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Want to Make a Difference? The Perfect Careers for Compassionate People
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Want to Make a Difference? The Perfect Careers for Compassionate People

Many of us grow up thinking that we want to be something special. To do something with our lives that will help others or make a difference to the world around us. As youngsters, we image these things to be truly noble careers such as working as a doctor or nurse. Then, as we get older, our dreams change. We might find something that we’re good at or feel passionate about and choose a career that lets us follow this path. Thinking that our dreams of making a difference have been left behind.

The truth, however, is that you can make a difference in almost any industry. A barmaid or waiter that smiles and chats with someone having a bad day can make all the difference in the world to that individual. A student working in a clothes shop for a few hours at the weekend can make a massive difference to a new mum whose husband works away, by being someone to speak to. This might not seem like a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but to those people, it can mean everything. Moods can be improved, days can be changed, and a difference is made.

By doing your job well, going the extra mile and listening to people, you can easily find yourself in the position of making a difference in another person’s life. But, if you consider yourself to be, above all, a compassionate person, you might want more. You might want to spend every day helping and caring for others. If that sounds like you, here’s a look at some perfect careers for compassionate people.


You can work as a carer in many different capacities. You could perhaps work in the community, helping people when they need it. You could work in a community or day centre, helping people who drop in. You could care for those in a nursing or retirement home, or for children with special needs. Or you could help disabled, elderly and other people who have trouble getting out and about, in their own home.

Caring for someone in their own home, whether as a visitor when you are needed, or providing live in care can be both challenging and rewarding. People that require this kind of care often need help with all aspects of their life, from cooking and cleaning to going to the toilet and if you live in you will have to provide this care around the clock. But, you are enabling people the chance to live their own independent lives, in their own homes. Without home carers, many of these people would be hospitalized or very alone. Both their life expectancy and quality could be significantly reduced. Carers provide an invaluable service, for their clients, the healthcare system and for society as a whole. But, it’s something that only a truly compassionate and empathetic person could do well.


Working as a counsellor offers up a different kind of challenge for those of a compassionate nature. You won’t have to take your clients to the toilet or look after their physical needs. But, you will need to understand them. Counsellors come across people with a massive range of problems in all walks of life.

The best counsellors are compassionate, trustworthy and approachable. They can get people they’ve just met to trust and confide in them. They can then use their skills, knowledge and experience to help their clients to gain a further understanding of themselves. Working as a counsellor requires patience, empathy and compassion as well as the ability to listen and read between the lines.

Just like a carer, a counsellor can work in a range of settings. These can include schools, prisons, hospitals, doctors surgery’s, community centres, patient’s homes and private offices. Nowadays counsellors can even work online, providing help and advice via video chat, text and email when it’s needed. Counsellors and therapists can also work in different specialities.

These can include grief, family, childhood issues, PTSD, career, mental health and rehabilitation.


Teaching requires a lot more than knowledge of a particular subject. A teacher is much more than someone that imparts knowledge on youngsters. They also offer advice, care for their student’s emotional well-being and help to shape them into the people they become. Teachers are often children’s first role model outside the home and can be a big part of their emotional development.

Teachers are often the first people to spot a problem. They can notice changes in behaviour and personality that can signal a mental or physical health problem, worries and anxiety and even problems at home. Teachers must be able to identify and empathise with children and also communicate effectively with other members of staff, support workers and parents. This could be perfect for those with a compassionate nature.


When thinking of a compassionate profession, Doctor is often one that first springs to mind. But, while doctors are obviously very caring and decent, they don’t often get to spend that much time with their patients. Even GPs that see the same people regularly throughout their lifetime, only get to spend 5 minutes at a time with them. Doctors find and fix problems, quickly and efficiently. It’s nurses that provide the emotional support and compassion.

Working as a nurse you are there for the patients throughout their care or treatment. You educate them, look after them, take care of their personal needs and provide emotional support. Not just for the patient, but for their family and friends and often the community as a whole. Without nurses, doctors couldn’t do their jobs.

There is an enormous nursing shortage at the moment, with more leaving the profession than entering it. So, if you want to make a real difference, this could be a fantastic place to start.

Alternative Healthcare Provider

Doctors, nurses and mental health professionals aren’t the only people that help patients to look after and improve their health. Alternative healthcare providers can offer advice and support on different ways to stay healthy. This can include diet and lifestyle changes, nutrition, exercise, meditation and herbal remedies.

Alternative healthcare providers can even work in a more traditional healthcare setting, using their knowledge to help others providing things like nutritional support and art therapy.

Social Worker

Social workers are often around for the worst times in an individual’s life. They are the people that support and help them when they have hit bottom. Social workers can support those with mental health issues, struggling parents, children with additional needs, veterans trying to fit back into society, disabled people, addicts, alcoholics and the elderly. They can be an advocate for them, they can help to sort out housing and healthcare, or they can just be someone to talk to.

As well as compassion as social worker needs to be patient, understanding and organised. They have to coordinate different services and sometimes make difficult decisions. Always keeping their client’s best interests in mind.


It’s not just people that require compassion. Although vets provide animal lovers with plenty. Working in veterinarian jobs takes a different kind of compassion. It can be much harder to feel sympathy for creatures that cannot speak or explain themselves. For things that we can’t understand ourselves. Working as a vet takes compassion and patience.

If you’re an animal lover but being a vet doesn’t appeal, you could also find work with an animal shelter or charity.


Working with preschool children is very different from teaching. Childcare providers and early years educators need a range of different skills. They need to manage tantrums, encourage healthy eating habits, help with toilet training and the development of speech and movements as well as offering an early education. They help young children to develop social skills and teach them about appropriate behaviour. They also prepare them for school.

Looking after very young children can be a challenge, but if you chose to provide care in your own home, it offers fantastic flexibility and the opportunity to earn money while looking after your own children.


A concierge might not be the first position you consider when looking for a compassionate carer. But, it can take a lot. As a concierge, you are responsible for taking care of your clients, helping them with any needs that they might have, however small or mundane. As a concierge, you must have the ability to keep people happy, be compassionate and understanding, and sometimes, be very good at biting your tongue.

Funeral Director

Working as a funeral director isn’t for everyone. You need to be able to respect the dead while tending to their needs and preparing them for their final rest. But, you also need to be able to speak to their families and friends with great care and compassion. All without getting too upset or letting your emotions affect you. It can be difficult, but, unfortunately, it’s one of the few jobs that will always be in demand.

Many careers require a compassionate person. Even those that don’t specifically require this trait can benefit from it.