Self-development is, at its heart, a way to live a better, more connected life. But all too often the advice to follow your dreams, or pursue your passion, ends up leading to career choices that leave you struggling to pay the bills. You want a better-paid job, but you don’t want to cast aside your ideals in the process.
How can you live an authentic life without selling out to the system in order to earn a decent paycheck?
Get the Right Education
Maybe you hate the idea of giving your time and energy to a profits-driven system that exploits the planet and the people on it, in a never-ending quest for growth. As a result, you shy away from taking a business degree, a marketing degree or a finance degree.
But when you do that, you’re missing the big picture (and a big income). You could take your business skills and use them to help create a better world. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are changing the world, and they aren’t doing it alone. You can be part of that.
Other good careers that give back and make a difference include law enforcement and criminal justice, social work, and healthcare.
Degree Options for Your New Career
You don’t need to physically attend college to get the education that you’ll need to pursue your new career. Today, the degree courses offered by prestigious colleges and universities are more accessible than ever, thanks to their online programs.
You could study for your finance degree or masters in social work online while you continue with your current job.
An online MSW course is flexible and allows you to fit your studies around your work and family commitments. Once you qualify, you’ll be able to work with troubled families, children’s services, offender rehabilitation, veterans programs, and elder care, to name but a few. You could even take a job in local, state or federal government, and play a role in developing policies that will help millions of people.
It is Possible to Follow Your Heart and Pay Your Bills
Once you have your degree, you choose where to go next. A degree doesn’t shoehorn you into a profession that you despise, and no profession is plain black and white, anyway.
If you have a degree in healthcare, social work, or law enforcement it’s a given that you’ll be helping people, but other professions can swing both ways.
A lawyer can defend a murderer or a polluting corporation, but they can also defend the innocent and help to expose the lies of big business.
A finance manager can help tax dodgers ferret billions away offshore, or they can help a non-profit invest and raise funds to deliver services to the most vulnerable people in society.
Having ideas is a good thing and holding onto them is even better. You don’t need to sell out in order to enjoy a profitable career; you just have to be picky about who you will go to work for. Your degree is a tool; your profession is a tool. How you use them is up to you.
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