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What are creatives careers that help people?

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Susie’s Answer

Hi Ariana,

I'd like to say that many creative careers can help people - it just depends on where you end up in your career (employer). I've worked in many "fields" in the creative arts industry and have been in eLearning for about 15 years now, and can honestly say that I feel like I "help" people in different ways - depending on the course that I am building. I get to use my design and animation skills in the courses that I build and at the same time I get to teach people about a certain topic. In some cases those have been about health care topics such as mental health, alzheimers, stress relief etc. In other cases I am building training for software or HR.

I also have a friend who is a designer who works at an organization that only hires people with learning disabilities - she helps train them in the field and they produce amazing print materials and products for local organizations etc. in their on-site print shop - what an amazing opportunity to give back to the community.

What is stopping anyone from using their creativity to help people?

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Amy’s Answer

What types of people would you like to help? Do you have certain skills that you would like to use to help people? Once you can answer one or both of those questions, it will be easier to help steer you toward certain types of work.

That said, there are many creative careers where you can help people.

You could build houses which helps people have shelter.
You could design user experiences - apps or software - that enable people to find work online, or do things they need to get through their days.
You could volunteer doing just about anything - and most volunteer work helps people in many ways.

First, identify your passions. What, when you're doing it, do you truly get lost, enjoying what you're doing so much you lose track of time? Start with that.

It could be cooking.
It could be writing.
It could be singing.
It could be mowing the lawn.

Once you identify what you truly enjoy, start there. Look into ways to leverage that thing you do so well to focus a career path.

Then come back, and let's talk more.
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G. Mark’s Answer

I'd like to first say that just about any career might be leveraged to help people. It may be something as big as doing various charity work or coming up with new cures or inventions. But it may be something as simple as making work more productive or less stressful for co-workers. The point is that opportunities to help people abound just about every day. The important thing is that many people simply don't take the initiative. There are examples of people simply not bothering. Recently, I was given an instruction sheet for a medical device. It was supposed to be calibrated for use for a week. The device had to be used for two weeks. The instruction sheet was given to every patient, and it described how to "trick" the device to be usable for two weeks. This was a software setting that could have easily been changed by the manufacturer changing a single value in the code. Thousands of people have to read and understand these instructions. Thousands of medical personnel have to explain them to each patient. Likely hundreds get it wrong and have to get help. This is a trivial example of effort that could have saved thousands of wasted hours. Trivial things like this abound. All it takes is the will to do something a little different to make life better. Some things like this exist that have far more dramatic and significant effects. The point is that creative people need to simply think about making the effort.

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Ken’s Answer

In my experience, creativity has been a valuable tool for changing hearts and minds around important issues. I saw that you tagged design, writing, and art. All of those can be used to create powerful messages.

Have you ever seen a campaign that inspired you? Maybe to support a cause that you care about? Creative teams need to come up with the concept, the words, and the images. That includes writers and designers, but could also include photographers and illustrators. If the campaign included a video, that could also include directors, camera operators, editors, musicians, and more.

Beyond campaigns, you might consider designing products that help people. These could be physical products like tools, or digital products like apps. You could even think about designing better and more accessible customer experiences. Imagine redesigning the systems that are central to our society, like access to voting or financial inclusion. All of these require creativity, and they can all help people.

What are you interested in? What do you think you would be good at? What do you enjoy? What does the world need? If you find something that answers all of those questions, that might be a good direction for you.