Career Advice

Four Jobs to Give Back to Your Community

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When you are thinking about what you want to do, or searching for a job, often it is the practical considerations that first spring to mind. What is the average salary for this job? What are the career progression opportunities? Is the work available near to where you live, does it offer the lifestyle you are looking for, and would you enjoy doing it? If you are one of the millions who leave school without knowing exactly what path to take in life, all these are useful and reasonable considerations.

If you are one of the millions who leave school without knowing exactly what path to take in life, consider the opportunities that offer the lifestyle you are looking for and would you enjoy doing it.

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However, job satisfaction often depends on many other factors you might not initially consider when narrowing down your options. Quite aside from salary, job security, and work-life balance, one factor that people consistently use to measure their happiness in work is ‘appreciation’ – how their efforts are seen and appreciated by others, both within their company and in a wider context. Some of the most rewarding jobs aren’t the highest-paying corporate positions, but those where you are able to give back to your community and contribute to philanthropic and community-based causes. In a world currently undergoing stresses of many different kinds, jobs like these are a perfect tonic to avoid the middle-aged ennui of those working towards ends – economic or otherwise – which they don’t believe in.

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Below is a list of four of those jobs that can offer an incredibly rewarding experience, as you spend your working life helping others and giving back to your community. As with most other jobs, they are all hard work – but they are all jobs you can aim for with pride, and the knowledge you will be helping to make the world a better place.

Primary School teacher

Why This Job

If you have younger siblings you have always played with, or enjoy interacting with children, this could be the perfect job for you. Primary school teachers are a fundamental part of shaping young people’s lives – how many of you have formative memories from this time in your life? Through teaching, nurturing and encouraging young children, you could help to build a new generation of empathetic, thoughtful citizens. This job can be tiring, but early starts can often mean slightly earlier finishes to your day – and unlike secondary school teachers, you will have no homework to mark! This is the perfect job for anyone with patience, energy, and a love of children.

How to Get There

The first step is to receive a Bachelor’s degree. Primary school teaching is a fantastic path in that it allows you a free choice of subjects, so you can study something you enjoy without the pressure for it to lead onto a specific career track. After this, you’ll need teaching experience; you can take a post-graduate conversion degree into teaching, and then to become certified as a teacher.

Healthcare Professional

Why This Job

Working in healthcare is definitely one of the most self-explanatory ways you can give back to your community through your work. In this job, your ultimate focus will be in helping others to recover from illness and injury – and there is nothing more rewarding than that. Healthcare is a very broad area, and you will need to specialise in a discipline. There are a huge number of choices, from pediatrics to oncology, each offering its own distinct lifestyle, and suited to the different skills of each person. Services dealing with mental health are a fast-growing industry, which new practitioners would do well to tap into.

How to Get There

An affinity for science and math is useful here, as well as good interpersonal skills which will be invaluable for your bedside manner. You’ll need to receive a degree in medicine, or if you wish to specialise immediately, you could look into online nursing degree programs to prepare you for a career in that role.

Working for a Charity

Why This Job

Often, when thinking of charity work, our minds jump to volunteering positions – great for engagement and your spare time, but not so brilliant as a salary-earning career option. In fact, most charities also employ large numbers of people as paid staff to facilitate the smooth operations of the organisation. Working for a charity – especially one whose cause you support – can be one of the most rewarding ways to earn a living, and there are many different roles available to suit your particular skillset. Administration is one of the highest earning and most widely available areas for charity jobs, but there are also opportunities for roles such as fundraising managers and advisors.

How to Get There

There are many different routes to charity work. A bachelor’s degree in either the humanities or a science subject will be helpful, as will experience in organising and keeping records for an organisation. If you can identify a particular charity you would like to work for, it’s a good idea to complete some volunteer work for them while you can, as this will show your support and dedication to their cause, and in turn, help your application.

Criminal Justice Lawyer

Why This Job

Perhaps on another end of the spectrum, you might not consider working as a lawyer to be a community-based position. Yet working in law is not all dealings with huge corporations, taxes and divorce cases. There are also the lawyers you might often see on television – criminal justice lawyers, who can work on cases from theft to murder, and everything in between. These are the people who help hold our society to account, and uphold the fundamental laws of the country. As a prosecuting lawyer, you would be responsible for attempting to bring criminals to justice; and as a defense lawyer, you might have the equally as important job of making sure that no person is falsely convicted, and that all legal measures have been followed.

How to Get There

Once again, a bachelor’s degree is essential. There are law degrees available, and you can then choose to specialise in criminal law, though you can also take a degree in any subject you choose. After that, it is a long process, involving passing the Law School Admissions Test, attending specialist training, completing work experience and finally passing your Bar exam. However, the rewards of this career path are great, including high salaries alongside a feeling of purpose, and being part of the justice system for your community.

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