Careers are fickle things. One moment you might want to become an astronaut, and the next moment you’ll want to become a doctor. At least, that’s what it used to be like when we were young. When we were starry-eyed and expected everything from the world, we could dream about the many career choices we had and we would even roleplay those careers as young children. However, as the reality of life starts to settle in, many of us understand that those are just dreams and there’s a very low chance of ever achieving them.
After coming to grips with that truth, we tend to settle for less. It’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Some of us realise that there are more things to life than chasing your dreams, and one of those things we pursue is the ability to inspire and help others. Maybe you’ve personally given up on your childhood dreams of becoming an athlete because it’s no longer physically possible, or maybe you understand the risks associated with space travel and no longer feel a passion for chasing the stars. There’s nothing wrong with setting more realistic expectations for life, and there are plenty of other ways to have a fulfilling career.
Helping people is one of those career choices that we can all take part in. After all, who doesn’t enjoy making someone else smile or teaching someone a new skill that they’ll use for the rest of their life? Being in a position where you can make others happy is fulfilling, satisfies your urges to do something good for the world and makes you feel like you have a place in the world. If you love helping people and want to turn it into a career, then read on to find out more.
Teaching is one of the more straightforward ways to help others. Teaching usually requires a degree, but there are other opportunities such as private tutoring that can be done at your own pace. This makes it the perfect career to balance your life and work, and you can even take it up as a side job in addition to your existing career. This makes the transition to a full-time educator easy and in the event that you don’t find teaching to suit you anymore, you can always change.
A career as a teacher usually involves helping groups of individuals to learn something. It could be at a school, or it could be in a more professional setting. Occasionally, there are opportunities that will allow you to get involved with teaching without having to study for a degree. For instance, becoming a teaching assistant or getting involved with youth work could be good opportunities to experience what teaching is like before you invest further into the career. In some situations, it might be beneficial to work as a volunteer to see if you have a passion for teaching and education, or if you want to try something else.
Life as a teacher can be incredibly rewarding. You set the foundation for many people, be they young children or seniors that want to learn new skills, and you give them the power to see things differently. There aren’t many jobs in the world that can have such a huge impact on the lives of others, so if you’re dedicated to helping others, teaching may be your calling in life.
Social workers help individuals and families that need care, assistance or support. This could be anything from helping to pay the rent to dealing with abuse in the community. There are many situations that a social worker has to deal with on a regular basis, so it’s a challenging job that will constantly change. Sometimes, social workers may even work with offenders who are trying to reform themselves so they can fit back into the community without being an outcast.
It goes without saying that social work can be incredibly life-changing to the people who need it. If you want a job that is rewarding, challenging and involves helping people, then social work could be the career for you. Keep in mind that social work does require a degree and you’ll be involved in many activities such as assessing people, and you will need to travel quite often. There are two main types of degree that social workers concern themselves with: BSW and MSW. BSW is the basic degree that is good enough for entry-level social workers. On the other hand, MSW opens more doors and gives you more opportunities to advance your career in the future. To understand the many benefits of earning a MSW degree, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to achieve when it comes to social work. If helping others is good enough, then a BSW is fine. However, if you want to take on managerial roles and make an even bigger impact, then you’ll need to aim higher.
Social work can have a huge impact on not just the lives of the people you work with, but also your own. It’s the type of job that gives you a purpose in life and makes you feel like you are part of the local community. You’ll get to see what it’s like to live in a variety of different situations, and you will occasionally see and experience things that will shock you. However, it will open your eyes to the types of injustice and atrocities that people go through in their everyday lives. If you’re unsure about social work, then consider doing volunteer work before investing in a degree. It will give you a good idea of what social work is like and you’ll have a much better understanding of what it means to support those who need assistance.
Careers in Charity
With so many natural disasters and poverty affecting the rest of the world, it’s easy to lose sight of how lucky we are to even have something as basic as running water. If you want to help people all across the world, then nothing is better than a career in charity work. But don’t worry—you don’t need to travel across the world just to help others in less fortunate situations.
A career in charity work could also be working at the office of a charity company. Most of these companies are non-profit organisations, but it doesn’t mean you have to work as a volunteer. You could be the one to create fundraising campaigns that will change the lives of people that are suffering in poverty, or you could be the one to raise awareness about a natural disaster happening in another place in the world. You could also be the one trying to influence government policy to change their opinion and support those who need help, or you could be the one to design a website for a charity organisation.
There are many ways to get involved with charity work and no matter what background you currently have, there are ways to repurpose your skills and use them in a manner that ultimately contributes to a charitable purpose. You could be great with computers, a skilled programmer, a famous designer, an experienced market researcher or even an innovative social media manager—no matter what you do, you can use those skills for charity and help hundreds or even thousands of people across the world.
What Helping Others Entails
We’ve listed just a couple of examples of how you can make a career out of helping others, but let’s explain a couple more things before you ultimately decide to shift your career.
There’s always the possibility that you’re already directly helping others in your job. For instance, even if you work for a large technology corporation, you’re still empowering people with the ability to use the technology that you create. You might be using science to enrich the lives of others, you could be creating a video game that will put a smile on the faces of many children all over the world. These can also be considered helping others, but it’s different to getting directly involved with people.
Seeing the smiles on people’s faces and being able to talk to them about your work is fantastic. Receiving comments from people telling you how much they appreciate your help is also an incredible feeling that few careers can offer you. If you’ve decided to switch your career so that you can help others, then try to remember what it is that motivates you. Perhaps you were helped by a social worker in the past and you want to return the favour by assisting your local community, or perhaps you had a great teacher in the past that really taught you what life is like and you want to impart some of that wisdom onto the next generation. Whatever it is, never lose sight of what makes you happy in life and always strive to help others when they need it the most.