18 Careers That Make A Difference In People’s Lives

Do you naturally love to help people? Any of these careers could be the perfect choice for you. 

If you’re also sick of work that doesn’t give you fulfilment and doesn’t make you feel like you’re having a positive impact on the world around you, it might be time for a change.

Different people want different things from their careers, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

There are so many ways to choose career paths that allow you to make a truly positive difference in the world.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of things. A footballer. An entertainer. A doctor. A pilot. A soldier. A lawyer. A political leader. All at once. Reminiscing on that today makes me laugh at how naïve and ambitious I was then.

But was I really naïve? No, I believe strongly that at the centre of all those ambitions was the desire to help, thrill, uplift, and save others.

I wanted to be known for doing the best to help others. I wanted to be, of a truth, a superhero.

And the career choices that appealed to me at the time met that criterion of making a difference in people’s lives. Those careers and many more still exist today and are worth noting.

Whenever I talk to the younger generation about how they can choose the right career for themselves, I don’t tell them to focus on their strengths and weaknesses; but rather one where their desire to create a positive change can be well expressed.

I wasn’t perfectly good at math when I eventually decided to go into the engineering field but that has not stopped me from excelling because Engineering is where my passion is.

I really wanted to make a difference by inventing new materials and systems that would make life easier. That desire has sustained me till today. 

I am going to talk about some of those options now, so find out more below. Happy reading.

1. Personal Training or Life Coaching

If you’re interested in helping people on a personal level, these are two careers that you might want to consider moving into.

Personal training and life coaching are two very different careers, but they bear some similarities too.

They’re both about self-improvement and growth. One in terms of the physical aspects and the other in terms of being a better person in life.

We all understand how important personal development is. It is the very reason why our book stores are filled with self-help books, and there is always some motivational seminar happening somewhere in our locality.

Personal development enables people to grow to points wherein they actively maximize their potentials and can live above fears, failures, guilt and whatsoever negativity there is to life.

In some cases, personal development can be done totally on our own. But on most occasions, coaches fast track the process of personal development and make it even more productive.

Whether it’s a football coach, a leadership mentor or your caring father; coaches are a bridge that connects people to success. Many profound people today are the result of amazing coaches in form of friends, parents, teachers, paid trainers, sports coaches, etc.

2. Dog Training

This might seem like a strange career for people wanting to make a difference in the world, but dog training encompasses many different things.

For a start, dogs need structure so by offering good training, you will be helping animals.

But beyond that, dogs are also trained to help people with sight problems and all kinds of other disabilities and illnesses. Those people often rely on specially trained dogs for the most routine tasks.

3. Charity Work

Doing charity work is one way to make a difference in the world. You can do this as part of your day to day routines on a voluntary basis, of course.

But there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be the basis of your career too.

The non-profit sector is huge and encompasses many different charities working towards a huge range of different goals, so it’s an industry worth exploring.

Read 21 productivity tips you need while working from home

4. Doctors

Doctors in family medical care make the world go round, literally. I recently heard some youngsters saying that going to school, especially getting a university degree is a scam and a seemingly worthless activity.

But I’ll like them to tell me how we would have been in a better position to manage the Covid-19 pandemic without doctors who definitely went to school.

Doctors make the world a better place. They help people to live longer by treating severe diseases, and by extension giving others a second chance at a better life. You can also take a first aid training course online if you’re looking for where to do emr course.

Whenever I think about people with careers in medicine, I remember the siamese twins that have been separated, organ transplants that came when there were really needed, plastic surgeries that happened for people whose faces had been disfigured due to accidents; and HIV cases that have been treated in the most helpful ways even without a substantial cure.

Add all these together and what you see is a career that makes a lot of difference.

5. Researchers

The technology we have and the instant gratification we can get in today’s world separates us distinctly from our ancestors, because of research.

While some party and do several other mundane things, certain people keep asking themselves questions bordering on improvement.

They also seek everything they can to make innovative change possible. It is their efforts that make life easy for us.

For instance, researchers kept asking themselves what would enable us to transport ourselves and properties a little bit faster, until the question of how self-driving cars could be created was answered.

Every bit of technological development we see today is a product of the sweat of a researcher somewhere.

I used to think of researchers only as men and women in lab coats staring at some mice all day, but that is not always the case. A parent that seeks answers to how he or she can raise a child more effectively is a researcher.

A budding entrepreneur who spends weeks in a new locality looking forward to discovering what the needs of the community are and how he or she can solve those problems in very much rewarding ways is a – you know it – researcher.

Pharmacists that work in their labs all day are researchers as well.

Imagine how different and painful our world would have been without their amazing drugs. Researchers can be found across several life spheres and that greatly multiplies their overall impact.

6. Counsellors

There comes that time wherein we all need some advice and tips, motivation. and guidelines. That need arises when we can’t do it all on our own. Counsellors are often tremendous sources of support and guidance in such times.

A lot of people benefit greatly from the work of counsellors. Teenagers who don’t know how to pick the right career for themselves or how to stop an addiction can reach out to an educational counsellor

Celebrities with a lot of private failures. Suicidal people. Counsellors would listen to them with empathy, and proffer solutions that really work.

Like the coaches and trainers, they remind us that our lives can be beautiful and that we can always be helped to make that a reality.

Mental health counsellors who support women going through inexplicable abuse and people with behavioural disorders belong to this group as well.

Read 15 tips that will prepare you for university life

7. Lawyers

I haven’t been involved in litigation before but I have read and seen a lot to know that lawyers are highly invaluable. Lawyers give people justice and protect their rights by defending them.

I know of a really famous and rich celebrity who got into a lot of legal debacles having to do with allegations of child abuse that he said he did not commit.

In a twinkling of an eye, he would have lost everything he managed to build for more than twenty years. With the help of his team of amazing lawyers, he won the case and was found not guilty with enough investigation to back it up.

If you have been the victim of abuse or inappropriate treatment, lawyers are there to lend a helping hand.

In fact, the very existence of ready lawyers everywhere puts a lot of fear in companies and cause them to treat us in the proper way. They know you could just wake up one day, sue Facebook for 20 million dollars and win.

My younger brother wants to become a lawyer. I can’t wait to see that dream fulfilled because it would mean a saner and more lawful society. I respect lawyers.

Read: 10 human rights and ethics in the workplace

8. Firefighters

We see them on TV. In the heat, menace & destruction. In the day and in the night. Doing everything they can to salvage lives and properties from the insatiable desire of fire. Firefighters are among the superheroes today.

They risk their lives to save others. Sometimes, they are not sure of when the next gas cylinder in the house would explode or when the building would collapse.

They just move fast and give people stuck in burning facilities another chance to live.

They stop fires from ruining the lives and properties of others. If I had enough guts, I would be a firefighter. A round of applause for our firefighters, please.

9. Police officer

Whenever there is a breakdown of law and order in our society, as there is in several countries today, Policemen step in immediately to ensure lawfulness.

If we decide to do away with Police officers for just a month, you will know the true meaning of crime and how close to you it has been without you knowing.

Police officers stop criminals in their tracks, abort criminal projects and ensure everyone has a suitable and peaceful environment for going about their work and daily lives.

10. Clergy

Religion is at the core of every human activity, and so are clergymen. In each religion, clergymen provide some useful guidance for fellow believers.

Since spirituality plays a vital role in enabling people to live wholehearted lives, spiritual leaders and clergymen play a pivotal role in making our world a better and more peaceful place.

People find healing, hope and wisdom in the words and actions of clergymen. And that also makes a lot of difference.

11. Agriculturists

If my son says he wants to be a farmer, I would naturally be appalled or even horrified by that; but that should not be the case.

Farmers and ranchers provide food that keeps us alive. We have come to realize that junk food isn’t good for us in the long term. What is now recommended is fresh foods.

Agriculturists plant and produce fresh vegetables and rear healthy livestock. The mindblowing ideas of an agricultural entrepreneur are what helps us to stay healthy. Never think that farming is a job for illiterates and those who have nothing to lose.

Farming is for those that care the most about sustaining the welfare of human beings in the most fundamental way.

12. Interpreters/translators

Interpreters and translators are a bridge that connects people of one culture to another.

They also help people with hearing disabilities understand what others are saying. 

In this way, we can all coexist with one another and enjoy literature, ideas and culture that are not in our language originally.

13. Physical therapists

People who have had accidents usually suffer from injuries affecting their mobility.

Therapists help these people to be able to walk again and to get back into the workforce looking even more agile than they were before.

During those therapy sessions, the patients also go through a lot of psychological transformations that imbibe a better appreciation for life in them.

14. Optometrists

I remember the first time I was given a pair of glasses to correct my short-sightedness.

When I saw how clear my vision became, I exclaimed a resounding “WOW” with the optometrist in attendance.

We can’t count the number of accidents that have been avoided simply because those with eye disorders get to see the road better.

People also get to experience the world better because they have the right eye prescriptions. All thanks to optometrists.

15. Dentists

Little things like a toothache can make life miserable for anybody especially the elderly.

I love the way we can always go to our dentist for tooth treatment and reconstruction after we’ve messed around with sugar and some other things and have gotten into trouble in the course.

Dentists put smiles on the faces of people.

Read 6 elderly wants and needs that should be met

16. Telecommunication workers

Many people make the act of long-distance communication look like a walk in the park, and we can’t but be grateful to them.

Telecommunication workers make it easy for vital information to be transported quickly.

911 dispatchers can easily get the calls of citizens in an emergency situation and notify paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement agencies on time.

We can keep in touch with our loved ones and give our views or contributions to things that are happening miles away from us, because of telecommunication workers.

17. Teaching

When you go into teaching, you’ll be helping to shape the next generation. In a way, nothing is more important than that.

Teaching careers encompass all different types of jobs.

From teaching very young children with their early developmental goals to educating young adults who are looking to shape their own careers.

There are so many rewarding paths to take within teaching.

18. Personal Care Careers

Everybody understands how stressful it is to raise children and care for them, but many have no idea of what it means to take care of the elderly.

It actually takes double the effort and the calmness to take care of elderly people who you feel are grown up and should be able to do simple things like cleaning up and dressing properly.

Those that care for the elderly are clear symbols of love in our world today. If elderly people are not taken care of, they’ll die sooner, be depressed, and suffer painfully; simply because they are not strong enough to live independently.

Mind you, our elderly ones are not cared for to just sit and watch the sunset. They are also helped to live far more productive lives than their counterparts who don’t have similar privileges of professional elderly care.

The world of personal care has never been more important. Whether it’s child care or elderly care or another kind of care, the demand in these niches is on the rise.

Good and dedicated professionals are needed. Working in the personal care industry offers daily challenges and it’s certainly not a glamorous career path, but it’s vital to so many people and their day to day lives. So, it might be a path for you to consider.


There are certain careers, the absence of which would make our world a bigger mess than it already is.  

On the other hand, these careers add sanity to our everyday schedules, maintain the systems we live in, improve our standard of living, provide all levels of support and do a host of several things that ultimately make a difference.

Each of these career paths offers something a little different and each of them allows you to make a real difference in the world.

They add tremendous value to the lives of everyone in clearly incontrovertible ways and make a difference in people’s lives in multiple instances. You might want to share this list to show appreciation to anyone you come across working in these careers. He or she deserves a big thank you.         

If you’re about more than chasing money in careers and instead want to do something positive, the ideas we’ve discussed here might just appeal to you.

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Post Author: Bright Bassey

Bright Bassey is a student of Chemical Engineering at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He has been writing professionally since 2019 and has not ceased to leave readers looking for more ever since. He is committed to making the world a better place through his writing.

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