Explore Careers

Beyond work: picking a career that makes a difference

Written by Guest Contributor

If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it is that life, and indeed the very social structure that most people take for granted is a very fragile thing. For people preparing to enter the job market, it’s natural to feel a pressing sense of responsibility from the surrounding world in crisis.

Careers don’t have to be only about making money. For those looking to make a difference, there are jobs available that can help you do good while keeping the lights on in your apartment. Some of them are lucrative. Others are rewarding in different ways. All of them make the world a better place. In this article, we explore how to pick a career that makes a difference, what it means, and why you should consider doing it as you hunt for a new job.


Simply put, the humanitarian makes it their mission to relieve human suffering. In a world where 700 million people live off $1.90 a day, human suffering isn’t terribly difficult to come by. How one goes about alleviating it is another story.

There are career paths that raise money for disaster relief. There are others that fight back against global hunger or work to stall climate change. Some of these jobs involve working on the front lines, while others are quite like the positions you might find at a for-profit company.

For example, if your skills lie in business, you may consider seeking a management position at a not-for-profit. If you are good with words and research, you might look into grant writing. In short, whatever your passion, whatever your skillset, you’re sure to find a branch of humanitarianism that needs what you have.


One of the most obvious ways to make a difference through your career, especially because of the ongoing global health crisis, is to consider taking a job that involves patient care. 

Granted, no one would deny that the world of healthcare is difficult. Not only does getting most healthcare positions involve rigorous learning, deep financial investments, and often, an extended education, but the jobs themselves are often grueling. Nurses work twelve to fifteen-hour shifts. Doctors often work sixty-hour weeks. And of course, Covid is ever and always there to remind us that contagious infections lurk just around the corner of any hospital.

Nevertheless, the public benefits are quite clear. The need for nurses is growing by the millions of positions, and doctors are equally valued both during pandemics and in ordinary times.

It’s a tough line of work, but for the candidate, healthcare can be a lucrative, rewarding career path.

Public Safety

Agents of public safety are an equally important component of securing health for their communities. Though perhaps not as celebrated as healthcare professionals their work operates behind the scenes to ensure that communities thrive.

No one pays much mind to the fact that they have clean tap water. Nor do they thank the stars every time they eat at a restaurant that doesn’t give them food poisoning, or when they take in a deep breath full of clean air. 

Nevertheless, there are people to thank for these things. Water treatment specialists, air quality specialists, health inspectors, and other public works employees dedicate their lives to ensuring that their community is safe and taken care of. Choosing a career path that gives your town the gift of clean air is a great way to make a living and a difference.

About the Author:
Abby Thompson has worked as a young adult education consultant for the past six years. Her passion is to teach future generations about business and S.T.E.M and the impact business technology will have on their lives.

About the author

Guest Contributor