May 13, 2008 | Marcus Varner | 1 Comment So often in this blog, I talk about how to get a better job, make more money, and move up the ladder. As important as it is to pay your bills and have a secure future, you want your life to be about more than just the daily grind and accumulating things. Research has found that the happiest people are those who reach out and help others. In hopes of attaining this happiness, more and more people are striking out to make a living while making a difference. Increasing numbers of workers are leaving their careers in the private or public sectors to make the world a better place. Their skills are invaluable to growing and enhancing the organizations they work in. Some join existing non-profits or new growth organizations (NGOs), humanitarian organizations that use business for-profit models to help the needy. Some just start their own. Rock superstar Bono started his Red campaign to combat AIDS in Africa, partnering with companies like Gap and Apple. Every time a RED product was sold by a partner, the proceeds from that sale went to develop treatments for AIDS victims in Africa. An American housewife, shocked by the mistreatment of lepers in India, started an organization to treat their illness, provide them with microcredit and work skills, and even educate their children. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, a Manhattan stockbroker vowed to make the world a better place and started a NGO that would provide health and educational services to impoverished children in rural South America. Opportunities to reach out to others are more plentiful than ever, and you don’t have to be Bill Gates to make a difference. With devastating natural disasters worldwide (earthquakes in China, cyclones in Myanmar, etc.), relief organizations will need all the help they can get, from donations to volunteers. The internet makes it easy to find causes to get involved in. If you’re the entrepreneurial type, you can start your own NGO. To get started, I recommend visiting the following sites: Idealist.org – search for jobs with non-profits, NGOs, etc. Network with other do-gooders. Unicef.org – Unicef provides funding to various smaller NGOs. A good place to start! WANGO.org – One of the most comprehensive directories of NGOs worldwide. If you can’t commit to a full-on career change, consider spending time on your weekends or nights in the beginning. In the end, you will be glad there was more to show for your life than just a regular paycheck.