You're a people person, and you want a career in a field that values that trait. Fortunately for you, there are a lot of caring careers from which to choose. You may be limited only in the amount of money and time you have to pursue an education for these jobs. But if you truly enjoy assisting others, don't let degrees or credentials get in the way of pursuing your dream.
Teaching is an excellent profession to enter if you care about young people. But it's not just students you will work with in this career. You must be prepared to demonstrate your caring attitude toward parents, administrators and members of child study teams.
Psychology is another excellent field for caring people to enter. Many psychologists provide psychotherapy, which involves empathizing and helping people on a personal one-to-one basis, although working with families and groups is also common. Psychologists care for people with many different problems and across a wide age range, from toddlers to senior citizens, as well as a wide range of races, ethnicities, religions and walks of life.
Physicians help people solve perplexing physical -- or, in the case of psychiatrists, psychological -- problems, often caring for patients during times of great need and prescribing medicines to treat various diseases and conditions. General practitioners, as well as surgeons and other specialists, care for people facing various medical challenges.
Social workers care for people in a variety of settings, from children in foster care to the elderly in nursing homes. Often they help people navigate bureaucratic or governmental agencies to obtain needed services. Some social workers work with troubled families and children when called in by the courts in cases of domestic or child abuse.
Nurses require less formal education and training than physicians or psychologists, but have just as much personal contact and need for caring. You may decide to be a prenatal, emergency room or visiting nurse, depending on your preference, but in each type of nursing the same level of caring is a necessary quality.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNA's, provide hands-on care to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and personal residences. They are responsible for bathing, changing and feeding people who cannot manage these activities independently.
If you like children but are not interested in being a teacher, consider a profession such as nanny, babysitter or day care operator. These workers care for children in a more basic way than teachers, providing meals, snacks, entertainment and sometimes emotional support either in a caregiver's home, a child's home or a day care center.
Group Home Workers
Group home workers and managers help developmentally disabled people live more independently in a peer-oriented setting. A great deal of caring and encouragement goes into helping residents reach their full potential in the home -- and sometimes even find a job.
- "Thriving!: A Manual for Students in the Helping Professions"; Lennis G. Echterling, Eric Cowan, William F. Evans and A. Renee Staton; 2007
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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