Careers for empaths: using your empathy for the better

Careers for empaths: using your empathy for the better

by Lindsay on June 27, 2013

in Empath, Inspiration

993788_614125148607021_1350837431_nToday’s article is inspired by an email I received from a reader. This question is a common one, and is one I had myself for many years. For those of you who are unfamiliar with empaths and what it means to be one (or if you are one!) I invite you to read my previous articles on the topic.


Hi Lindsay! I recently read some of your empath articles and you seem to have a lot on insight in the topic. I am a really sensitive empath, which has been a problem for a large portion of my life, but recently I have really been getting the hang of grounding and shielding myself and I can usually tell what’s me and what’s not and I am beginning to wonder: what can I do with this? Other than listening to people’s stories and lending a sympathetic ear, how can I really make a difference with this ability? I really want to help people and I love making a difference, how can this ability help me with that?



If you’ve ever tried to pour your heart out to a friend who was only half-heartedly listening or waiting for her turn to tell her story, you know the value of having a friend who has an open ear, available shoulder and a heart and intuitive wisdom to share. Lending a sympathetic ear does make a big difference as an empath. I always say if I make a difference in one person’s life, then I’ve done my job.

That said, I understand the desire to find meaningful work that uses your empath skills and abilities beyond just being the sympathetic ear and friend who brings a box of tissues with her patience and understanding.

Most empaths have incarnated with a mission to help heal other people, animals, plants, and our planet. We feel compelled to give of ourselves to help heal others, and there are many different ways that you can help others with your empathic abilities, either as a “hobby” or as a career. We are often found doing volunteer work. Many of us serve others through careers that require a great deal of emotional investment.

Some common empath careers include:

Healer: Of course, ‘healer’ is a rather vague term that encompasses many different careers. Doctor, nurse, Hospice worker. Counselor or therapist, especially for children or animals, or for those with special needs who have difficulty communicating. Empaths are naturally good at working with people or children who have been traumatized or abused, in particular.

Energy worker: As an empath, I have an ability to touch someone and know where they are hurting and get a general intuitive idea of what I can do or what needs to be done to help them heal. Sometimes the place where a person feels discomfort in the body is not the source of that pain. Many skilled empaths can pinpoint the root cause of pain when working with energy, and determine whether it originates on the mental, emotional, spiritual or physical level.

Working with nature: Empaths are also great working with anything nature-related. Horticulturalist, marine biologist, veterinarian,  etc…. because we pick up the energy of animals and yes, even plants. We often have natural green thumbs.  Although that ship sailed for me – I only have one plant that has lived for more than a year! I’ve killed the rest, sadly. 

Whatever you feel called to do is your soul’s work. For me, that is doing Hospice work and energy work and writing (this blog in particular). For another empath, it may be being a Big Sister at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. For another, it may be opening up a crystal and stones store in their small town and sharing the crystals with those who may not ever be exposed to them otherwise. Ideal careers are as varied as we are.

I want to hear from others — apart from the so-called “little” daily interactions and emotional exchanges empaths are a part of, how can we utilize our empathy and the skills that come with it to make a difference? 

If you like what you read here – subscribe to The Daily Awe.

If you’re looking for some insight into your career, relationships or life in general,  click here for an intuitive reading.


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Julie Barrett June 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hi Lindsay, I’ve always used it (unknowingly, perhaps) in the office jobs I’ve had. If you have clients, which everyone does in one form or another, then the ability to really hear and feel what’s going on with them makes it easier to truly meet their needs. We often do our work just one person at a time, plus there is the ripple effect that we’ll never know about but we can assume exists.

Anni June 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Great post, Lindsay! I find that my empath skills are very useful in my work as a designer and seller. It helps me understand people deeply without their needing to say so. Like Julie said, it helps us meet their needs. I think empathy is useful in almost all career situations because no matter what we do, we are always selling. Empathy also gives me the ability to address or anticipate issues before they happen. Although I struggle with turning off empathy, I would feel very much in the dark if I didn’t have it.

Jennifer Lynne Flint June 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Well, I use it in my aura readings, of course, which are basically just colored pictures of people’s energies and emotions at the soul level. This kind of perplexes me still, since really I’m primarily a thinker and would not have called myself an empath before starting to do that work. But I think it amounts to the same thing, really.

I kind of wish I could have a crystal shop! I just love them. Whenever I go into one I get all juiced up and jittery from the energies of the stones, but then I feel great all day afterwards. I wonder how it would be to work in one? Cool, I bet! 🙂

Heather Lamb June 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Wonderful post! I too have just discovered that my “abnormality” had a name & wondered “what now?!?!” I agree w/ Lindsay that your gift will be specific to you. I am an Empath & healer through the gift of my words and intuition. I love to write & just started a blog which I have wanted to do for YEARS (fear has held me captive)! I touch lives everyday without meaning to & you probably do as well. This week the deli guy with tears in his eyes told me that a conversation I had w/ him had changed his life! (Little ol’ me changed someone’s life?!?!) It was incredible validation that I am serving my soul’s purpose. I have also always been compelled to aid the elderly, especially those who have no voice. I volunteer as a Guardian – which offers assistance and emotional support. The residents I work with literally have no one in their life. Their physical needs are taken care of but no one pays attention to the actual person before them. I am their someone, and offer comfort, love and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Your soul’s purpose already knows what you should be doing and I can attest to the fact that circumstances will present themselves to help guide you down that path. Ask for guidance, then listen. You will find the answer 🙂

Dylan Calista October 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hi Lindsay,

Hope you are well. Funny I encountered this post of yours today.

I just returned from a short vacation – one that has been long overdue. I am still at the same job – the one that’s full of politics and negative energy. I’ve had a bit of a hard time finding something else, I guess, in fear that I’d end up in the same type of environment and/or I’d be going down the ‘wrong’ path. And I’m tired of it.

So, anyway, for a few months already I’ve been getting advice, readings, etc from people near and dear to me. The messages are the same – that I am supposed to be helping people and it is a my life purpose.

Want to know something even more funny? I’m an introvert. People overwhelm me so much that I prefer being in small groups and I absolutely need my alone time or else I’d go nuts.

Well, anyway, speaking of career – here I find myself being pulled to Reiki for healing and possibly training.

Going on vacation made me realize something. I knew I hated my job. But I realized that I REALLY hated it. And by this, I mean, having ill feelings at the pit of my stomach while on my way to work…feeling like I am getting the life sucked out of me while in the office. Dreading Mondays when I should be enjoying my weekends…

I’m not sure where I’m heading but I guess I should stop fighting against the tide and just roll with it…whatever this means in terms of my career…I think it should work out for the best.

Sandy August 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hey Lindsay,

This is great as far as a list of jobs to use empathy in, but what about jobs that prevent you from being overwhelmed by other people’s emotional heaviness? I work with youth at risk already, and I’m thinking of changing careers because I just go home feeling so heavy with all of thier intense trauma every day. It’s wearing me down, and I’m wondering if there are jobs where I won’t pick up so much of that, or ways that I can let go of it at the end of the day. Thanks!

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Lindsey September 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Many people recommend healing jobs for empaths but this always surprises me. I knew I could never be a doctor because I would absorb all of that pain people feel when they get treated. Even being in a hospital drains me, especially because there are always more people to help, it never ends. I’ve yet to find a decent career though. I volunteer as a dog foster mom and I am in law school (which I do NOT recommend for an empath, I’ve felt like I’ve been under siege for the past 3 years), but I haven’t figured out yet how to help people most effectively. Probably some type of legal aid work.

natalie January 16, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Thank you so much for this article and blog. It has been so eye opening. I worked as with inner city youth for years, and finally left when I felt too drained to continue. I then became a massage therapist. I finally quit this past August after nearly a decade, once again totally drained. I wish I would have found your blog sooner and learned about grounding and energy blocking years ago. Being an empath made both of my old jobs extremely fulfilling and draining. Thanks again for your blog. I’m going to keep learning and reading before I move on to my next career journey.

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