Choosing a career is rarely easy. Some people seem to know exactly what they want to do from a very young age, but for most of us, it takes a bit more life experience and careful consideration before we can figure it out. It’s often the case that we have a rough idea of the type of work we want to do, we just haven’t yet managed to narrow it down to a specific role. For example, you might know that you want a job that enables you to travel, will make you a lot of money, or has a glamorous reputation. One of the most common desires though is to have a job that involves caring for other people.
There are many different roles that enable you to work directly with patients or clients to provide care, so trying to decide which you want to pursue can be a bit overwhelming. To help you out, here are six career paths that fit the bill – hopefully, one will stand out as the perfect option for you!
1. Registered Nurse
Nursing is probably the career that most readily springs to mind when we think of jobs that involve caring for others. As a nurse you’ll be a vital part of a healthcare team, providing medical care to a wide range of patients and for a wide range of conditions. The sort of duties you can expect to have included taking medical histories, conducting physical exams, taking blood, treating wounds, administering medication, educating people on healthcare issues, and doing general admin. As your career progresses, you’ll have the chance to specialize in an area of particular interest to you, such as oncology, pediatrics, midwifery, or emergency care. These days, retraining as a nurse later in life is easier than ever, thanks to the availability of a master’s entry program in nursing for people with a bachelor’s in areas outside of the field.
2. Childcare Worker
If you’re a bubbly, energetic person with a good sense of humor and who wants to work with kids, a job in childcare could be perfect. You can work with children of all ages, and the responsibilities you have will vary accordingly. For example, the role could involve changing diapers, preparing and feeding the children meals, reading stories, helping with homework, taking kids to play outside, doing creative activities such as arts and crafts, or ensuring that they take their naps. This is all the while being responsible for their safety and wellbeing. Childcare can be provided in a specialist daycare center, a creche that’s located in another facility like a mall or an office, or in people’s homes. Likewise, you could look after one child on their own, siblings, or a whole group of kids.
3. Senior Living Facility Assistant
At the other end of the age spectrum, you could choose to work in a senior living facility and look after the more elderly members of our society. With the country’s aging population, this is likely to be a field in which the demand for workers continues to increase. The precise duties you have will vary depending on the mental and physical health of those in your care, but you can expect to assist people with daily tasks such as washing and dressing, prepare meals, run craft activities or fitness classes, administer medication, and be an important source of companionship. A large part of the role is helping senior citizens to live as independently as possible, and ensure that they are always treated with dignity and respect. Patience and a positive attitude are crucial, especially if working with people who are suffering from conditions such as dementia.
Those who are good at working in high-pressure situations and coping with emergencies might want to look into a job as a paramedic. This is a hands-on role in which you respond to a very wide range of situations including road traffic collisions, heart attacks, drug overdoses, mass casualty incidents, and everything in between. When you arrive on the scene, you’ll provide some treatment in the field before transporting patients to a hospital if required. This could involve treating wounds, administering medication, providing breathing support, and even resuscitation. As such, it requires the ability to stay calm under pressure, make quick decisions, solve problems, and deal with unpredictable situations. You must have good levels of physical fitness, and the mental strength to handle potentially stressful and traumatic incidents. Many paramedics work alongside other first responders such as firefighters and police officers, so teamwork is also a key skill to have.
5. Mental Health Counselor
If you have an interest in psychology, a career as a mental health counselor could be a very rewarding and interesting one. Mental health conditions are unfortunately very common, and almost everyone will struggle with such concerns at some point. As a mental health counselor, you will work with a diverse range of patients suffering from a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, addiction, eating disorders, and stress. This could be in a hospital, specialist treatment center, private practice, or even a correctional facility. The role involves using numerous different methods such as psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy in order to help diagnose, assess and treat your patients. You could work with people individually or run group sessions and will need high levels of empathy plus excellent active listening skills.
6. School Counselor
Another option available for those interested in mental health and working with young people is to become a school counselor. This role involves helping students to get the most out of their education and develop into well-rounded, happy, and productive adults. For example, you could offer support to students who are struggling with issues such as bullying, low self-esteem, relationship troubles, or truancy, as well as assisting those who have specific learning difficulties. You will also be there to provide guidance around career choices, college applications, study habits, and finding scholarships. Many school counselors additionally teach group sessions on relevant topics such as drugs and sex education, mediate conflicts between students and staff, and help the school they work for to develop key pastoral policies.