6 Careers if You Want
to Have a Meaningful Impact

See also: Professional Ethics

Whether you’re looking to change careers, or are about to graduate from high school and step into the workforce, it’s always good to search for a job that has a meaningful impact.

Through a career that helps others, or makes a difference, you’ll be giving yourself that incredible feeling of accomplishment which can often only come from helping others improve their lives.

From healthcare roles, a social work career or even a financial advisory career, there are many employment opportunities that will give you the chance to directly change people’s lives for the better.

If you’ve ever taken a look online at some of the careers with the most positive impact on the community, you might have noticed that incomes can sometimes be a little low. However, it’s good to note that from happiness and wellness studies, workers in these fields are often a lot happier than those who work in higher-paying jobs with a lower community impact.

All that out of the way, let’s take a look at the careers to choose if you want to have a meaningful impact.

An Occupational Therapist

At the top of our list is occupational therapy.

If you’re interested in improving people’s lives through mental empowerment or recovery, then this is the role for you. As an occupational therapist, you’ll be working directly with people who need physical or emotional support to move on with their success in the fields or business or professional development.

A few of the workflows here include monitoring client's progression, developing plans to improve someone’s life after an incident, and generally ensuring that a patient you’re working with is improving.

This is an excellent role for those who love to watch people grow and overcome issues in their lives.

A Nurse in the Public Health Sector

Without a doubt, one of the most meaningful roles is that of a nurse.

Adding to this, if you’re choosing to work in a public health role, you’ll be directly contributing to improving the lives of those most in-need. These roles are extremely varied and include helping patients recover from surgery or injury, assisting mothers during labour and more.

The average salary for a nurse can be somewhat low, however, we’re sure you’ll agree that the improvement in your patient’s lives and the fulfilment that comes from working in the nursing field far outweighs the lower salary.

It’s good to keep in mind that there are a lot of employment benefits to nursing too, such as rollover sick leave.

Helping the Community as a Social Worker

As a social worker, you’ll work directly with those who genuinely need your help.

If you’ve been blessed with excellent social skills and an empathetic ability to understand and console others, then this is the role for you. You’ll work with everyone from children, adults, school students and more to assist them in overcoming trauma and recovery from emotional abuse, addiction problems and more.

These roles do require a degree, so a course in social work or youth work will be necessary. However, with this qualification, you’re opening a world of opportunity when it comes to getting into a career that actively makes your community a better place.

One area to be wary of is that there is a lot of mental strain that can sometimes occur for those working in social work, though, with a good understanding of the field and a degree under your belt, you’ll be more than ready to tackle these challenges.

Improving Lifestyles Through Mental Health

As you may have guessed, mental health work is landing on our list.

Arguably one of the most meaningful and in-demand roles in Australia at the moment, a career in mental health work is incredibly rewarding. You’ll be working alongside people from all walks of life to help them come to terms with an array of issues, as well as building plans to improve lifestyles.

There is a range of career paths in the field of mental health too, which include psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors. All of which require varying levels of education, though, through online learning, it isn’t overly tricky to land in these fields.

When it comes to a career with a meaningful impact and high job satisfaction, there’s little that comes close to mental health work.

Working in the Police Force

A career in law enforcement is easily a winner when it comes to meaningful employment.

As police officers are quite literally the front line of the law, and keeping communities safe, you will be an active member of your locale working to keep families safe.

Along with this, you’ll also be able to help those who are in trouble and need help — a very meaningful outcome of this role. This is one of the key reasons that police officers report such high job satisfaction.

It’s also good to know that there are other avenues in the police force that don’t require you to be out on call, and office-based roles keeping communities safe are also a great career for you to consider as well.

To land a career in the police force, you don’t need a specific degree, but there is a level of training required.

Volunteering or Non-profit Careers

To end our list, there are also part-time or casual roles that keep you giving back.

If you’re not able to give your entire 9 to 5 to a role in a meaningful industry, then you should certainly consider working at a non-profit or volunteering some of your time to help those who need it most.

Whether you’re working at a charity store, collecting donations or helping the homeless, there are various roles and opportunities when it is time to give back.

A few to consider include volunteering with a St Vincent de Paul organisation, helping the homeless with a Red Cross foundation or working abroad with volunteering networks such as Pod Volunteers.

All of these roles aren’t reliant on a specific degree and would pair perfectly with a busy career man or woman who wants to give back but does not have the time to commit wholly.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?