LEARN ABOUT DREAM CAREERS
If you dream of making the world a better place, you may already have considered careers that are widely recognized for making a difference, such as teaching, firefighting and health care. Here are five other careers that allow you to see the results of your work impact people's lives for the better:
Activists work for causes that are important to them in order to make the world a better place socially, politically, or environmentally.
While their job may sometimes involve typical office tasks such as stuffing envelopes or making phone calls, activists may also organize awareness events, work with the media, and raise money to support their causes. Some travel to remote and dangerous parts of the world.
Many activists who work in paid positions began their careers by joining the organizations as volunteers or interns. Good Works: A Guide to Careers in Social Change by Donna Colvin provides more than 1000 activist organizations that have job opportunities for those interested in social change.
Inventors make things better by making better things. Many contestants on the television show American Inventor say they were motivated to become inventors by the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
While some inventors are employed by companies to develop new products, most work independently. They not only come up with ideas for new products, they must sell these ideas to investors, manufacturers, or the public.
Inventors also build prototypes, apply for patents, and research market demand and production costs. They may sell their inventions for a flat fee or earn a licensing fee for every unit sold.
Many successful inventors have a background in product design and development. Others become inventors simply by inventing. You may be able to train yourself to think like an inventor by studying major inventions of the past and following the path from idea to market. Visit local science centres, trade shows, or online forums that focus on inventing and check out the FabJob Guide to Become an Inventor.
Ethics officers are the moral watchdogs of a company. It is their job to help ensure that corporations are socially responsible.
An ethics officer works to ensure that everyone in a company is on the same page about what are right and wrong business practices, and that the actions of the company reflect its ethical code. Ethics officers may help develop and write a company's code of ethics, implement ethics training for executives and employees, offer ongoing ethics consultations, and report on progress to company leaders.
For information about this growing field, check out the free newsletter published by the Institute for Global Ethics at www.globalethics.org.
As a political aide (also known as a "congressional aide" or a "legislative aide") you will work for an elected official such as a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives in the United States or a Member of Parliament in Canada.
Stephanie D. Vance, author of Government by the People and the FabJob Guide to Get a Job on Capitol Hill says:
Political aides may field phone calls and emails from constituents, attend meetings, compile information for their boss, communicate with the press, and assist in researching and writing bills.
In the United States, Members of Congress have staff in at least two offices: one in Washington, DC, and one or more in their district or state. Likewise, in Canada, Members of Parliament have staff in at least two offices: one in Ottawa and one in their local riding.
You may be able to get your foot in the door as a volunteer or intern.
Mediators help people resolve conflicts without going to court. Some mediators help people to get divorced amicably, while others specialize in business disputes, landlord/tenant issues, or other types of disagreements.
Disputes that are brought before judges can be time-consuming, emotionally draining and expensive. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not pass judgment, but facilitates communication so people who are having disagreements can come to a mutually acceptable solution. Mediators assist the parties in breaking down disputes into manageable issues, explaining their positions, ensuring they understand each other, and helping them reach agreement.
While some mediators are former lawyers, it does not take a law degree to be a mediator. You can take continuing education programs in mediation or conflict resolution.
There are many more careers that will give you the opportunity to make a difference. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Make a career of humanity... and you will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in."
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).
FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.