In 2018 stress is a real problem to contend with. The political and financial institutions and status quo we have all relied on for decades appear to be unstable on a global scale, and work exerts an increasing pressure. Networking technology means we’re available all the time: texts and emails can reach us at any hour of the day or night, as anyone with a manager in a different time zone or simply on a different schedule can tell you. If you’re chasing promotion, a raise or simply a reputation for results, you’re expected to log in on your commute, and answering emails long after office hours have elapsed.

Perhaps the worst of it is it’s difficult to see how much of a difference these tasks make. Some can be easily related to numbers on a balance sheet, but it’s still hard to derive the same satisfaction from a job in marketing as building something with your hands: if you’re carpenter you can end a day having created a chair you can see, touch and sit in, know you’ve done a good day’s work and rest easy. It’s harder to see the fruits of your labours when you simply sit at a keyboard all day.

Today we’re taking a look at jobs that make a difference. If the source of your stress is worrying about the worth of what you do, you can take steps to resolve it.

Probation Officer

While the popular image of the criminal justice system is as a machine for locking up criminals, it’s much more an engine of reform, with language referring to punishment removed from the legal definition of ‘prisons’.

Probation officer jobs are always recruiting. The intent of these specialists is not to enforce the terms of a probation. They function as social workers within the justice system, and indeed many use them as a gateway to social work. You’re there to provide a point of continuity in the lives of those subject to Probation Orders, represent them and help connect them with services that will help to mitigate the risk of reoffending.


There are more routes into teaching than ever before now, with traditional degree courses being augmented by work based training programs for those who are already qualified or have been working for some years and have relevant experience. The need for teachers has never been greater, and by searching you can often even find funding available to cover the cost of pursuing an early childhood education degree at this school, especially if you have highly sought after skills like math or science qualifications.

Teaching makes an enormous difference to the life of its pupils – everyone remembers the teacher that inspired them, that had time for them when no one else did, and there is no job like it for feeling like you’ve made a difference every day.

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