Choosing the right job is challenging at the best of times. How did you choose your career? Perhaps you followed in the footsteps of your parents or siblings, or perhaps you simply pursued a subject that you enjoyed at school. If you’ve ever faced an existential crisis about your work, chances are that feelings of guilt were to blame. What am I doing here? What does this mean? Will this work mean anything when I’m done? These are all common questions that professionals will ask themselves on a daily basis.
The majority of careers are self-serving, and you have to look really hard to see how you are helping other people around you. But the career you chose out of school doesn’t have to the be the one you stick with. If you’re thinking about making a career change, or want some advice on choosing your career path, consider these five reasons that a career helping others can bring you the greatest amount of joy.
Greater Job Satisfaction
It’s easy to feel like a small cog in a giant machine, but helping other can combat these feelings and leave you with greater job satisfaction at the end of the day. By having a positive impact on the people around you, you’ll find it easier to get up and head into work every morning.
You’ll Live Longer
The verdict is in: jobs that make us miserable are actually killing us sooner. It’s a very basic formula, but people who enjoy their work are much happier, and happy people are healthier than their grumpy counterparts. A study by psychologists at the University College London revealed that people in a good mood were 35% less likely to die in the next 5 years. And this isn’t the only study that supports the link between happiness and a long life.
You’ll be surrounded by inspirational people
Industries founded on helping other people tend to attract an incredible range of people. Most industries attract the same sort of person, so you are surrounded by people who look, think and act just like you, but careers that focus on helping others will attract people from disparate backgrounds.
It Helps On Those Darker Days
Helping others doesn’t have to mean completely changing your career – you could pledge your support for a local cause, or you could offer pro bono professional services to a local charity. If everyone pledged to help other people, even in a small way, imagine how much better the world could be? Simple steps like registering to foster a child can help you to overcome the darker days and remind yourself that there is so much good in the world.
Some Parting advice
Helping others isn’t always a walk in the park, which is why there is documented evidence of a condition called “compassion fatigue” in healthcare professionals. Imagine caring so much about people that one day, you are unable to do so anymore? You actually get worn down by caring too much. While this is an extreme case, moving to a career where you can help other people shouldn’t be seen as a simple fix, as it will still be work, and it can be trying at times.