Help People with a Career in Finance (and Make Money!)
When you are in your 20s, your job priorities may be having lots of time for yourself, working with a sense of purpose, and/or being employed by a company that makes it a mission to help people. Sectors such as finance may not present an obvious appeal, plus salary considerations may be further down the scale.
However, you would do well to get an online masters degree in accounting from UAB or from one of the many fine schools that offer such degrees. With the proper job search parameters, you can get everything you want from a career in finance without sacrificing salary. And believe it, financial sector jobs pay well.
Be Your Own Boss
The financial sector is perhaps the easiest in which you can start your own business. You need virtually no startup funds to set up shop as an accountant, for instance. The minimums, other than a college degree (or degrees), are a laptop and accounting software programs. A home office is nice but not strictly necessary.
You can structure your schedule and marketing so that you’re working with clients who truly need help. For example, part of your efforts may target people who are disadvantaged in some way by government policies, and you can give them discounts. Working as a personal finance advisor is another easy and potentially lucrative way to fulfill your needs of contributing to the community while earning good money.
Charities, Organizations, and Governments Need You
All sorts of groups need people who know finance. For one thing, nonprofits and charities need people to fundraise. Many also hire employees to invest their money wisely and to manage these investments. Working in finance does not necessarily mean getting a job with “greedy” banks or living the risky life as a day trader (but you can!).
The job opportunities in government and for charities and nonprofits are diverse too. You could work to track ongoing funds raised, or screen accountant applicants for an effort to provide free accounting services. Even working as a loan officer may be fulfilling. You work with applicants (for car loans, mortgage loans, and the like) to help them find the best product for their needs. If they do not qualify, you should be able to give them assistance to help them get into better financial standing. For that matter, credit counseling can be an incredibly rewarding job.
Suppose part of you wants a flashy job as a banker, while part of you wants to work in the trenches helping people. Guess what? You can have both, and in fact, your main job can make you even more attractive to volunteer organizations. Say you get work as a Wall Street trader, or set out on your own as a successful personal finance coach.
You still have, say, evenings and weekends, and probably even some days during the week where you can make time to volunteer. Personal finance coaches can offer discount plans or free counseling sessions, for example, while a Wall Street trader can speak with schoolchildren about investing basics.
You can also search for employment with businesses, large and small, that emphasize volunteerism and/or helping others as part of their core business philosophy. As an example, your local accounting firm may have a job opening and offer free tax return help for people making under X amount every Saturday for three hours during tax season.
Education, health care, and counseling are among the more obvious career choices for people who want to help others. Finance does offer its share of such opportunities, though, and you have the ability to structure your career the way you like and to help a wide swath of people.