There’s nothing in the world quite like The NHS. It’s the biggest employer in Europe with 1.5 million workers and it employs more highly skilled workers than any organisation in the world. Working in our healthcare system can be incredibly challenging - but there’s no career quite like it.
Whether you’re stuck in a dead end job or you’re looking for a change of scenery, working in the NHS is one of the most rewarding careers around. There’s something to appeal to everyone, from increasing efficiencies to bringing new life into the world.
Challenging, varied, sometimes stressful but always fulfilling, choosing a career in the NHS is the ultimate in job satisfaction.
If you’re motivated by the desire to help people and make a positive change in their lives, then working in the NHS is one of the most rewarding careers out there.
What makes a job rewarding?
What makes a job truly rewarding is different for different people. For some it’s a steady income and the chance to get promoted. For others it’s a short and easy commute, job security and a good work/life balance.
Health careers might seem stressful but a little stress can be a positive thing when you overcome a challenge and get that sense of personal fulfilment. They also share most of the key ingredients that make a job rewarding.
Work that helps others: there’s plenty of evidence that helping others through your work is a key ingredient of job and life satisfaction. Doing meaningful work can give you a powerful sense of reward.
Work that’s engaging: you might be surprised to know that it’s not the salary that matters but the kind of work you do day to day, hour to hour. A variety of clearly defined tasks with the freedom to do them your way make a job rewarding.
Work with supportive colleagues: it’s difficult to think of jobs with more supportive colleagues than careers in the NHS. A sense of teamwork and shared interests promote great work relationships that give you a real sense of fulfilment.
Work that you’re good at: if you have a real skill for the job that you do, there’s nothing to match your sense of achievement.
Rewarding careers in the NHS
If you’re looking for a job that has it all, the NHS has some of the most rewarding careers around. If you have a passion to help and positively improve people’s lives, health careers promise great job satisfaction.
Qualifying as a doctor opens the door to a number of different career paths, from emergency medicine to general practice. Being a doctor requires a blend of qualities from compassion and understanding to honesty and commitment.
A career in medicine lets you make a real difference to people’s lives. But you’ll also be on a career path towards a well-respected job with a good salary.
In a recent job satisfaction survey, being a nurse was considered more satisfying than being a doctor. Nurses start to make a difference as soon as they begin training and continue throughout their careers.
Switching career can be easier than you think and the sense of job satisfaction is incredible - whether you work in neonatal or end of life care or even in a wide range of other positions where you get to care for patients.
During the pandemic mental health has become a hot topic. Being a mental health professional is highly challenging as you’ll care for people with a wide range of conditions. However, there’s a huge sense of fulfilment and job satisfaction in caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society.
There’s currently a shortage of mental health professionals so if you want to make a positive change this could be the career for you.
If you love the idea of being there to support someone through every stage of their pregnancy then being a midwife could be the ideal career for you. Midwives often refer to themselves as privileged and it's not hard to see how a midwifery career can give you huge job satisfaction.
Start your career as a maternity support worker or transfer your skills from nursing and you could enjoy one of the most rewarding careers in healthcare.
Emergency call handler
If you’re not interested in training for a medical career but you still want to make a difference, working in the emergency services could be for you. An emergency call handler needs to stay calm under pressure and have excellent communication skills.
If you’re currently working in a call centre and want to find a more rewarding career in the NHS than becoming an emergency call handler could be your route to a much more fulfilling career.
Ambulance Service Team
Working for the ambulance service can be a real rollercoaster, from the life or death drama of ‘blues and twos’ to making a difference to patients every day.
Start your career by volunteering with a charity that supports people with health conditions. Or you could help out in a care home. NHS Apprenticeships could be a route into a career with the ambulance service before you train as a paramedic. Whatever route you choose, you’re heading for a highly rewarding career.
Reasons to consider a satisfying and rewarding job
When we search for career advice we’re often told to follow our passion. But it can be much more fulfilling to do something that contributes to the world.
Working in a job that you know makes a real difference brings deep career satisfaction. And you’ll find you become truly passionate about what you do.
Being motivated by a sense of purpose and a desire to help others means you’ll be personally fulfilled. In turn that can drive career success, reducing the risk of long term job stress and minimising mental health issues.
Working in the NHS fulfils all the qualities of a satisfying and rewarding job. You’ll be making a positive impact on other people’s lives whatever career you choose.
Your work will be interesting, varied and challenging. With on-the-job training you’ll have opportunities to become more expert at what you do and keep making real changes. And that results in happy, healthy patients and highly motivated, satisfied employees.
Other benefits to working in the NHS
Of course there are some tangible rewards to working in the NHS, too. A good pension, childcare support and flexible working are just some of the benefits that NHS workers enjoy. But for most NHS workers it’s the chance to make a difference that makes them get up every day. After all, this is no 9-5 career, and the variety of challenges you face will certainly keep you on your toes.
If you’re motivated to make a difference and you’re looking for the satisfaction of a rewarding career, then joining the NHS could be right for you. And with thousands of vacancies at any time there’s bound to be a role that has you thinking ‘I could do that!’
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