Most people want to choose a career for more than monetary rewards. Whether they work for an employer or decide to run their own small business, many want to find meaning in what they do. Choosing a career that allows you to give back to your community or take other measures to make the world a better place takes some thought.
While some careers such as healthcare jobs, social work, or environmental activism instantly contribute to the greater good, there are actions you can take in every type of job to make a difference. If you’re looking for ideas on how to stand apart from the competition or ways to add meaning to what you do, consider the following.
If you have a demanding, full-time job that doesn’t give you much time for humanitarian or ecological efforts, working remotely could be the answer. Some jobs, such as data entry or computer programming, are easier to do away from an office location, but with some creativity, many jobs can be done remotely, even if it’s only for a limited time.
Speak with your employer to find out if the company sponsors a remote work program. Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to work from home or even overseas, even if only periodically.
For example, if your employer approves you to work remotely for one month biannually, you could travel overseas to volunteer. Many people volunteer to build schools or teach English in Africa or Central America. You may be able to manage your volunteer work while you do your job remotely. As long as the location has a stable internet connection, you could continue with your career while making a positive contribution to those in need.
Live Where You Want to Make a Change
You don’t have to go far to make a difference in the world. There may be many communities near you or just a state or two away that could use your help. If you’re just getting started on your career, do your research about the ideal city to live that would support your goals and philanthropic needs. It’s much easier to make the decision of where you’d like to work before you get too settled instead of having to move later to follow opportunities.
Do your research about which cities or states are the best places to start a new career. Depending on your work field, you may choose to live in a metropolitan city or a smaller community. If you’re pursuing a job in tech, San Francisco or Seattle may be your dream, but the cost of living is high. Other up-and-coming (and more affordable) cities for tech careers include Raleigh, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas.
Guide Young Minds
If you have years of priceless work experience but feel that you’re not doing enough to make a difference in the world, you might consider going back to school to become a professor. Professors work with future generations of leaders and innovators to guide and inspire them. For many educators, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing they have the power to positively influence young minds.
Becoming a professor takes commitment and time. You may be able to study while you work in your current career, but it’s likely you’ll need to leave your job at some point to focus fully on your studies.
Make Ecologically-Conscious Decisions
One of the largest contributions you can make is by becoming an active protector of the environment. You can start with your personal lifestyle choices. Make decisions at home that reduce your impact on the environment. For example, how you come and go from your job every day can become a sustainable decision. Carpooling to work, taking public transportation, or buying a hybrid or electric vehicle to make your commute a lower emission activity are some options.
You could take your commitment to do better for the environment’s sake by working for a company with environmentally sustainable principles. But if the company you work for doesn’t reflect your ecological principles, you may be able to spearhead a green campaign within your company with the blessing of your manager or executives.
Some ways you can foster positive changes for a more eco-friendly business include organizing a recycling program, helping the operations team upgrade all company lighting to low-consumption LED lighting, or helping the cafeteria increase the amount of organic and locally sourced ingredients it uses.
You Can Make a Difference
There are times on your career path when you may feel dissatisfied with your work that may make you question if you could be doing more. It’s a natural question to ask. As you see, there are many ways you can make a difference through your career.
Volunteer your time and expertise to help others in need, promote sustainable choices at home and at work, and always ask yourself what more you can do to give back. Questioning hopefully leads to actions that make a difference in the world around you.
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