5 Best Jobs That Can Make a Difference

5 min


Finding a Jobs That Can Make a Difference in people lives is not so hard these days, with all those devices and tech advantages is everywhere.

Supposedly we spend on average 13 years at work. That’s 13 years of your life spent in your chosen industry. It’s 13 years spent patiently listening to that colleague who has one too many stories about his cat, or avoiding close contact with Pat from Reprographics after her lunchtime tuna baguette.

Knowing that you’re going to spend a significant chunk of your life at work might leave you wondering how you can find your way into a career that provides a sense of purpose and gives meaning to those years. Perhaps you are someone who cares deeply about people, about your community, or about the wider world and want to be a part of making a positive impact.

Perhaps you are about to enter into the working world, or are considering higher education and want to pursue a course that will enable you to become a force for good in your chosen field. Maybe you’ve been working for years or even decades and are looking for redirection or a new challenge to give fresh purpose to your life.

No matter what your starting point, there is a way to channel your skills and abilities into a career that is fulfilling and enriching. There are too many options to consider them all here, but find below some ideas (some obvious and some less obvious) for different career paths that have the potential to shape the world for the better.

Best Jobs That Can Make a Difference

1. Nursing and Healthcare

This is a fairly self-explanatory one. However, it’s importance can’t be overstated; we need more nurses. Nursing can be an enormously rewarding career, and yet it is one that too few are choosing to go in to. While it can no doubt be challenging, it is a career in which it is possible to make a substantial difference to people on a daily basis. In fact, it would be hard to think of a career in which you could make a more direct, quantifiable difference.

If you have the qualities and skills which make a great nurse you will be doing more than providing medical care (as essential as this is), you will also be the face of the healthcare profession and will be of paramount importance in supporting people through the most challenging and vulnerable moments in their lives.

Perhaps you are already a nurse or are thinking about going into nursing but want to have a greater leadership role and the ability to shape nursing practice. If this is the case, you might consider pursuing a DNP executive leadership program. These programs are designed for nurses who could be leaders and want to be at the forefront, leading the charge and shaping the healthcare service for the better.

2. Business and entrepreneurship

If you’re an entrepreneur or a business-person, you might not naturally think of yourself as one of the key change-makers or someone who has the ability to shape the world for the better. You couldn’t be more mistaken. As an industry, businesses make a significant impact on society and on the environment and have a big part to play in changing the direction of travel.

We are a consumer society, and therefore, businesses wield great power. As sustainability and green initiatives climb higher on the global agenda, there is a growing market for sustainable alternatives to products which we have been using for years. It’s not just tea and vegan shampoo either; sustainability has gone industrial. It is now possible to find sustainable alternatives to a variety of products, such as plastic and concrete, which are used on a massive scale.

The trouble is, businesses need to use and invest in these products. Unless they do so, the change won’t come quickly enough. Similarly, recycling is only effective if companies buy up recycled material and use it to make their products. There are increasing numbers of businesses that do utilize recycled materials, but many still don’t, and there is more than enough surplus to go around. If you are hoping to become an entrepreneur or business leader, have a look at some of the ways you can make your business a sustainable one and contribute towards a greener, cleaner world.

3. Social enterprise

In many ways, this one links to the above but has a more obvious socially-centered initiative as its starting point. A social enterprise is a business, but one with a social or environmental goal at its center. Although it might operate like a business and can be ambitious and driven by profit, there will be an overarching goal of creating a positive impact and of having a social benefit.

Social change and profit do not have to be directly opposed to one another, and this has been demonstrated by a number of hugely successful social enterprises that have written the blueprint for creating a socially-conscious and impactful business. If you’re thinking of starting up in business, why not think about how you could embed an on-going positive social change into the fabric of your company and it will sure be a Jobs That Can Make a Difference in people lives.

4. Education

This is a career in which you have the opportunity to make a very direct, visible impact on a person’s life. Education can shape a young person’s character, their understanding of the world, and the direction of their future. It simply can’t be overstated.

Education has a significant part to play in shaping a young person’s life and the future of our world. Quite the responsibility, wouldn’t you say? If you believe you might have what it takes to make a great teacher, try speaking to other people in the profession and find out more. Explore course options and consider what kind of teacher you would like to be.

What subjects get you fired up and passionate? What aspect of the role appeals to you most. If you don’t think teaching itself is for you, there are a whole host of professions within the education sector that don’t involve teaching. Perhaps you could consider a pastoral role or an administrative one? The options are many, and there is likely to be something to suit your temperament and skills. 

5. Engineering

This might not be one you immediately think of when you imagine ways to make a positive change in the world. However, engineers come up with practical solutions to problems, big and small. There are many different strands and specialties within engineering, but if you are a creative problem-solver, why not consider a way in which you could put those skills to great use? Consider a career in engineering and look for industries and organizations which are seeking to make a positive social or environmental impact.

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You could join an organization such as The Ocean Cleanup as an engineer and become part of finding a solution to the plastic problem, which is cluttering our oceans and jeopardizing marine eco-systems. What a fantastic problem to solve using your practicality, creativity, and mechanical expertise.

The above list of careers is by no means an exhaustive one, but hopefully, it has given you some ideas and a starting point. Almost any profession you go into can provide opportunities to make positive change if you are willing to look for them.

If you don’t want to make a career change, there are still plenty of ways to make a difference right where you are and find Jobs That Can Make a Difference. It can be something small or something big, or even something at a local level or something global. We all have the power to be change-makers, no matter where we are.


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