The biggest professional task you will ever face is figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. From the age of 6 I wanted to be a vet, throughout high school I figured I was destined to play the role of struggling artist, and finally I found myself as a writer. When asked why I became a writer I always say that it was just something I fell into, but I think the reality is that I enjoy the possibilities writing brings. I also love the way it allows me to shine a light on the issues that are important to me.
Helping others doesn’t have to mean we all rush out and start new charities, and helping one person’s life is just as important as helping many. Social workers might have an impact on many people in a single day, but if you foster a child you will be able to completely transform one young person’s life. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you know your work helps someone else.
Being able to help other people is an essential part of career satisfaction. Whether you work with a charity or train to become a doctor, being able to go home at the end of the day and say that you helped someone is a big plus. When we consider that most people will spend around 90,000 hours working during their lifetime, it makes sense to find something valuable to do with this time. Here are just four of the reasons you should build your career around helping others…
Greater Job Satisfaction
If you aren’t motivated solely by money, then job satisfaction is probably your second priority. Even if you might feel like a small cog in a large machine some days, if your work has a positive impact on others you will be able to take this feeling home with you at the end of every day. And when you have a purpose, it’s easier to feel positive about everything else in your life.
It will help you Live Longer
Helping others can help to make you much happier, and if you’re happier you’ll likely stay healthy, too. One study revealed that older people with positive moods were 35% less likely to die within the next five years. In short, finding a career that makes you happy is essential for a long and healthy life.
You’ll be Surrounded by Incredible People
When you surround yourself with people intent on making positive changes to the world, you’ll find incredible things are possible. When we build careers based on personal success, we spend all of our time looking inwards. This introspection can lead to feelings of jealousy and inadequacy which will only hinder your personal and professional development. By surrounding yourself with like-minded people, it will be easier to remember that you are working towards a common goal.
It helps on those Darker Days
If we all pledged to help other people, imagine how much better the world could be. When you have a bad day at work, it can be very easy to focus on the negative, but helping others will encourage you to remember those little wins that accumulate over time. And it’s these collections of little wins that keep us going on the darker days.