I'm not sure how to balance my interest in supporting kids and doing good in the world with my current career in advertising. Sometimes, it feels like a day job that is all about "selling people things" isn't actually bringing any good into the world.
I love your desire to have a career that feels meaningful and like you're making a positive impact in the world. Advertising is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used towards meaningful or shallow ends (or somewhere in between). One of my favorite companies, Charity Water, uses marketing and design as a way to bring clean water to communities.
A few years ago, I met this gentleman who was working on a campaign for a popular soft drink company that involved spreading happiness and joy. This gentleman really valued relationships and positivity. Even though he as working for a beverage that harmed instead of nourished people, he felt like he was making a positive difference. And he was! But if he had prioritized values such as human health, it probably wouldn't have made sense for him to work for the company. So, it depends on your personal values and what you find meaningful. If you're working at a company that conflicts with your fundamental values, then something needs to change.
But it doesn't necessarily mean you have to change jobs. For example, one of my current clients who works for a financial technology company has started infusing meaning into her work by supporting people with their financial literacy. She's feeling reinvigorated and like she is empowering people to have more freedom and choice, which she highly values.
How might you "sell people things" in a way that elevates their quality of life? How might you find an initiative or project you can do within your company that engages your desire to serve? It might take some creative thinking (maybe in a way that involves your love for kids) and stretching yourself in new ways.
If that really doesn't seem possible, I would start with volunteering. Even one hour per week on your weekends in a way that gives you an opportunity to serve children would be very powerful. It could also be a good way for you to gain some experience and see if you would even want to make a career out of working with kids.
Hope this helps!
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