Skip to content
The College of St. Scholastica

Whether it’s the voice of a newscaster rattling off last night’s criminal activity while you eat your morning cereal, the breaking story dominating the radio during your drive to school or the trending headline taking up every inch of your social media newsfeeds, it can feel impossible to escape conflict in the world today. It’s only natural to become disheartened by the sheer scale of global tragedy — there are 10 wars and 8 military conflicts happening right now!

But you can’t let it keep you down. Rather than running away from struggle and strife in search of peace and quiet, you’re eager to do your part. You hear those breaking news stories and think, “What can I do to help? How can I make the world a better place? What is my role in making a positive impact?”

The world needs more people like you.

Let’s explore ways you can focus on your education and change your corner of the world. Here are five inspiring jobs that help people — perhaps one of them is your calling.

5 jobs that can help you make a difference

1. Social worker

Social workers spend their days advocating for and empowering people who have reached their most vulnerable points in life. They advocate for those suffering abuse and neglect by connecting families to services and helping them navigate the emotional, financial and social struggles that often accompany severe illness and medical treatment. But their work doesn’t stop there. In the wake of local tragedies or natural disasters, social workers help heal entire communities.

These professionals are compassionate, fearless and hard-working — people for whom the well-being of others is held in higher regard than their own personal comfort. Sacrifice is a part of the job, but they do it because they care and want to see others thrive and succeed.

Learn more about these community superheroes by reading our article that outlines eight types of social workers who make a difference.  

2. Registered nurse

We all have memories of interacting with a nurse — or several — while visiting hospitals and clinics for ourselves or loved ones. Nurses are often the first staff members you’ll interact with in medical facilities, so they’re the ones we look to for reassurance during moments of fear and uncertainty.

Nurses are caretakers for their patients, but in many circumstances, they also become our friends, confidantes and trusted advisers. Nurses don’t just nurture; they empower people afflicted with injury or illness to confidently move forward to become their best selves.

If you can identify with these life changing motivations, read more about the passions that stir nursing students to pursue a career in the field.  

3. Occupational therapist

Social workers and nurses are bound to make any list of inspirational jobs, but occupational therapy might be a field you’re less familiar with. Much like physical therapy, this advanced medical field considers the physical aspects of rehabilitation, but its primary purpose digs much deeper than that.

Occupational therapists work to ensure their patients can seamlessly engage in the important activities of daily life. Some examples include helping children with disabilities participate fully in school and other social situations. They also provide support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

If you’re interested in empowering your community this way, here’s a good place to brush up on the differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy and learn more about the field.  

4. Elementary school teacher

Think of your favorite teacher from your early school days — odds are they taught you just as much about life as they did about their school subjects. Aside from parents, teachers are among the few adults who spend hours of uninterrupted face time with the children in our communities. They provide important life lessons when young minds need them most.

But more than simply teaching long division or geography, teachers can provide a secondary support system for students who are grappling with difficult living situations, relational conflicts, grief and other challenges. Teachers have the opportunity to make their classrooms a nurturing safe haven for their students.

Read our article on the facts about becoming a teacher to decide whether or not this career path is right for you.  

5. Small business owner

There is nothing small about the impact small businesses have on our communities. Unemployment statistics have fluctuated dramatically over the last 10 years, but small businesses can play a key role in alleviating nationwide economic concerns.

There are as many as 27 million small businesses across the country, which together account for between 60-80 percent of all U.S. jobs. And these numbers continue to grow.

Economic advantages aside, there is an intangible benefit to having and supporting small businesses in our communities. Do you have a favorite bakery, coffee shop, boutique or photographer in your neighborhood? Many of these independent retailers contribute to the community’s quality of life, while also funneling money back into the economic infrastructure by continually creating jobs.

Could you turn your passion into a reality by opening a small business? Learn more about your options by reviewing the information provided in St. Scholastica’s MBA program.  

It’s time to follow your calling

American writer, philosopher and civil rights leader Howard Thurman once said: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Whether you see yourself on the front lines of a classroom or medical facility, or you imagine working behind the scenes to build communities and create jobs, there are plenty of careers that will allow you to help people. It’s time to pursue the things that make you come alive, and watch the world change as a result!