Jobs of Service: How to Use Your Skills for Good

Most of us spend more time at work than we do waking hours at home. While we might not all get our dream jobs, or a fat paycheck, there are many ways our careers can pay us back. For people who prize doing good in their life, a job that aligns with their values might be the best fit. The good news is that whatever your skill set or interests, you can probably find a job that pays in a sense of satisfaction and purpose as well as a salary.

Nonprofit Jobs

Around 10% of US workers are employed in the nonprofit sector. Contrary to what you may think, nonprofits employ people with all kinds of skill sets and backgrounds. Nonprofits need people like financial planners, IT workers, and graphic designers to support the work they're doing. If you're becoming disillusioned with the grind of your day job, think about making a switch to a nonprofit, and start working for a cause you care about. 

Working with People

When we think "jobs of service", often the first thing that springs to mind is caring for others. Childcare, elderly care, respite care in VA, and healthcare industries present great opportunities for warm, patient, and people-oriented workers to spend their day doing hands-on work they can see an immediate benefit from. These jobs are perfect for people who love connecting with others and helping them succeed and live with dignity. 

Service Programs

If you're interested in being a full time volunteer, there are several federal service programs that will place you in an organization and provide a living stipend for your services. The Peace Corps is probably the best known for this type of work. This program places you in a foreign land for two years, and placements are more diverse than most people imagine. You might be in a small village, or in a large city. Or you could be working in a school, financial institution, or a government agency.

For those of us who aren't quite ready to move to a different country, there is a domestic program as well: Americorps. This service places volunteers in a wide variety of placements in nonprofits across America. Placements range from tutoring kids, to writing grants for nonprofits, to monitoring bird populations. Most programs are open to people of all ages, and there are special programs for people of certain faith backgrounds, and for seniors who want to spend their free time giving back to their community.

Making a living doesn't have to mean putting your energy into something you don't care about. There are plenty of jobs and opportunities that allow for the idealist in you to shine!
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