Why do people work? To earn a living, of course, but most of us are wired to want more. Indiana—and the world—need people who are in it for more than a paycheck.
In fact, a 2016 survey* of adult employees found that 88 percent say their job is more fulfilling when they can make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. And a 2018 report revealed that “working with a purpose” is one of the main trends shaping today’s workforce.**
Meet some Hoosiers who find meaning—not just a paycheck—in their jobs:
Kayla Cash is a nurse. Originally from Ferdinand, Indiana, Cash earned an associate degree in nursing from Vincennes University. She went on to earn a bachelor of science from IUPUI and is working on a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Indianapolis.
“I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and leave them better (physically, emotionally, spiritually) than when I first met them. That is the essence of nursing, and what I love so much about this career. Another wonderful aspect of nursing is the endless opportunities. You could be a nurse in research, a doctor’s office, management, at the bedside, teaching or nursing homes. There are also different patient populations one can choose to work with, such as geriatrics, babies, psychiatry, adults, etc. I’ve always wanted to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, and thankfully, I only have a year and half left of school until I do.
“If you want to make a difference in the world, nursing is certainly one of those professions. Your patients and their loved ones will be completely dependent on you, on your knowledge, your critical thinking, and your compassion. They will depend on you to keep them alive, to notice when things change, to be an advocate, and offer a hand to hold. To them, you will make all the difference in the world. Nursing is a very profound, challenging and meaningful career that changes the lives of many, on a daily basis.”
Al Carroll, University Activation Senior Manager, TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech industry. Learn more about TechPoint at techpoint.org.
“Careers in tech allow you to amplify your impact whether you’re in finance, marketing, sales or working directly in IT. We’re living in an exponential age where solutions to issues in every department are developing rapidly and technology allows those solutions to reach more people with fewer resources. Technology is improving how we make decisions and serve customers in every industry. If you’re looking to make an impact and learn transferable skills that make you immediately valuable walking in the door, look to learn more about tech!”
AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
Dane Chapman is from a family farm in Brookston, Indiana, and attended Frontier High School, where he was one of just 58 students in his graduating class. He went on to graduate from Purdue University, where he enjoyed classes of 500 students in large lecture halls.
“I majored in ag business at Purdue and had a few internships at John Deere and Land O’Lakes that helped me better understand the complexity of agriculture. It’s a very complex system to make sure we all have food on our table. Agriculture has evolved a lot. In 1955, for example, one farmer could feed about 25 people. Now that same farmer can feed about 155 people.
“As a business technology analyst at Deloitte Consulting, I hope to help companies become more efficient with technology. My long-term vision is to apply that knowledge to agriculture. We have to continue to feed the world, but also provide the fiber for clothing and energy the world needs, too. Every time we eat, throw on clothes, or go somewhere, the ag industry is powering that. Technology is the answer to how we do that in a more sustainable way, using less land, water and energy. Individually, we are all very small and insignificant in the world, but we are also part of the bigger picture in life.”
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Ted Harton, firefighter, Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD). He is a graduate of Indiana University and the 20-week IFD recruit school.
“I enjoy my career as a firefighter because you get to see tangible differences on some peoples’ worst days, whether it is saving a life, someone’s house, or just picking up an elderly person who needed you. Most people are very appreciative of the work we do. That’s the cool part about it: It’s just our job. There are great people everywhere who would love the chance to help another person, but not everyone gets that opportunity. Being a firefighter gives me that opportunity almost every shift to truly make a difference.”
Amber Santana is a teacher at Glenwood Leadership Academy, Evansville, and a graduate of the University of Evansville.
“When I really think about the ‘why’ behind my professional choice it comes down to wanting to be the person that helped fill the gaps of what students need. For some kids, I am the instructional mastermind that they need to continue their educational journey. For other kids I am their constant in a world of change. They know I love them and will always have what they need whether that is a hug, a snack, or patience in their times of stress. For me, it is about helping shape the whole child into the best version of themselves.”