From a young age, children are taught to pursue their passions and interests and to hopefully go on and make a career out of them in adulthood. They get to shadow different careers and possibly dream up a future career for themselves. You might recall what you thought you always wanted to be when you were in elementary school. However, this basic concept is usually overwhelmed by the desire to earn a decent living rather than to financially struggle while doing what you love. Perhaps what you thought you wanted to be in kindergarten might have drastically changed once you got to high school or college because you began to view the world differently. Financial pressure has a huge impact on people.
Although some people do strike gold while doing a job that they love, we have to also appreciate those who are more interested in doing their job simply because they love it regardless of how small their income might be. Happiness can be achieved by different people in different ways. Some find that financial gain brings them material happiness, while others find a lasting joy in a career that they love. The following twenty careers are typically held by people who love what they do regardless of their paycheck.
20. Fire Fighter
Many little boys and girls dream of fighting fires at a young age, a dream that some will actually live out their lives pursuing. It’s a fulfilling career filled with lots of excitement, risks, and helping others. Nonetheless, it can also be quite stressful requiring long and odd hours that might not necessarily be worth the median salary of $46,000 per year. However, the men and women in this field are in it to pursue a life calling, and not necessarily for a fat wallet. Hats off to them as they certainly deserve our respect for fulfilling a noble service.
CNAs (Certified Nurse’s Assistants) do a lot of dirty work, literally. They’re usually the ones that are responsible for taking patients to the restroom, helping them use the restroom, and even helping them clean up after doing their business. And if the place gets covered in vomit or fecal matter, it’s most likely the CNA who’s going to have to clean it up. But every future nurse or medical practitioner has to start somewhere and it’s a career that gives you plenty of experience if your life calling is in the medical profession. Otherwise, the pay isn’t glamorous and you could probably make more money doing less dirty work elsewhere.
18. Social Worker
Social workers enter the field because they have a strong sense of calling to help others in need from abused children to the homeless. This can be a very stressful job, however, depending on the different types of cases you might see. However, most social workers find their job to be extremely fulfilling and rewarding overall. This should give you a bit of appreciation for them considering that they usually don’t get paid very well, although they should. This is due to the fact that they often work for non-profit and government-run agencies that have a very limited budget.
People who enter the mental health field with aspirations of earning a high paycheck usually become psychiatrists (they earn the highest income within the mental health sector). Psychiatrists are the doctors responsible for prescribing and managing patient medications related to mental health. They’re not the ones responsible for listening to your problems and issues, and they’ll let you know it as well. That’s what counselors do. Mental health counselors are responsible for mediating problems between marriages and families, helping people cope with trauma and mood disorders, and so forth. Not everyone is called to listen to people talk about their problems all day, but counselors certainly possess this special gift.
People who pursue a career in clergy usually have a combined passion in religion and serving others. Considering that an MDiv (Master of Divinity) degree can take up to eight years to achieve (four of those being in undergraduate studies), one could instead spend those eight years in medical school if they were really pursuing a career just for the money. Pastors and chaplains make less than half as much as doctors do and sometimes will supplement their income with a side vocation just so that they can pay back all of the loans they took out for their MDiv.
There’s no real defined track for becoming an artist. In fact, only a handful of artists get noticed and find financial success, and sometimes their success comes after they die. The rest are simply in the field to fulfill their passion for art. Artists typically find that no other job can be more rewarding than a field where they can outlet all of their creativity – which they have tons of! This applies to all kinds of artists from painters to musicians. In fact, on shows like “The Voice”, artists often speak of how they’ve dedicated their entire lives to perfecting their artistry hoping to also make a successful career out of it. In reality, most of them have to supplement their income with a day job in another field.
Authors can spend years writing up a novel before they ever see a paycheck. But it’s not something that they do for financial gain, although everyone would love to become the next J.K. Rowling (author of Harry Potter series). Authors have a special knack for creating story lines and they find real satisfaction in penning them out. They’re incredibly creative and can find inspiration for their stories from the world around them or even from their own life experiences. In fact, some of the best stories are based on true stories or are metaphorical of an author’s previous experience.
13. Special Needs Teacher
It takes a special person to become a special needs teacher, one with patience, selflessness, and kindness. Today, special needs classrooms are filling up more with students who have extreme behavioral issues. The special needs teacher enforces boundaries and rules to help these students accomplish the task at hand. Oftentimes, however, there aren’t enough teachers to meet each student’s specific needs. Like the others, this job can be both stressful and rewarding. Special needs teachers can earn a sufficient income with the right degree and credentials, however, it is still an income that is far from what they really deserve.
12. Interior Designer
Here’s a job that sounds like a lot of fun for the right kind of brain. You’d have to be super creative yet extremely analytical, and you’d also have to be able to work with other people’s tastes and personal preferences. These jobs can pay a decent salary if you start your own business, but most interior designers work for agencies and earn a mediocre rate. Yet, they find their jobs super rewarding. Interior designers find their passion in arranging home décor and beautifying spaces.
11. ESL Teacher
ESL teachers and tutors don’t earn a fancy salary. On average, an ESL teacher will only get paid $20 for teaching an hour-long ESL course to over twenty students. This is usually because the school pockets a huge portion of the income. ESL teachers could make more money doing one-on-one tutoring sessions, but most teachers just love being in the classroom setting. This doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the income. It’s a tough job that is usually contingent upon student reviews so can also require lots of preparation, energy, time, and stress. They can make more money working for a public university, but the majority of ESL teachers work for private language institutes.
10. High School Principal
I don’t know who’d want to be a high school teacher let alone a high school principal. Just imagine all of the hormone-induced fights and drama you’d have to deal with on a daily basis. Not only that, but you’d also have to deal with managing teachers who already hate their jobs, staff members who want nothing to do with mandatory staff development meetings, and parents who want to blame you first for everything their children are suffering with. It’s a high-stress job that comes with little cooperation from all of the people you have to work with. Also, the paycheck can be sufficient but not quite worth all of the stress and workload.
9. Behavioral Therapist
Behavioral Therapists work closely with children and adults who have learning disabilities or mental health issues. They can work one-on-one with children in schools and in their homes. They can also work in mental health facilities in small and large groups. Their focus is on helping people cope with the issues that hinder them from functioning normally on a day-to-day basis. To become a behavioral therapist, someone should usually be trained in education or counseling and will be required to pass numerous background checks. It’s a career that is usually sought out to fulfill a desire in helping other rather than pursuing a paycheck.
Bloggers spend their days writing up engaging blogs and touching up their websites to attract readers. Every blogger hopes to earn a decent income of some sort, but not every blogger does. Therefore, bloggers really just blog to… well, blog. They love getting their entries publicized and want their story to ruminate with other readers. Fashion bloggers, specifically, have a genuine love and passion for fashion and aspire to inspire others with their daily wardrobes and outfits of the day. Some bloggers work for big news companies like the Huffington Post and spend their time crafting up the perfect blog whether or not they get paid out.
7. Research Assistant
Researchers spend their entire educational lives devoted to studying a specific field of interest, usually in medicine or science. However, only a select few go on to becoming successful researchers. It’s a tough industry and only the brightest of the bright can really discover ground-breaking formulas. The majority of them remain in research assistant or associate roles, working in a lab under another leading scientist or physician. Therefore, if they stay in the field, it’s probably because they have a sincere interest and passion in the particular area. Otherwise, they’d be able to earn more income in an applied science or industry role.
Not everyone loves being in the kitchen (and not everyone should). But those who are really good at it have a genuine love and passion for cooking. They love good food and they love to make others smile when they taste their cooking. The only problem is that it’s also a career that doesn’t come with much bling. In fact, most chefs end up spending a lot of their own money investing in restaurants and food truck businesses only to gain a small investment in return. This is why you hear all kinds of sob stories of how hard someone has worked from the very bottom up before making their big break on shows like Master Chef.
Gardeners find their peace and joy in a career of tending to plants, succulents, and gardens. Most gardeners would even say that their job is nothing short of therapeutic and for someone who loves being in the outdoors, this would be an excellent career of choice. Gardeners not only tend to plants but are often responsible for the overall aesthetic of the garden. They’re also experts at caring for plants and know which plants best suit the overall environment. Although they don’t earn a glamorous paycheck or lifestyle, they are absolute experts in their fields and love what they do.
4. Personal Assistant
One main reason why people enter a field as a personal assistant, secretary, administrative or executive assistant is because they’d rather be in a supporting role than a leadership role. Not everyone finds joy in highly visible and likely stressful positions. For a personal assistant, he/she might actually find it difficult to manage others. Therefore, they enjoy working in a supportive role even if it means less pay (which, of course, it does). Someone with a highly sensitive, supportive and loyal personality would most likely do a great job in this kind of position compared to someone with a Type-A personality.
Farmers generally run farms that have been owned by their family for decades, and farming just so happens to be a huge family tradition and way of life. No one usually goes into farming just to break the bank, but rather it’s the only career they’d ever know. Farmers need to have a true and joy for their crops and livestock because farming is truly a lifestyle. Farmers are experts in harvesting crop and caring for their animals. Considering it’s more than a 9-5 job and consumes every part of your life, farmers typically don’t earn a fancy living (unless you own a famous winery).
I once met a pediatric nurse who said that nurses generally don’t want to go into pediatrics because it’s the most difficult specialty to work in. Not only do you have to deal with babies, teenagers, and annoying parents, but generally, pediatricians earn an income that is towards the lower end of the MD scale. It’s definitely not a job that pays as much as it should. Therefore, being a pediatrician really does require a combined love and passion for medicine and working with children. Furthermore, the preparation for becoming a pediatrician or pediatric nurse might be equivalent (or even more) than working for a different sector, although the pay isn’t as great.
1. Preschool Teacher
It takes special people (usually women) to want to spend forty plus hours a week of their lives with toddlers and babies. Imagine all of the crying, screaming, fighting, boogers, and even dirty diapers you’d have to endure all in one day. This is usually why most people would rather hire a nanny or put their children in preschool and have them watched by others. At a median income of $12 per hour, it’s not a career anyone would do just for the money because you’d likely make more money waiting tables. The people who pursue this career are excellent with children, have lots of patience, and are nurturing in nature.
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