Career motivation differs from person to person. Perhaps you’re driven by a challenge, have a lifelong dream to work in a particular field, want to earn the highest income you can; but for some, the greatest motivation in her or his career is knowing their work can make a positive impact on society.
The places in which one can make a difference span just about every industry, and include dozens of different professions. CareerCast.com is spotlighting 12 jobs from the 2017 Jobs Rated report, reflecting the positive contributions made in a variety of industries, and affecting different parts of our culture.
Certain careers did not make the list due to intensive educational requirements. Life-saving Surgeons, Occupational Therapists working with children, and Attorneys who represent the underprivileged make invaluable contributions to society, but all require more than a bachelor’s degree.
If you’re considering a career change to a field where you can make a difference, consider one of the following.
WORKING WITH YOUTH AND FAMILIES
What better way to improve the future than by working with the future. The role positive interaction with adults plays in a child’s upbringing sets the foundation for their development, according to research by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Elementary and Secondary School Teachers are often the biggest influences on young lives. That impact goes beyond the lessons taught in the classroom, too.
Similarly, Social and Community Managers can be major influences on children outside of the home. In many municipalities, Social and Community Managers work to tailor programs offered for children and families, like sports leagues; festivals; and events through city-owned entities such as the library.
Social Workers have a hands-on impact in the daily lives of their clients. Many work with families to provide guidance counseling.
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE
Making an environmental impact might seem like a daunting task when you consider how it affects the entire world. But you need not focus globally to have a positive impact. Applying your eco-awareness locally can have a profound effect on your own community, and provide a rewarding career opportunity.
Environmental Engineers work on the front line, developing strategies to tackle a variety of ecological issues, such as erosion, and air and water quality.
Meteorologists play a different but equally important role in the environmental community. These scientists, specializing in weather and climate, are invaluable in preparing communities facing hurricanes and tornadoes. Meteorologists are also at the forefront of tracking climate changes, and crafting plans of action to combat the negative effects.
For some, making a positive impact extends beyond the issues of mankind. Animal lovers have career opportunities that leave an imprint on society.
Consider Animal Care and Service Workers. These professionals can take on a variety of jobs for veterinarian hospitals or municipal organizations: giving aid to injured animals; helping to safely remove animals important to the ecosystem from hazardous situations; and aiding veterinarians to control the pet population.
Police, Firefighters and EMTs are the pillars of a community. From a young age, we understand the role of these professions in our society – young children equate both to heroism and saving lives. And it’s a fair assessment.
Police Officers are tasked with upholding laws, but can also have positive impact as mentors within their community.
Firefighters are the first to respond at the most perilous times. They are the proverbial safety net for a community.
EMTs care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers.
The booming healthcare industry provides plenty of opportunity to make a difference in lives. Two fields to consider are Home Health Aide – the fastest-growing profession in the United States – and Dietitian.
Home Health Aides are the immediate and regular contact for outbound patients. The growing demand for in-home service, particularly among the aging Baby Boom generation, means opportunity to have a widespread positive impact on older and disabled people, or terminally ill people in hospice care.
Dietitians are also in growing demand. Increased proactivity to health has necessitated greater demand for Dietitians. And, as the country combats the negative effects of obesity and poor health, the work of Dietitians has profound benefit on a macro level.
On the other hand, Funeral Directors play an important role when a loved one passes away, helping families through a difficult time.