Careers for people who love working with people

What kind of people person are you? At the root of the answer you will find your perfect work.

To hone in on the answer, ask yourself this: what do you do that makes you a good people person?

Do you inspire, persuade, calm, listen, entertain, inform people? Think about what you do when you are at your best.

A couple of days ago, I caught a plane in Vancouver en route to San Francisco. I met a young woman from Croatia who recently completed a Masters program. She was doing some exploring before settling down to work “for the rest of her life.”

She had already spent nearly a full day of travel and on her last leg. Despite the severe sleep deprivation, she had lots to say and ask. She was jazzed.

I like talking to strangers. How many fascinating ways people lead their lives! I wonder what road will they take next.

For me, I think of the road not taken. While I was raising children, others in their 20s were at university. 

The one road where others were backpacking across Europe. Or landing a job far away.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about regrets.

There are so many choices in life and then events along the way, I could never have predicted I ended up where I am.

Like sitting on an airplane next to a young graduate. Will she ever spend more than 7 hours in Canada? Like she did in the Vancouver airport.

I will never know how her story unfolds. Nor mine for that matter. What I do know for sure is I have always been drawn to working with people. As she does.

The exchange got me thinking about great people careers. Below are some ideas to help you scheme and dream. 


In addition to teaching in schools, here are occupations that involve teaching.

  • Foreign Language Instructor
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Instructors – Dance, Sport, Acting, Music
  • Professor
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Adult Education Teacher


  • Career or School Counsellor
  • Addictions Counsellor
  • Crisis Counsellor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Bereavement Counsellor
  • Social Worker

People Management

  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Management Consultant
  • Casting Director


  • Health Care Administrator
  • Fundraiser
  • Arts Administrator
  • Logistics Specialists


  • Event Planner
  • Recreation Director
  • Curator
  • Tour Guide
  • Funeral Director
  • Caterer
  • Schedule


  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Radio/Television Program Director
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Editor/Writer
  • Marketing Managers
  • Motivational Speaker

Customer Service

  • Airline Customer Service Agent
  • Bank Teller
  • Dispatcher
  • Hotel Desk Clerk
  • Flight Attendant


  • Fashion Retailer
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Insurance Agent/Broker
  • Art Dealer
  • Retail Buyer
  • Sales Managers

From time to time, I calculate the number of people I see in a week. During the past 20 years, the number has been between 60 and 100. Many are people I never met before.

If you look at your life, you too will see tips about how you like working with people.

Because even if you find them annoying, most jobs have a people component.

10 Exciting Careers for People Who Love to Travel

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Anonymous

Travelling expands my world. When I go to new places, not only do I learn a lot about how other people live, it also helps me to see my own life in a new way. Though my travels have through yearly vacation time, I have imagined what it would be like to have a full immersion into another totally different life.

Many of us do not have the financial means to travel beyond vacation allotments. What if you got paid to do your exploring? The idea of combining work and travel is intriguing. When I talk to people on airplanes who are frequent flyers, I often ask what they do. I have met sales reps, account executives, pilots, CEOs, and importers.

Travelling for work is not only about working for airlines.

Below are 10 occupations to consider if you would like to add travel to your job description.


Tour Guide

Tour guides are often experts in describing to others the history and attractions of a travel destination. Some of the specializations in this field are group tour guiding, corporate guiding and nature guiding. Though tour guides are typically residents where they provide the tours, they can also lead tours to destinations. The most important qualities that a tour guide must have are the ability to work with a variety of people, enthusiasm and knowledge of the particular destination. Being able to speak more than one language is an appealing skill for an employer.  

To learn more about being a tour guide check, check out this National Geographic article


Travel Nurse

Nursing is a career in demand all over the world. The length of time for travel nursing contracts average between 8 and 26 weeks, often including accommodation, benefits and transportation.  To find out more about nursing assignments across Canada, check out For more information on travel nurses, FAQs and Resources, check out this website.

In addition to the technical skills required, qualities that are integral to the position are flexibility, a positive outlook, excellent clinical skills, easily adapt to change, and a quick learner. 


International Aid Worker

If you are interested in working with some of the world’s poorest people and travel to remote places, you may find international aid work might be a good fit for you.  You would work in developing countries to set up long-term solutions to problems, which may include disaster preparedness, human rights, environment, education as well as many other types of work.

Approximately 250,000 people around the world are working in aid positions such as engineering, medicine, training, fundraising, research and advocacy.  There is currently a demand for doctors and water engineers. To learn more about becoming an Aid Worker, see this article


Field Service Technician

A Field Service Technician is a general term for someone who travels to a site to troubleshoot equipment problems.  Field service technicians can work for the government, equipment manufacturers, computer repair companies or construction and transportation businesses.

The best way to enter this field is by having a natural preference for working with equipment. Training programs typically include courses that deal with subjects such as technical mathematics, gear theory, transmissions, hydraulics, welding, engine theory, pneumatics and electrical systems.


Truck Driver

When you think of truck driving and travel, you may be imagining long hours in the middle of the night on some interstate. In addition to long-haul trucking, there are lots of other positions for you to see the world:  household movers, container haulers, ice road trucking and driving trucks in other countries.

There has been a shortage of truck drivers for several years so the demand is high.  You could also consider a career as a bus driver.  Traits of a good driver include reliability, self dependency, alertness, and courteousness.  For more information on being a truck driver and international positions, check out Job Monkey - Truck Driving.


Au Pair

Working as an au pair is a foreign exchange where childcare is provided for room and board and the opportunity to experience a different culture. The actual tasks vary with each placement. Other potential benefits may include learning another language and travelling with the family.

To do this type of work, you need to have a keen interest in working with children and all of the responsibilities that come with it. For what it means to au pair including drawbacks, check out this article on au pairing around the world


Travel Consultant

Travel Consultants provide services to individuals and groups and include meeting management, travel arrangement and guided group tours. Some specializations include: wine tours, cruises, adventure, business, luxury and destination travel.

People who enter this field love exploration and adventure. The best people in the field spend significant amounts of time travelling each year to stay up to date; often they are specialists in a certain sector or part of the world.  This article explains the world of a Luxury Travel Advisor


Teaching English

English is the third most spoken language in the world (the first two are Mandarin and Spanish). With the English language spreading rapidly, there are more opportunities to teach English, both at home and abroad.

As a TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages), you might be working with companies to help their employees learn business English skills, students or Academic English for individuals who are writing entrance exams. 

There is lots of learn about this profession if you want to teach English abroad.  People who experience success in this field have a passion to help students learn and grow. Personal qualities include patience, warmth, creativity, humour and outgoingness. 

Dave’s ESL Café is a well-known on-line resource to begin exploring the TESOL world.


Cruise Ship Worker

Working on cruise ships is a way of seeing the world in a unique way, in that you will both work and live in the same environment. An assignment is generally from 4 to 9 months in duration; staff work 7 days a week with shifts off but not likely entire days.

Since a cruise ship is self contained, there are a wide variety of positions including doctors, nurses, engineers, chefs, food servers, entertainers, cleaning staff, hair stylists, casino workers, masseuse, bartender, servers, trainers, human resource managers and more. 

Employers look for the following characteristics for cruise ship positions: good teamwork and communication skills, customer service driven, strong work ethic, and a “can-do” attitude. To get a sense of life on a cruise ship, check out this Matador Network article.



When a band goes on tour, a roadie provides the technical support. Setting up at the beginning of the gig, looking after the instruments during the show and then packing up when the event is finished are the basic tasks for the job.

Qualities for the position include the ability to keep calm under pressure, work well with a team, reliability, able to follow instructions and an interest in music, technology and electronics.

There is no set way to enter the field but it does help to know how the live music business works.  Check out How Becoming a Roadie Works.

Never before have there been so many opportunities to travel and work. Though many of the positions offer a low wage, you may find the perks of the job rich and rewarding, with experiences that you may not be able to have any other way.

To get an idea of living, working, studying, traveling and volunteering abroad, check out these extensive websites:

Transitions Abroad

Job Monkey – The coolest jobs on earth

Want to share your tips, advice or thoughts on working and travelling? Click on the comment button below.







An Event to Remember: The Cool Things Reunion Planners Do

What is a cool career? When you are considering the kind of work that engages you in just the right way, what would you choose? A cool career captures your imagination. Cool careers are exciting! In this series, I interview people doing the work, digging into the highlights and challenges of the work and the advice they would give others. 

After Kirsten Richardson organized her own high school reunion, she knew she could help others.  Her enthusiasm spills throughout her interview. She is one of those people – someone who likes to make things happen. An important quality for Reunion Planners.

Credit: Reunions With Class

Credit: Reunions With Class

Having a fascination with people is also key. As with other planners, good organizational skills, flexibility, creativity and budgeting ability add to the mix of the multi-dimensional requirements for the work.

Kirsten launched Reunions With Class in 1993.  She has witnessed the work shift and change with the times. Social media, for example, has impacted reunion turnout as people are in contact more often. 

A trend that Kirsten has noticed is 40-, 50- and 60-year reunions are the most popular. Often the best attended reunions are 50 years. By that time, classmates are 68 years old. Their participation in the reunion is usually very rewarding says Kirsten, more than a 10-year reunion. She sees emotional attachment central to this tendency.

Credit: Reunions With Class

Credit: Reunions With Class

Attendance at a reunion is partially dependent on the committee members and the connections they have maintained throughout the years.  Committee members are people from the graduating class, ambassadors who form the “personality pizzazz,” offering the unique nuances such as the memorable times experienced by that particular class.

Kirsten sees her role with the committee as, “We provide the little black dress and it is up to the committee to provide the accessories and the bling.”

The Reunion Planner takes on the grunt work – finding current contact information, organizing the venue, food, music and decorations and taking on the financial responsibility of the mostly up-front costs. This frees the committee to spend their time on making the event special and having a great time.

The committee pays a $500 deposit to secure services. Once attendance goals are achieved, the deposit is refunded. The actual costs of the event are paid by participant registration fees, which include the reunion planner’s work.

Attendance goals are determined by the class size, the year of the reunion and any information from previous reunions. The committee and the reunion planners are all working toward the goal. “It is a team effort,” says Kirsten. Everyone is highly motivated to get strong attendance.

Who actually attends the reunion is based on two factors.  The first is the ability to locate the graduates. Some classes have great information, individuals who have kept in contact with each other through the years.  

In the cases where classmates have spread afar, the reunion planner has tools to find them.  Kirsten explains that the resources they use are sophisticated and extensive, not something the general public can access.  She adds, “but we are not magicians.”

The second factor for who attends is people’s own view of themselves. People who think that they don’t measure up often don’t attend their reunions.  This a challenge of the work, Kirsten explains, because who actually attends the class are often “a slice of the class – not necessarily the class.”

If she could, Kirsten would bottle the essence of a high school reunion so that she could pass it on to the people who are hesitant about attending. Having organized over 1,200 reunions, Kirsten has witnessed how glad people are that they attended, and what a good time they had, despite their pre-jitters.

Credit: Reunions With Class

Credit: Reunions With Class

How much people enjoy themselves is what Kirsten appreciates about her work. “You are working with happy people doing happy things.” She has seen the reconnections that people have made, romances that have developed and relationships that have rekindled.

For Kirsten what makes this a cool career is working with people as well as the variety of the tasks. So much is seasonal, a different focus throughout the year. For example, reunions happen from July to September, often planned 6 to 12 months in advance. Invitations and social media are sent in February which is also when registrations begin to happen. Locating classmates happens in the winter.

Besides the seasonality, what is intriguing about the work according to Kirsten is gaining an understanding of human behaviour.

For example, “people that go and people that won’t” go to the reunion. She has found that people who haven’t kept in touch are less likely to attend their reunion. For some, “even if you paid them, they won’t go.”

For people entering the field, Kirsten suggests the necessity to be realistic on the expectations for attendance; projections are important in the success and planning of the reunion. The industry is changing so paying attention to those trends are important. 

Kirsten suspects in 20 years, the business will look extremely different. What she knows for sure is that it will be fun.