WASHINGTON, D.C. — Foreboding statistics of high unemployment are leaving today’s students a little dejected. Many have high hopes of graduating, finding a job, becoming independent and finally fulfilling that “American Dream.” However, that dream might very well be a thing of the past, as the currently rising generation is faced with the difficulties of a tough and unwelcoming job market ahead of them.
Perhaps it is making way for a new dream. Better yet, it might be a dream of more community involvement and less self-centered careers. Many are now turning to careers in philanthropy to supplement the lack of high-paying, traditional business positions available. Across the board, young professionals are hunting down jobs nationally and internationally, permanent and temporary that will help make the world a better place and not just make their pockets a little heavier.
If you are one of the thousands who feel the urge to give back with what you have received, you are in luck. The opportunities are endless, and the rewards are endless, for the growing sector of philanthropically focused jobs. Forget that boring cubicle and take a look at this list here, to help you decide your next career move:
1. The Peace Corps:
Established in 1961, the Peace Corps has long been an option for adventure-seeking and benevolent-minded American youth. Applications have been pouring in at an unprecedented rate in recent years, though, and many attribute that to a growing humanitarian consciousness. The Peace Corps will send you to one of 139 countries who want your help, to perform jobs in agriculture, community development, education, construction, disaster relief and more. The commitment is 27 months, but the benefit of living and working in a close-knit community with a handful of other volunteers is something to consider. Only a bachelor’s degree is required to join the ranks of the Peace Corps, 210,000 veteran members and growing.
You do not have to go very far to find communities in need, and can stay within the country if an abroad experience is not for you. Ameri-Corps serves all regions of the United States, urban and rural alike, who are also in need of service. Over 80,000 individuals are already working for Ameri-Corps, in schools, national parks and public agencies. Its programs are split between Ameri-Corps Vista, which provides poverty relief, and Ameri-Corps NCCC, which focuses on reinforcing the strength of communities. Each program has slightly different requirements and commitments, so you will be sure to find something that meets your specific job search.
3. A local Non-Profit Organization:
Nationally recognized programs are fantastic, but smaller, independent organizations are also hugely important in providing aid and services. Their focuses can range anything from disease research to homeless shelters to violence and crisis relief. Even more varying are the job opportunities within them. Fundraising, direct services and victim support, grant writing, legal aid, educational awareness and general team leading are vital to the successful functioning of any nonprofit organization. Nonprofit work can be satisfying because your career is completely shaped around a cause about which you feel particularly passionate.
Both nationally and internationally, teachers are sought after so quality education can be provided to communities in need. Teach for America is a very reputable organization that places recent college graduates in the most severely disenfranchised urban and rural public schools across the country. There are thousands of charter schools and similar organizations that also offer similar educational services without teaching experience specifically necessary. Beyond just the U.S., English speakers are highly employable on every continent, to help individuals and their children gain access to the educational and employment opportunities of an increasingly global market. Although every language company is different, most provide benefits and a livable wage to the English educators that they employ.
Instead of being dejected by bleak job opportunities and discouraging news reports, one might get excited for an amazing and adventurous career in humanitarianism. There are so many people in the world who need and want you, personally, to help make their communities stronger, healthier and happier. The job satisfaction may not get much better than that.
Sources: Ameri-corps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, Interexchange