more. It’s a busy job, but if your life’s work is about making a difference, this could be a career option to aspire to.