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Careers for Those Who Like to Help Others

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careers for those who like to help others

Not everyone can do what they’re passionate about, though that’s what most advice seekers hear when they aren’t sure what to do ‘when they grow up’: follow your passion. But what if your passion doesn’t easily translate to a job that pays a livable wage? What if you’re passionate about so many things that there’s no way to narrow it down? And on the opposite side, what if you don’t have anything you’re passionate about (yet)? This doesn’t mean you should immediately resign yourself to a fate of trudging into work begrudgingly every morning, counting down the minutes til you can leave from the moment you walk in the door.

Another avenue to explore for those that don’t fit this traditional career advice is to find a career that helps others. Not everyone wants to make a huge impact on the world with their work; that’s fine. But even working in a field that only helps a small population can make a difference - to the people you help and to yourself. Psychological research actually suggests that helping others through our work (or just in general) can make us happier than not. Acting altruistically and having a “purpose” also result in being happier for longer periods of time. So if you’re looking for work that’s meaningful to you, check out some of these careers that help others!

  • Adult Psychology. You may not be interested in going to school for years to become a full Psychologist or Psychiatrist, but you can still make a difference working in the field. You can find positions at hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities and community mental health centers. On a regular basis, you can help other adults cope with stress, depression, or a variety of other issues. You can also just be a person they can speak openly to. You may not see immediate results; you may very well never know how what you do affects the world at large. But, you can be satisfied knowing you helped at least one person through a tough time.
  • Teacher Aide. As a Teacher Aide, you’ll be working directly with children. Often, Teacher Aides are more important in a classroom than one might think. You’ll be supporting the teachers you work with and helping to make their job a bit less hectic. But you’ll also have a positive influence on the children you work with every day. Teacher Aides, who often work in smaller groups of children, can be a go-to adult when kids need help, academic or otherwise. This is an ideal career for those who want to see a meaningful difference in the work they do. You’ll be helping hundreds of children a year!
  • Occupational Therapy Aide. As an Occupational Therapy Aide, you’ll be helping patients improve their movement and ability to perform everyday tasks. You’ll be able to get patients back on their feet, literally. Through exercises and treatment, you can help a patient to feel better physically and mentally, allowing them to go back to work or just get through the day on their own. If you’re not sure what you want to do for a career, Occupational Therapy is a growing field and, as an Aide, you’ll be able to impact the lives of your patients every day. There’s not much more rewarding than helping someone overcome their daily struggles.

There are many more career options that will allow you to have a positive impact in your community. Maybe you’ve read through this and think that none of these jobs sound in anyway appealing. Don’t worry - you’ll find your niche. In the end feeling your work is meaningful will make you happier each day. Keep researching and understand that you don’t necessarily have to pinpoint what your passion is to be happy in your career!

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