Inspired to Change the World? Consider these four careers

Welcome to the WoW! Toolbox. In our first contribution Sarah Daren shines a light on four professions that give people the chance to change the world on a daily basis. If you want to add to this list, please get in touch!

Written by
Sarah Daren
Added
September 06, 2018

If you’ve ever been saddened or outraged by the state of the world, then you’ve probably thought about how you can make a difference and change the world. One of the best ways to make a meaningful contribution and really create change is to pursue a career that gives you a direct way to help people and be a part of something bigger. 

Not sure which careers can make the most impact? Fortunately, there are choices for almost every interest and skill set. In addition to finding a job that is part of the change you want to see in the world, it’s important to choose a career you’ll be happy doing long term. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to options, here are four great careers that can really help move us toward a better world. 

SOFII note: if you would like to give a shout out to other professions not on Sarah’s list, please comment below or e-mail joe@sofii.org.

1. Investigative journalist

Even though most people no longer subscribe to physical newspapers, journalists still play a crucial role in our society. They do more than research and write news stories - they shape our society by distributing information. Investigative journalists in particular are key to exposing corruption, moving critical legislation forward by reporting on pertinent issues and educating the public on what’s going on in the world. We need their objective voices to be heard in order to understand the issues we’re facing and what we need to do about them. 

People who want to become investigative journalists typically need a bachelors degree in journalism to find employment. They also need to have the persistence and drive to investigate tough issues and relate them to the public. Some journalists work for months or even years on a single story.  People who are naturally curious and enjoy writing and working with people can make great investigative journalists. 

SOFII note: this is an American perspective - if you live elsewhere, does it work on the same principles? If not, please let us know in the comments section below.

2. Public health nurse

Access to healthcare, nutritious food, and other resources that contribute to good health are hard to come by in some communities. Public health nurses care for populations rather than individual patients; they must take into account all the different factors that affect the community’s health. 

Instead of checking vital signs and administering medications, public health nurses often work as educators and advocates. They teach people in their communities about the resources available to them and provide information about health and lifestyle issues. Public health nurses also advocate with governments to improve access to health care in their communities and carry out research to understand the population’s specific health trends and challenges.  

In the USA, public health nurses must hold a registered nurse (RN) certification, and typically need to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

3. Psychology

Changing the world can sometimes mean helping individuals who are struggling in their own lives. Psychologists can play a key role in the lives of people who are living with mental illness, past trauma, or simply dealing with major challenges in their lives. Psychologists observe patients’ behavior and mental health and work through the individual’s concerns as needed.

Many psychologists solely work directly with patients in private practice; others conduct research or work with patients in collaboration with health care providers and social workers within an institution to serve the needs of a specific population. 

Becoming a psychologist typically involves achieving a doctorate in psychology. Occasionally, a master’s degree is sufficient, but will significantly reduce career opportunities. Licence requirements vary. 

4. School counsellor

Experiences during childhood and adolescence significantly shape a person’s future career, well-being and lifestyle. Although parents and teachers play the largest roles in children’s lives, school counsellors can help students who are struggling with academic or personal issues and really make a difference in their lives. 

School counsellors can help children who are being bullied, provide academic and career advice or encouragement and intervene when students are experiencing mental health issues. Kids need someone to turn to, and sometimes they can’t talk to a parent, teacher, or peer. Counsellors can help kids turn a bad situation around and help them get on a path toward a bright future. Children are the future and counsellors can have a huge impact on a child’s future trajectory and well-being. 

Changing the world takes many forms

If you want to change the world, it’s important to realise that big changes take place on both an individual and a societal level. Whether you like working with people one to one to change their lives or you enjoy educating the public on something you’re passionate about, there’s something out there for you. Now go change the world, your way. 

SOFII’s view

This is a great list of wonderful professions that give people who want to make a difference a chance to do just that. We’d love to hear from anyone working in these fields on how they change the world on a daily basis.

But we’d like to add another profession to the list: fundraiser. Are you a fundraiser? If so, we’d also love to hear how you’re changing the world in your job. Please e-mail joe@sofii.org to add your voice to the conversation.

About the author: Sarah Daren

Sarah Daren

Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in the nonprofit sector, fintech and health & wellness. When she's not watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach. 

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