Careers that Serve

If you want to dedicate a large part of your life to giving society, then you are a truly remarkable person. Maybe you’re interested in working at a grassroots level, or you want to create change with a large scope. You can always do this through volunteering, but remember that there are actual careers out there that give back as well.

Often, these careers don’t pay a ton, since the people working them are more focused on improving life for others than improving life for themselves, but these jobs can pay enough to keep you afloat. Even if you think you’ll eventually have a family to support, though, there are careers out there that provide strong salaries and benefits while still giving back.

Nursing and the medical field

If you want to spend your days improving the health of others, consider the medical field. You may want to become an MD, where your expertise and efficiency can help patients get well quickly–or find the specialized help they need to literally save their life. You may want to work in nursing, where you develop personal relationships with the patients. If you work in a facility such as an oncology medical home, you work daily with patients who need both medical and emotional support. Your strength and encouragement during scary times will improve spirits of patients and their family and friends.

Insuring health and safety

Sometimes insurance agents have a bad rep, but a truly invested agent can take care of clients in need. If you want to help people navigate the complex world of policies, premiums, and copays, consider going into insurance. You can use top-of-the-line software to keep track of clients’ information and your own business needs, ensuring efficiency and accuracy so that you can focus on your clients. Your expertise and friendliness can help people worried over a recent car wreck or who are trying to manage finding a healthcare policy.

Fine arts

If you’re interested in theatre, dance, visual arts, or music, remember, art is a truly giving field. Many arts organizations include community outreach programs that work with youth and help disenfranchised groups find their voice. Contemporary plays often explore controversial issues and current events. And there are jobs beyond the “glamorous” ones (which are never actually glamorous). For instance, if you’re organized but love theatre, consider studying stage management or arts administration. Most of the fine arts fields are connected to major unions as well, so once you get really working, you can have reasonable work conditions and benefits. It’s not easy work, but the people doing it truly love what they do.

Community-based endeavors

Perhaps you want to give at a grassroots level. Many cities have outreach organizations that focus on safe and empowering after-school programs for kids, jobs training for the homeless, tutoring local youth, and support for the LGBTQ community. Consider working or starting a local coffeehouse, especially one that focuses on fair-trade and promoting community events. Sometimes small organizations like these can provide a gathering place in needy communities for outreach groups, open mic nights, and poetry readings that provide culture and safety.