There’s no doubt about it — being a parent is an incredibly fulfilling job. It isn’t easy, but little else provides the same sense of satisfaction as teaching your children about the wide world around them and guiding their decisions as they move through that world.
As your children become more independent and rely on you for practical matter less and less often, you may find that your days seem a little empty. Plenty of moms decide to go back to school and pursue their own degree, once their children are in junior high or high school.
Are you in the same position? Are you itching to challenge your brain and put your talents to work to help your children’s generation, and those to follow? If so, take a look at this list we’ve compiled, of the best ways to help future generations while embarking on a rewarding career.
Perhaps the first career that you think of, when considering ways to “pay it forward,” is teaching. After all, you’ve got plenty of experience as a teacher, even if you haven’t ever done it for pay. All parents are teachers, and the skills you have developed while raising your own children will be put to good use if you decide to pursue this professional path.
And don’t forget that there are many ways to teach. You can get a Bachelor’s degree in education and teach public school or private school. It’s not always necessary to be certified to teach, either. Teachers need aides and paraprofessionals. Or you can lecture at the college or university level once you’ve reached a particular juncture in your own career.
There are plenty of positions that require teaching skills, but that do not follow a traditional teaching career path. You can be a private tutor or work with adult students, teaching English as a second language to immigrants. You can teach piano or guitar out of your home, or you can give cooking classes at a local continuing education facility or maker space.
A Career in Public Health
Public health is another field that offers a wide variety of occupations. One thing they all have in common is that they are concerned with preventing disease, promoting human health and well-being, and prolonging human life.
While doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, paramedics, and other medical personnel have a hands-on role in helping people become and stay healthy, public health jobs are usually behind the scenes.
Many of these positions involve a component of education; others center on research, communications, public policy, project management, statistics, and administration. After earning an online public health degree, you could go on to work in such capacities as:
- A healthcare administrator
- An epidemiologist
- A public health analyst
- A scientific researcher
- A social or human service worker
- A community health educator
Depending on the path you choose, you could work directly with members of the public, in an advisory or administrative capacity, or in a research position that has little to no contact with the public.
If you have children, you probably go to great lengths to make sure that the foods they eat are not only appetizing, but also wholesome and nutritious. And if you enjoy that challenge, perhaps you would make a good dietician or nutritionist.
What we eat and drink has a direct impact on us — not just on our bodies and physical health, but also on our emotions, our cognitive abilities, and our overall well-being. Helping others learn how to eat well, often on a budget or with dietary challenges, is therefore a career that is very forward thinking.
As with the other career paths we’ve discussed in this article, becoming a dietician can lead to a number of rewarding positions. You could help design the menus for public institutions, teach classes in basic nutrition, teach children how to love healthy food, mentor individuals, create educational materials or public information campaigns, or even work with a sports team to maximize the athletes’ food intake.
Naturally, these careers are just a few out of the many ways there are to impact future generations. One good piece of advice for a mom looking to get an education and re-enter the workforce is to find something you really enjoy and are passionate about, and then seek out opportunity to turn that passion into a career.
Are you considering going back to school when your children are older? What career would you choose, if you could do anything at all? Leave a comment below and start a conversation!