Careers that Help People

Are you content just getting a paycheck, or do you need to feel that the work you are doing is actually helping people?  Is it important to you to find a job where you are making a difference in the world?  Here is a list of ten careers that will allow you to make a meaningful contribution to the community while you’re at work:

Social Services:  There are countless non-profit organizations in the community that are working to make life easier for people who are struggling.  There are organizations focused on youth, employment, literacy and skill development, health, animal welfare, the environment, poverty, social justice, and many other causes.  These organizations make a difference in the community and are always in need of more committed people.

Personal Support Worker:  PSWs help people who need assistance with everyday tasks.  This could include personal care, such as bathing or dressing; home care, such as shopping, housework, and preparing meals; as well as helping the client participate in social or recreational activities.  A compassionate PSW can significantly improve the quality of life of a disabled person or a senior citizen.

Guidance Counsellor:  Many students struggle with setting goals and making the necessary decisions to achieve those goals.  A good guidance counsellor can help students to identify their strengths and interests at a young age, and get them on the right track for the future.

Firefighter/Paramedic/Police Officer:  Imagine how scared you would be if you were in a car accident.  Now think about the people who come to help you; the firefighters who remove you from the car safely, the police who protect you from traffic and try to get an accurate picture of what happened, and the paramedics who take care of your injuries.  These emergency responders work to safely get us through the most difficult times in our lives.

Teacher:  Do you remember the teachers who took the time to make you feel special?  There are always a few that stand out.  Teachers have the opportunity to instruct, engage, motivate, and inspire their students.  A caring teacher can easily change the course of a student’s life.  There are lots of different opportunities to teach.  You could teach at high school or primary school, college, or an ESL school.  You could also be a facilitator at a community organization, a driving instructor, or even a trainer within a corporation.  Depending on your education, experience, and interests, there are many different opportunities to teach.

Health Care:  We are all particularly vulnerable when we are having a problem with our health.  We are scared, uncomfortable, and often in pain.  When health care workers are competent and compassionate, it makes this difficult situation a little more bearable.

Special Education:  There is always a need for special education teachers.  These teachers help their students (who may otherwise fall through the cracks) to succeed and achieve their goals.

Childcare:  Childcare workers are entrusted with the most vulnerable and precious members of our community, our children.  When childcare workers do their job well, it puts the parents at ease, and gives the children a positive social experience.

Human Resources:  The HR department has the opportunity to make a significant difference in the experience that employees have at the organization.  When HR is warm and pleasant, it makes applicants feel welcome.  Once new employees start work, HR is there to help them address any problems.  HR can put a friendly face to the policies of the organization, which can sometimes feel cold and unsympathetic.

Green Jobs:  We are all impacted by the environment, and we all benefit from steps that are taken to protect it.  Green jobs include any position that promotes or contributes to environmental sustainability.  This could be a job within the environmental sector, or it could be a position outside of the sector, that aims to conserve water, prevent pollution, reduce waste, or protect the environment in any other way.  When you work in a green job, you are helping everyone!

While these jobs offer you many opportunities to help people, you can make a difference doing any job.  If you genuinely care about people and are willing to go the extra mile to help them, you will always find an opportunity to brighten somebody’s day.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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