Going to work can be so much more satisfying when you leave at the end of the day, knowing that you helped to put a smile on someone’s face.
Could you put together the perfect bouquet of flowers for someone’s birthday? Give someone a confidence boost by doing their make-up for a special occasion? Or help a family choose their next pet? These are just a few of the many ways that you could find satisfaction from helping others at work.
If you like what you hear, then have a look at these 10 feel-good roles. They might just offer what you’ve been looking for…
1. Help animals and potential owners come together as a Rehoming and Welfare Officer
By working to rehome animals, you have the potential to make all those involved very happy! For an individual or a family, getting a pet is a big commitment (one that they are likely to have thought about for a long time), and they’ll usually be full of excitement and anticipation by the time they meet the person that could finally make that dream a reality – you! In equal measure, an animal who hasn’t had the best start to life, will be in need of a lot of love and a place they can finally feel at home.
Working as a Rehoming Officer or Rehoming Assistant, you could be responsible for helping families and animals to choose one another and settle into their new lives – which can be a very heartwarming experience!
Rehoming roles are often available with charities like Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and Dogs Trust, so it’s best to check in with your local branch to find out whether they have any roles available. Often all you need to get started is a genuine passion for animals and the work that the charities do.
2. Make children laugh as a Children’s Entertainer
Could you be the life and soul of a kid’s birthday party? If you’re fun, confident and enjoy making children laugh, then you could feel right at home as a Children’s Entertainer.
They work in a range of different settings, from kids parties to holiday resorts, and their job is to make sure that the kids stay safe, happy and have a memorable experience. The type of entertainment you choose will depend on where your strengths lie, for example, perhaps you’re a balloon animal expert, have a few magic tricks up your sleeve or can wow with some science or theatre skills. Kids are great at seeing straight through people who don’t really know what they’re doing, so it’s best to choose something that you feel confident in so that you can still perform well under pressure. Repeat business from other children’s parents who come to one of your parties can be a huge driver of success for many children’s entertainers, so it’s important to get your routine right from the start. With this in mind, it’s worth practicing and honing your routine in front of friends and families kids and grandkids before setting out as a service.
If this is something that tickles your fancy, then there are usually two ways to go about it:
- Join a company that specialises in providing children’s entertainment. Some prefer to take on people with experience, whilst others may be willing to hire those with little or no experience, providing that they have a friendly demeanor and a positive attitude.
- Consider working on a self-employed basis and advertising your services in your local area. If you feel confident enough to do this then the first thing you should decide is what sort of entertainment you want to offer e.g. magic tricks, circus skills etc. Once you’ve found your niche, you’ll need to apply for a DBS certificate (which you can show to potential clients) and public liability insurance, which will cover you in the event that a child (or adult) as an accident whilst taking part in your performance.
Fancy giving it a try as a company employee?
3. Uncover the magic of some well-loved locations as a Tour Guide
If you’re particularly passionate about certain areas or tourist attractions in the UK or abroad, and you’d like to share the magic of these with others, then you could consider working as a Tour Guide. The role can offer a great alternative to the confines of a 9-5 office job, by giving you a chance to get out in the fresh air.
The way you approach the profession will depend entirely on what kind of Tour Guide you want to be. For example, would you like to do guided walks around areas with stunning landscapes? Or would you prefer to work in galleries, museums or historic sights? The choice is yours!
If you have a specific site in mind, you may find it easier to contact the site directly and ask whether there are any tour guiding opportunities available. Alternatively, many Tour Guides decide to work on a self-employed basis guiding tourists around an area on a walking tour. The best way to get started with this is to join The Institute of Tourist Guiding who can provide more information on training and personal development.
Working as a Tour Guide is a fantastic way to see as much of the country and/or world as possible, and to help others delight in it too. Your next adventure could be just around the corner…
4. Organise people’s special occasions as an Event Planner
People who hire an Event Planner to help them plan and organise a particular occasion, will usually only do so when it’s of special importance. For example, a couple may hire a Wedding Planner to make sure that their wedding goes off without a hitch, or a family may draw on the skills of an Event Planner to help them organise a dynamic 60th birthday event. As an Event Planner, most of the satisfaction will come from seeing everyone having a great time at one of your events. For some people, this event may be something that they will cherish for the rest of their lives and it can be extremely rewarding to know that you have helped them to create that happy memory.
You don’t need any particular qualifications to get started as an Event Planner and it’s completely up to you whether you decide to start as a trainee with an Event Planning company, or go it alone and work on a self-employed basis.
If you’d rather work on a self-employed basis, then your main focus will be on winning clients and building up your event planning experience. A great way to do this is to start by helping to plan events for friends and family or for local community groups to build up a portfolio and showcase your work. It can also be helpful to get in touch with local Event Planners to ask if you can spend some time shadowing them, or join the Association of Event Organisers which will help you to meet like-minded individuals through networking events. And although it’s not essential to have any qualifications, it can still be useful to take an Event Management course online to boost your skill set, enhance your credibility and find out more about setting up your own business.
5. Create a fun retail experience by landing a role in a toy shop
If you’re looking to work in a fun environment where you can warm the hearts of children, then why not consider seeing if they’re hiring at a toy shop near you?
Build-A-Bear Workshop, The Disney Store, Hamleys and many other toy shops employ enthusiastic staff who make sure that every child who comes through the door has a unique and unforgettable retail experience. For example, at Build-A-Bear Workshops, children can choose a stuffed toy and bring it to life by giving it a heart, voice and full wardrobe! This is all carried out in a fun and ceremonious way that allows children to feel like their toys really are coming to life.
Roles like this aren’t for everyone, but for any budding thespians it can be a fun way to brush up on your acting skills, while getting paid.
Want to join in the fun?
6. Open a business and delight others with your services
Do you have an idea for a product or service that you know will bring joy to others?
If you’re finding it difficult to find the right role for you, then sometimes it can be helpful to consider creating your own role by working for yourself. This is a great way to take back control of your own future because the type of work you choose to do and how you choose to work will be completely up to you.
We recently interviewed a 59-year-old, David who set up his own vintage-themed catering business and now sells ice-cream and popcorn to customers in and around Blackpool and the Fylde coast. As most business owners will tell you, it’s not all easy going, but through his business he aims to “deliver delight and joy” to every face that he meets, and admits that although building a business can be challenging – it’s worth it for the flexibility and level of choice that comes with it.
Need a little inspiration?
7. Help people choose the perfect outfit or gift as a Personal Shopper
As a Personal Shopper, you’ll do more than simply help people with their shopping – you’ll have the ability to positively impact someone’s life. For example, a shopper could be looking for a whole new wardrobe to give them a confidence boost, or a special gift for a loved one to show them how much they care. The joy that a person could get from either of these purchases may be greater than you might expect and knowing that you’re sending someone away with a smile and a feeling of accomplishment can be incredibly rewarding.
There are several areas you can work in as a Personal Shopper, such as fashion, furniture and beauty – so it’s completely up to you in what area you choose to help and inspire people.
You don’t need any specific qualifications or experience to become a Personal Shopper, but you might have an advantage if you have previous experience in customer service or sales. But many employers are happy to train people on the job as long as they have strong people skills and the right attitude.
8. Get some tails wagging as a Dog Walker
There are few times that you will see any dog happier, then when they realise that they are about to go out for a walk! This means that as a Dog Walker, you could quickly become a favourite in the eyes of many four-legged friends. And nothing makes a dog owner happier than feeling reassured that their loyal companion is being taken care of when they are away or at work.
As long as you’re reasonably fit and have a love of dogs, there’s no reason why you can’t start walking dogs straight away. Often the hardest part of getting started is finding clients and establishing yourself as a credible dog walker – but once you have a handful of happy customers, it will only be a matter of time before they start recommending you to others.
The easiest way to start meeting dogs who are in need of walking is through sites like Tailster or Paw Shake. Here you can set up a free account and apply for dog walking jobs as they become available. These sites will take a small cut of any money you earn, but you will reap the benefits of their insurance policy, giving you peace of mind that in the event that a dog was to become ill or injured whilst in your care, you’ll be covered against any claims.
9. Spread happiness with flowers as a Florist
If you’re someone who appreciates flowers, then you will understand the ability that they have to put a smile on the recipients face! Flower bouquets or arrangements are associated with a number of occasions – the majority of which are celebratory – and the scale of what people can ask for will vary. Someone might be looking to buy a single bunch of flowers for their loved one on Valentine’s Day or a dozen garlands for an outdoor wedding in the summer – but either way, it’s likely that your work will help make an occasion more special.
Floristry requires a great deal of skill and knowledge and one of the best ways to start is to apply for a job as a trainee or an apprentice with a local flower company. Alternatively you could try taking an accredited distance-learning course, which could teach you all the essential skills and knowledge needed to set up your own shop or flower stall.
Ready to watch your career blossom?
10. Give makeovers as a Beauty Therapist, Make-up Artist or Hairdresser
By using your beauty therapy or hairdressing skills to help someone look and feel their best, you could help them feel happier and more confident. Most people who decide to work in the beauty industry do so because they are truly passionate about making people feel good. That could mean doing someone’s make-up before an important occasion, giving someone an exciting new hairstyle, or helping someone to feel more confident about their skin by giving them a facial.
If you want to work in hair and beauty, you’ll need to be tactful, good with people and have the ability to easily connect and build trust with clients. You’ll also need to build up some expertise in your area of interest, which you can do by either undertaking the appropriate training and setting yourself up on a self-employed basis, or by applying for a job as a trainee at a hair or beauty salon.
If you decide to work on a self-employed basis, you will need to make sure you have the right permissions and insurance. Most self-employed hairdressers have public and professional liability insurance (which will protect you against accidents and injuries that may occur whilst the person is in your care) and also specialist hairdressers’ treatment risk insurance, (which will protect you against any claims for hair products and dyes that have had an adverse effect on any customers). You will also need to check in with your local council, who may want to check that you are carrying out the right health and safety procedures.
Before you set up your own business you may find it helpful to join the Freelance Hairdressers Association who promote training and personal development.
Interested in developing your skills in hair and/or beauty?
Or for those who’d be interested in volunteering…
Work with your pet to make others smile
If you own a cat or dog and would love to brighten up someone’s day, then you and your pet might want to consider becoming part of a pet therapy team. Once part of the team, you and your pet could go into hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues across the UK. The aim is to provide companionship and friendship to people suffering from things like mental and physical illnesses and loneliness, who enjoy simply being able to touch and stroke a friendly and affectionate animal.
PAT dogs have also been shown to help young people who struggle with reading out loud in groups due to nerves or stress. They often become more confident and relaxed and begin to look forward to their reading experience, when they are reading to their new friend – the PAT dog.
Charity Pets as Therapy (PAT) regularly look for dogs and cats of all breed types to join the PAT team with their owners. They simply ask that you have been the owner of the dog or cat for at least 6 months and that they are at least 9 months old, with a full vaccination history. They must also be able to pass a temperament test to make sure that they are the right fit for the role.