Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC
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We often think of self-esteem as having an on or off switch; either we have self-esteem or we don’t. The truth is a bit more complex. Rather than existing in one of two states, a person’s self-esteem is more like a player’s power bar in a video game. At any given time, our self-esteem meters are somewhere between full-capacity and completely drained. Most of us are somewhere in between.
With this in mind, finding ways to strengthen or replenish our self-esteem is important. One of these ways is through our occupation. A career gives us a sense of purpose as well as plenty of opportunities to show character and apply knowledge. It’s for these reasons that those who wish to strengthen their self-esteem ought to consider the following career paths in particular:
The most rewarding careers are often those which involve helping others. Few industries are as devoted to helping others as healthcare. It’s for these reasons that folks who want to empower themselves with a stronger sense of self-esteem should get into the healthcare industry. Not only does becoming a nurse or other medical specialist result in countless instances of helping others, but the employment opportunities are practically endless. With the help of medical staffing agencies, healthcare professionals can find work in just about any city they prefer.
Most folks don’t appreciate the value of public servants – men and women employed by government agencies and working in publicly-funded organizations – until they personally come to rely on their services. Whether it’s police and other first responders, public librarians, city engineers, city attorneys, judges, or road crews, these people are the vanguard of the infrastructure and social order everyone else takes for granted. The value of public service for the greater good of society is a self-esteem booster if ever there was one.
We all remember the handful of great teachers that made a huge difference in our lives. Chances are you owe some part of your development as the person you are today thanks to the hard work of an educator in your past. Those in the education field are helping to shape the minds and hearts of the men and women of tomorrow. This responsibility is not only incredibly important but also empowering for the people leading classrooms through lessons on a day to day basis. It might seem like thankless work at the time, but just remember the difference those tireless teachers had in your life, even if you didn’t appreciate it at the time.
Being a crucial element in helping a company or other profit-driven organization grow and prosper is a rewarding experience. The high stakes competitiveness of many business environments is also a head rush of emotional excitement, with the most successful men and women finding themselves being elevated in both their professional and personal statuses due to their savvy and acumen. It all adds up to one ongoing self-esteem boost. Just don’t let it go to your head.
Honest work in one of the many skilled trades is an underrated career path for contributing to society in a positive way. The carpenters, electricians, machinists, and technicians out there are humming along at their jobs, modestly making sure civilization has what it needs to keep going for another 72 hours or so. Those who wish to feel like they’re providing a vital service and the self-esteem that goes with it would be wise to look into skilled trades that interest them on a personal level. That way they not only enjoy going to work, but genuinely enjoy the work itself.
Self-esteem is not a matter of have and have-not. It’s more like a fuel tank, and we’re always somewhere between empty and full. Finding ways to keep our self-esteem from running on fumes is important, and our occupation has a lot to do with making that happen.
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Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.