Empathy is a quality that is highly prized and – it sometimes feels – all too rarely shown. In truth, it is a character trait that can often be a weakness, not because it’s a bad thing to be, but because it makes you vulnerable. Spend too long watching TV, and you can easily find yourself, as an empathetic person, being turned off a lot of careers. Investment banking? Too callous. Law? Too cynical. Teacher? Too frustrating, and so the list goes on.
Even jobs which from the outside seem ideal for empathetic people might be a step too far. The idea of becoming a veterinarian or a nurse may seem ideal to begin with, but for someone who fully feels their emotions and those of others, they can be heartbreaking on a daily basis. So you have to choose carefully, and below we have some examples of jobs which could be ideal for an empathetic person.
Counselors/Therapists display empathy
While the cut and thrust of a healthcare facility can be damaging for someone whose emotional antennae are finely tuned, empathy is a quality in demand for the purposes of talking therapy. In a controlled setting away from the mood whiplash of urgent care, a therapist can make a big difference by being prepared to listen, empathize, and reflect. Patients know when a therapist is going through the motions, and it makes them less likely to open up and accept the help they need – so your empathy and emotional honesty can be a real asset.
It might seem like a leap if we’re suggesting that nursing might be too much, but suggesting working in a funeral home as an alternative. However, it actually makes a lot of sense. People who have suffered loss do not want to deal with a business that is brusque and matter-of-fact. Should you choose to become a funeral home director, your ability to treat the bereaved with the necessary solemnity can be a real help to them. It will also mean you don’t miss the little details that may seem small in isolation, but which matter all the more at a time of such delicacy for the family and friends.
The entire industry of life coaching can seem cynical from the outside, and for some people in the job, it might well be a way to dispense cookie-cutter advice and get paid for very little. However, as an empath in this role, you can make genuine differences in the lives of those who put their trust in you. You’ll want your clients to make the best choices for themselves because you get joy from seeing them thrive, rather than just telling them what they need to hear. And because you’ll understand their needs thanks to your empathy, you’ll make more nuanced judgments than others might.
An empathetic person can fit into a number of varied and interesting roles, and will likely make a big impression on those they help along the way. If you find that you are emotionally quite a forthcoming person, then the jobs above are a chance to make a lot of lives better. Share your thoughts below in the comment section.