The perfect job is one that enables you to truly do what you love. If you value your work for more than the monetary rewards it allows you, it will never feel like “just a job” to you. One of the ways people find meaning in their work is to do something that will make a real difference in the world, such as working with children. Yes, it certainly takes a lot of hard work and patience, but thankfully, if you’re the type who loves the challenge of working with kids, the career options are pretty vast.
Becoming a teacher is perhaps the most obvious way to work with kids. Regardless of the age you end up working with, being a teacher takes massive amounts of patience (with your students and their parents), creativity and flexibility. But you are quite literally shaping the minds of our future, and that is nothing short of remarkable. Of course, you can’t just wake up and decide to be a teacher, so if it’s the road you want to pursue, you can get your bachelor’s in education here.
Do you have any unique talents, love being the center of attention and making children laugh? If the answer is yes, you were born to be an entertainer at children’s parties. You can do anything from flexing your clowning skills to showing off some magic tricks to making balloon animals. But don’t think this gig is a breeze. Kids can be brutally honest and if they don’t like what you’re offering, you will certainly know.
What’s cooler than getting to teach kids how to excel at a sport you love? You will get to witness them push through fears, celebrate their first home run, and learn how to be a team player. Plus, many coaches work on nights and weekends, which means that you could probably have an additional job working with kids for a double whammy. Maybe a P.E. teacher?
A lot of parents need extra help, either because they work full-time or there is just too much for them to do alone, and that creates the need for someone to help out on a daily basis. Unlike a babysitter, who typically comes in every once in a while so the parents can have a night away from the kids, a nanny typically lives in the home with the family. By hanging out with the kids every day, nannies get to develop some pretty special bonds with the children that are tough to beat. Of course, you will have a set amount of days off, but you essentially become part of the family and many form lasting bonds with the kids they take care of that last long after they are grown.
Put those college photography classes to use and consider becoming a family photographer. You can offer everything from infant portraits (so cute!) to full family photos. Plus, oftentimes parents stick with the same photographer for all of their photo needs, which means you will get to work with the same adorable kids all throughout their childhoods.
Much more serious than some of the other options on this list, becoming a social worker is not for the faint of heart. Yes, you will get to interact with children, but the reasons for those interactions may not be pretty. Many social workers help remove kids from abusive homes, place them in safer environments, work with teachers and families to help a child excel in school when something may be hindering them, and counsel kids who have lived through a trauma. The job may be intense, but the sense of purpose you will feel is sky-high.
If you not only love kids, but also love books, you should definitely become a librarian and pass on some of your bookworm knowledge. Whether you work at a public library or go for one in an elementary school, you will be able to inspire and engage kids with the written word. Who knows, you may even come across the next great author or a little Matilda who is bright beyond her years.