Kids can bring a lot of joy into people’s lives, and it’s an instinct for most to look after them and offer them guidance. They can be more insightful than they get credit for, allowing you the opportunity to learn things about yourself while you spend time with them, too. Even young adults can be inspiring, and it’s interesting to see how they view the world and start thinking about what the future might hold for them. For these reasons, it’s understandable why people are drawn to careers that are based around kids and teens, as playing a part in their development can be very rewarding. If this is something that you have always been interested in, here are some career options that will allow you to work directly with children.
If you want to work with younger children and aren’t interested in an educational setting or healthcare, then childcare makes a lot of sense. If you want to be a private nanny for a family, you will need to have some background in this field before, such as a degree in early childhood development and some previous experience caring for children. In this role, you will work exclusively for a family and potentially live in their home, too, although this isn’t necessary a lot of the time. Your employers will state their specific needs for you, but typically you can expect to take the children to school and pick them up, prepare their meals, encourage learning through play for younger children, as well as helping older ones with their homework. You might also have to get the kids dressed and ready for bed. If you don’t want to work as a private nanny, you can always look into working in a day-care center instead, which is closer to a school setting if you’re more comfortable with this type of environment.
Another very obvious role that will allow you to work with children and young adults is a teacher. This is can be a tough profession at times, as there is pressure that comes with being responsible for the education of younger generations. However, it can also be a very rewarding career as you encourage these young people to explore new ideas and watch them form their opinions about the world. You could even inspire them to find their path in life, and watching them thrive and showcase their talents is wonderful. It’s also a stable job that is in demand, so if you’re looking for job security, this is a career that can certainly offer that, including progression opportunities such as becoming head of a department, a school principal, or even working in government roles for education, too.
This role is great for those interested in and passionate about psychology but would still like to work closely with kids. It can be a great career that offers good pay, particularly if you go into private practice. However, you must be able to emotionally separate from your work in this role which can be very challenging. Finding the balance of being comforting and making your patients feel safe to talk with you is key, but often the things they will be sharing with you will be very hard to hear. Of course, this is true for a psychologist working with any age group, but in some ways, hearing these things coming from vulnerable children is even more challenging. This role is very important and can do a lot of good for kids and teens going through a hard time, but it will take someone with a lot of compassion, patience, and the ability to not get emotionally involved to succeed in this role.
Want to combine psychology with an educational setting? This job is great for those with a background in child psychology who are looking to make a career shift. You will still be responsible for helping young people navigate difficult situations, teaching them coping mechanisms, and giving advice, but rather than being in a clinical setting, you will work in a school. While you will have open doors to every student, you will likely be working more frequently with those who have behavioral issues or difficult domestic situations. You will also play a part in tackling bullying and highlighting the importance of mental health throughout the school.
As teenagers start to reach the end of their high school years, they need to start thinking about what are the next steps for them. Some might go to college, others straight into the world of work, but all of them need to start coming up with some ideas of what career path they might like to follow. As a career advisor, you can sit down with students and discuss their interests with them. Then, combining their passions with their skillset, you can help them explore the options that are best suited to them, shedding light on roles that they might thrive in but haven’t heard of before. Whether they choose to pursue that path or not will be up to them, but you could inspire them to try something that they hadn’t even thought of before.
If you don’t want to work in a school setting, there are plenty of other jobs where you can play an important role in kids’ lives. For example, a youth worker might work at the local leisure center or youth center to organize fun activities for kids to do after school and at the weekends. These establishments can provide safe spaces for younger children and teenagers to socialize together and can encourage a sense of community.
In any job where you work with children, you will have to have a background check as part of the safeguarding procedures and learn about these yourself. This will include the appropriate way to handle situations where you might be concerned over the welfare of a child and need to report this to the social services, so be prepared to take on this kind of responsibility in these roles. However, even though a lot of responsibility comes with these jobs, the rewards are amazing, which makes it all worth it.