There’s not a lot of activities we’ll spend more of our lives doing than our jobs. So it makes sense then to find a career that we can feel good about. For some people that means a big fat paycheck, for others, it’s purely about personal passion. For others, the main influence can be whether or not that job helps people.

If you fall into this final category and are trying to work out how you can find a career that gives back, you have a lot more options than you may have realised. Here’s a whole bunch to get you started.

Medicine

This one should be obvious, wasn’t medicine invented to help people after all? If your job is helping people get well, I’d say that’s a hugely caring career. There are many avenues into this field, including the more obvious options as a doctor or nurse, as well as fields like psychiatry. Of course, within all of these, there are endless specialties.

Then there’s the research side of things, where you’re helping with the scientific research to improve medicines and methods. Or maybe it’s the natural side of helping people that interests you, like Naturopathy.

Social Work

Social Workers help other people deal with personal and social problems. That can either be in a direct, on-on-on situation or by planning and/or executing programs to specifically help certain groups or communities.

There’s a huge variety of areas you can specialise in as a social worker, including children and families, youth, violence and sexual assault, income support, disability, education, correctional services, family law, community legal, psychiatric and general mental health, refugees and migrants, Indigenous communities and so many more.

With an ageing population, Aged Care, in particular, is to expected to see a rising demand for Social Workers.

Not-For-Profits

Here’s the thing that people often forget, you can do just about any job you wish and still make it a career that gives back. Charitable organisations need people to fill all the same roles as any other business. Sometimes we can tend to assume they only have volunteers, but that’s far from the truth.

Australia has about 600 000 not-for-profit organisations, over 60 000 of which are registered charities –  which basically means they’re recognised by the Australian Government. With that many options, chances are high you’ll find one with a mission you believe in and a job that excites you.

Education

Never underestimate the importance of a good teacher. If you’ve never had one, I’m sorry, if you have then you know that you still remember them years after you’ve graduated – shout out to my grade three and seven teachers! But it’s not just primary or high-school. Maybe you prefer child-care, or the other end of the spectrum as a post-secondary teacher, whether that’s for a uni, private college or TAFE.

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