Trying to choose a career path can often be a difficult journey for some people. There are lots of decisions to make, interviews to go to, and time spent researching and gaining the relevant skills such as getting qualifications to be a life coach, teacher, or even a doctor. Regardless of the career path you choose, there are many obstacles to overcome and pass before finally reaching your goal. A large reason people will leave their jobs is job satisfaction, so it is important to consider what you will get out of your career when choosing one to pursue. Choosing a job that allows you to earn a living while simultaneously helping others will increase your chances of enjoyment and job satisfaction, especially if you are trying to get your career back on track. And thankfully there is a vast variety of rewarding jobs for you to choose from, all of which help others and create a positive impact on the world and those around you. When you are trying to choose a career where you can help people, it is first important to understand the jobs available. Here are a few examples of jobs you could consider when choosing a career in helping people.
Social workers are people that will support families and individuals who need a little extra help. Often their clients will include elderly people where tasks can range from cooking meals, helping them get dressed or even just a bit of company throughout the day. Other clients might be young or even fully grown adults with mental health issues or learning difficulties, in these cases the social worker is in place to help them live as independently as possible. Social workers can also be found working with children in the foster care sector, dealing with child protection concerns, or sometimes even working with offenders to try and get their life back on track. As you can see, social work is very versatile. Sometimes there is work that will require higher forms of education such as conducting assessments, liaising with other professions including teachers and doctors, and organizing support packages for clients. But there are also non-graduate jobs and tasks available including hands-on support tasks, such as cooking, dressing, and washing.
The emergency services include many roles such as fire, police, and ambulance services. It also includes other roles such as the coast guard, mountain rescue, and even emergency planning where you would help devise plans on how to protect the public against such threats as terrorism and extreme weather. In each role you are there to help serve your community. Most of them have the bonus of being able to get out and work with the community, which will help you keep fit and healthy. There are many different entry routes into the emergency services, some of which require a degree, but others don’t.
Similarly to being a social worker, you can be a nurse. In nursing there is a broad range of skills required and job roles available. Nurses are most thought of as working in a hospital, but there are also roles in doctors surgeries, visiting people in their homes, and assisting surgeons in operating theaters. Alternatively, to work as an adult nurse you could choose a specialty such as working as a neonatal nurse (where you would work with newborn babies), a children’s nurse, or even work in the mental health sector.
To become a nurse, you will need to gain the relevant qualifications and experience, a large portion of this however is hands-on. So, while you may not be fully qualified, you will already be making a positive impact on your patient’s life as well as your own.
If you want to see how your work affects others directly and see the results firsthand, then becoming a doctor and working in medicine may be the path for you. Another common assumption (similar to nursing) is that all doctors work in hospitals, whereas again there are various options you can take when choosing to work in this sector. You could for instance work at a doctors surgery, in an outpatient clinic, or for the armed forces. There is also an opportunity to get more deeply involved in medical research, especially if you would like your work to have a wider impact on people's lives or even the world. This research can be done full-time or even alongside working with patients and can include finding new cures for diseases. The road to becoming a fully qualified doctor is a long and challenging one, but similarly to nursing, you will also be able to start helping people while pursuing your career in medicine.
Teaching and Education
Becoming a teacher is another great option if you want to be able to see first-hand the effect that your work and advice have on others directly as your students develop and grow. You have many choices of which level best suits your teaching strengths, from primary and secondary schools to further education such as colleges. There are also other options available, for example, you could work with students that have special needs (this could be ADHD, dyslexia, or behavioral issues), disabilities, referral units, or even hospitals and young offenders’ institutions. Regardless of what area you decide to work in, your knowledge and skills will be passed along to your students. If you can find out how to connect with your classes, not only will you have the satisfaction of seeing your students grow as individuals academically, but you will create a positive impact on their life as a role model, regardless of if they plan to use your subject later in life. To become a teacher, qualifications are generally required, however, there are options that you could consider if you do not want to gain the full qualifications or any at all such as youth work, playschool or even being a teaching assistant.
Skills required to help people
If you want to pursue a career helping people, it is important that not only do you gain the relevant qualifications but that you have the right skills to complete your work effectively, safely, and sustainably. Some skills may come naturally, some you may have acquired in previous jobs, and others you may need to learn. Here are some examples of strong skills and qualities you will need when choosing a career in working with people.
This is an extremely important skill to have, especially when your job revolves around interacting with others, some of whom may struggle to communicate with others.
Relating to others
Similarly to having communication skills and being able to adapt to other people’s issues, it is important to be able to relate to other people’s experiences and personalities by having well-rounded or open-mindedness of your own.
Everyone is different, people learn, grow emotionally, mature, and even talk at different speeds. Some people find what others find easy a lot harder and it can be very frustrating for them if people are pressuring or getting frustrated with them. As such, it is important to remember all of these points and to be patient with the people you are working with.
Even if you haven’t had the experiences, issues, or life of the person that you are trying to help, it is extremely useful if you can put yourself in their shoes and offer them your support and empathy. This will help set the other person at ease, often leading them to open up further and strengthen the relationship you have with each other, in turn making whatever it is you are trying to achieve easier.
A genuine interest in others
It is fairly obvious to most people if you have an interest in them or if the interaction between you is merely a formality. You need to be showing a genuine interest in the people you are working with, this could be done by asking thoughtful questions, and considering their answers, remembering the names and dates of things that they mention to you. If you don’t do this, then a negative and opposite effect could happen.
Active listening skills
Just like showing empathy and having a genuine interest in what people are saying, you need to be able to understand what the person is trying to communicate to you. Hearing what someone has to say and actively listening are two different things, as most people will hear what someone is saying and form a response in their head before the other person has finished what they are saying. If you can avoid doing this, but instead allow the person who is talking to speak without interruption, take some time to form a proper response and then reply, it not only shows the other person that you have listened but also builds on what they have said to you allowing for the conversation to progress at a stronger rate.
Working with people is not a career path for everyone, but if your personality type and skills match any of the above or you are willing to learn and adapt, then it might be a very rewarding and potentially high-earning career path for you to consider.