Six careers that give back

Because sometimes you’ve got to step off the treadmill...

There’s a lot to be said for a career that pays well – but when it comes to job satisfaction, money is only part of the equation. When you’re spending 38 hours a week (and usually more, if we’re being honest) on a job, you want it to mean something. This is particularly true if your job takes you away from your family or impedes on other aspects of your life – it’s got to be good to make up for those sacrifices. If you’re sick of the corporate grind and want to look into a career that gives back, we’ve got some ideas…


A career where childhood dreams coming true. Combining your love of animals with a genuine desire to help, being a vet can also lead to owning your own small business, or even a franchise.

Playing with puppies and being the boss? What could be better?

Aged care worker

With an ageing population, Australia needs more aged care workers than ever. This job gives you the chance to make a real difference to someone’s life at a stage where they may be lonely, isolated or grieving.

Mental health worker

While there’s much more awareness and understanding now, how many of us would actually step up and choose a career in mental health? Assisting those living with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses is definitely tough, but it’s also richly rewarding – and very much needed.

Early childhood teacher

If you love craft, have endless supplies of patience and know your way around a first aid kit, early childcare could be the career for you. Another industry in high demand, being an early childhood teacher is an incredible way to foster learning and personal development among little ones. Also: snack time.

Personal trainer

Almost two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese. Yikes. And carrying excess weight like this increases your chances of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Be part of the solution by motivating people to exercise – not just for weight loss, of course (there are many other benefits, including boosts to mental health) – and stick at it.

Other ways to give back

If a full-on career 180 isn’t right for you (or isn’t right for you right now), try volunteering in the space first, or looking for a new job in the charity or not-for-profit sector that complements the skills you already have. Check out and Or, to develop a new skillset so you can tackle a new career challenge try an online course like those offered at Open Colleges.

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