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6 Inspiring Careers that Make a Difference

Careers that make a difference for women

Image: Flickr/Whyohgee

Sometimes, just paying the bills isn’t enough. Every day, people make big career shifts that lead them into lines of work that are based as much on making a real impact on the world as on personal fulfilment and financial security. It’s never too late to learn what it takes to change jobs and change lives at the same time. Here is a glimpse of six inspiring careers and some of the people who changed their lives and the world around them by making the jump.

1. Grant Writer

Non-profit organizations of every kind rely on many sources of funding to succeed in their missions. In addition to taking donations and running fundraising events, most NPOs depend on grants from government, education and private institutions. It is a grant writer’s job to pursue these funds and articulate in great detail why the organization deserves financial support. For those in possession of strong writing skills and a desire to do good, becoming a certified grant writer is an excellent career choice. Public health is one industry that requires the help of grant writers to assist these organizations in securing funds to implement their health programs. Those who are interested in getting involved in this industry do not necessarily need a writing degree, as a Master of Public Health degree not only provides a strong background in the subject matter, but also teaches degree holders the skills needed to thrive in this position. Public health jobs offer a high level of job stability and the number of jobs is expected to grow by 22 percent in the coming years, making this an excellent option for those who want to make a difference.

2. Youth Outreach

One of the most challenging and rewarding fields of social work and community organizing is youth outreach and advocacy. There are a variety of positions available in this field, from those for people with social service degrees, to psychological assistance for youths and liaising between non-profits and government agencies to advocate for youth-centered legislation. It doesn’t have to be where you start, either. Women like Viv Oyolu find their way to youth advocacy after years in other fields, translating existing skills into valuable assets in the world of outreach.

3. Animal Care

The most vulnerable lives among us often belong to animals and it takes human advocates with big hearts to care for them. There are many careers in animal care, spanning everything from veterinary work, to animal-focused non-profits, to something as simple as a doggy day care position. It can be incredibly rewarding to work with animals every day, making sure they get the care and attention they deserve in a world that often overlooks their needs.

4. Nursing

The demand for registered nurses (RNs) continues to be high across multiple nations. Increasingly, nurses do more of the work considered primary medical care, whether it’s in the emergency room, at blood donation centers, or at clinics where family nursing is essential. Long a field dominated by women, modern nursing defies gender boundaries and provides challenging leadership opportunities for everyone. Most nurses earn a comfortable living while enjoying daily proof that the work they do improves the lives of their patients. You can also fast track your path to nursing with an accelerated program – learn more.

5. Faith Work

Each year, faith-based career fields grow more diverse. An increasing number of women are rising to positions of clergy and leadership in religious non-profit organizations, engaging in the opportunity to impact the spiritual lives of many while also finding personal satisfaction. Many seminary programs in a variety of faiths are flexible to allow for easier career transitions and often welcome people pursuing ordination as a second, third or even tenth career. Faith work can lead to serving a congregation at a pulpit, working as an educator or even being a face for non-profit groups with a faith-based mission.

6. Education

Tomorrow’s executives, lawmakers and leaders of all stripes depend on their teachers to give them the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to succeed. Education is an ever-evolving field that brings people from all walks of life and many previous careers into the concerted task of shaping young minds. Education certification programs often have evening classes to allow those pursuing degrees to maintain day jobs, and real in-class experience is a major part of most current programs to give future teachers concrete experience.

A career can be so much more than a means to a paycheck. Helping others through one’s work makes every single day into a meaningful pursuit, allowing those who want more from their jobs to change the world for the better, be it one life at a time or in grand projects that improve the way whole systems function. Changing careers can be daunting, but making the shift to something rewarding on a deeper level is an adventure worth the risk.

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

One comment

  1. It’s really inspiring to see people take on these sort of careers, and is something that really excites me about becoming financially independent, having the extra time to do something along these lines – but it’s the people that just do it regardless of their financial situation that really inspire me.

    Even though the ‘traditional’ jobs can sometimes feel relatively meaningless, I try to find a way to make a meaningful impact on people as often as I can. This can be through coaching or training someone, doing something above and beyond for a client, taking some extra time to listed to a colleague, or something as simple as thanking people for what they do. Some days it’s not so easy to stay motivated though, especially when you’re reflecting on the sorts of jobs above 🙂

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