I post this for my daughters, biological and faux, and for all young people in high school, or college worrying about career.
"Worrying about choosing a career is a First World Problem, isn't it? All that most people need and want is a job in which they can succeed and survive. Extra money is even better and many people prefer that even if the responsibility is onerous and stressful.
Another problem with the "career" idea is that it implies a lifelong occupation with some sort of upward trajectory. Today, however, many if not most people change jobs, or careers, during their lives. Sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not.
Work that "does good for others"? All compensated work does good for others or it would have no monetary value, but the work which does the most "good for others" is work that creates jobs. It makes sense to claim that it is the entrepreneur and the inventor who do the most good for others and for society as a whole.
Want to do good for society and for others? First thing: be independent and self-sufficient. Second thing: support your family and raise them well, if you have one. Those are the most valuable things a person can ever do.
What about the idea of a "calling" or a mission? Interesting idea but usually only applied to religious or medical paths and most people would like to be writers, artists, or musicians if they could. I have never heard anyone claim a calling to software sales, but far more people build interesting, fulfilling, and useful lives doing the latter than the former.
Many are called but few are chosen. Missions and passions make for good hobbies if they do not seem to work as income-producing jobs. Everybody needs cool hobbies and sports, and a stimulating social life, to round out a life so it's a good idea to make time for one's passionate pursuits too."
Advice on Choosing a Career - Marginal REVOLUTION
Family, friends, and work are the pillars in American society. Focus on family first, friends second, and they use work to give yourself purpose beyond family and friends, and to provide the resources necessary to live a full and enjoyable life. Don't fall into the trap that some jobs are better by virtue of their earnings. The garbage man, and clean water workers, and sewage sanitation workers, are the people who brought us the majority of the huge increase in longevity over the past 125 years, not the physicians, or lawyers. The man who pumps out your septic tank may have a stinky job, but he may be a millionaire, and he is doing you a tremendous service.
Hat tip: Choosing a career - Maggie's Farm