9/20/11

How To Make A Difference?



Colombia Year Volunteer and talented writer, Mike, recently published his second article in USA TODAY. Read an excerpt here!

With three months left in Colombia, I find myself contemplating what to do when I return to the United States. Obviously, I cannot continue to work for free—I want to settle down, get my own place, and have an adult life. This costs money.

But I also cannot reconcile the thought of going back to a cramped cubicle doing uninspiring work.

For those of us who feel the visceral urge to do more with our lives than merely increase the number of zeros on our paychecks, finding work that is both lucrative and fulfilling is indeed a herculean task.

This leads us to the question: Is it possible to make a living while also making a difference? I wish that I could tell you I knew the answer, but I’m still working on it. It is quite possible the two are mutually exclusive and the idealistic job-seeker will need to choose one or the other. 

Granted, my current idealistic outlook is likely to change the day I take on serious adult responsibilities. Sacrificing pay for passion might sound reasonable when I have no one but myself to worry about, but less so when I have family to help support and a mortgage to pay.

But even if circumstance places us in careers that do not satisfy our idealistic urges, there are still plenty of opportunities to do good. We can volunteer at a local homeless shelter, mentor children in an after-school program, or donate a portion of our paychecks to charity.

Regardless of what we end up doing to pay the bills, we need only to look in our own backyards to find opportunities to make a difference.

The full article can be found here:  http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/career/will-you-make-a-living-or-a-difference-with-your-degree

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