The 7 Most Rewarding Jobs For Women

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For the third year in a row, Bustle's Upstart Awards are honoring young women who are doing incredible things in the realms of business, STEM, fashion and beauty, the arts, philanthropy, and beyond. Want to be an Upstarts honoree one day? Read on for career tips, insights, and inspiration to help get you there.

Almost everyone has to work, but it won't surprise you to hear that most Americans don’t enjoy their jobs. According to a Gallup study from earlier this year, 51 percent of Americans report being disengaged at work, and another 16 percent report being actively disengaged — which basically means they resent the hell out of their jobs and complain to their coworkers about it excessively. I don’t think I ever loved a job until I became a writer, and there are so many reasons why that makes sense. Not only is writing an excellent job for anxious ambiverts, but in many ways, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs for women.

Of course, it should be said that different women require different things to feel happy with their jobs. We all have different bullsh*t thresholds, and for some women, company-wide gender equity will always be more valuable than a six-figure salary. Other women are thick-skinned enough to withstand years of corporate sexism at work until they eventually become CEOs and start running the place. Everyone’s different, so only you can truly know what your ideal job might be. That said, if you are feeling unsatisfied in your career, researching other job options isn’t a bad idea. The website Fairygodboss provides reviews of jobs by women, for women, and it's a great place to find out what sorts of jobs women have found fulfilling, and there are plenty of other sites that look at this data, which helps us have a fuller picture of what gratifying jobs for women look like. Here are seven of the most rewarding jobs for women, according to stories from women themselves.

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According to Fairygodboss community members, female principals can expect their job satisfaction score to stay in the 4.5 range (hint: that's very good), and they make between $100,000 and $150,000 annually. (Yes, please!) Even better, more than 87 percent of the female principals who use Fairygodboss said they believe their workplace values gender equality. No wonder Jessica Day wanted this gig, am I right?

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Photo by Tim Bish on Unsplash

Pediatrics has a reputation for accommodating women who might have the need to work part-time, according to Career Trend." It's possible that the need for work-life balance might be why, according to an AMA report from 2015, women make up about 75 percent of residents in pediatrics. One thing's for certain, though, this steady rise of women in pediatrics isn't exactly new. As Career Trend reported back in July:

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“In 1996, the Pediatric Specialty Study showed that 42 percent of all pediatricians and approximately 58 percent of those doctors under 45 years old were women, according to American Demographics. What is also revealing is that in 1995, 63 percent of interns in pediatrics were women.” Having a cohort made up of their peer group could explain why women find being a pediatrician to be a rewarding job — that, or the fact that they heal babies and save lives all day.  

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According to the folks over at Payscale, women writers reportedly earn an average income of $48,492. Despite the slightly low salary, women report finding writing fulfilling because working writers love to write, and writing one of the few jobs you can do from almost anywhere.  

On top of that, according to the ADAA, women reportedly suffer from anxiety more than any other gender — and it's widely acknowledged that writing can be an excellent occupation for people who deal with anxiety. As the Zipjobs blog explains, "Writing is of course another excellent career choice for people with social anxiety disorder as most time will be spent researching and writing."

And as Gregory Ciotti pointed out over at the Help Scout blog, writing can be empowering as hell. In Ciotti's words, "There’s a bit of a creative shock the first time someone emails you, thanking you for the work you’ve put out and sharing how it has helped or influenced them."

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According to Fairygodboss, managers of talent acquisition, aka recruiters, women with this job can expect to make between $50,000 and $80,000 each year. These women also reported a 4.6 job satisfaction score, which is really saying something considering only 80 percent of these women believe their workplaces practice gender equality. Still, it's a highly social job where you get to meet people all day, which, for certain women, might just be a dream come true.

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I realize that not all women want to run massive companies, because I sure as hell don't. But being a CEO doesn't necessarily have to translate into overseeing thousands of employees and working 14 hour days, though. As The Atlantic reported back in 2015, more women are choosing to own small businesses these days, making them the CEOs of their own freaking lives. According to The Balance, women CEOs can expect to earn a salary of $81,744, which isn't chump change. The Zipjobs team has good things to say about entrepreneurship as well. As stated on their blog, "Being an entrepreneur allows you the freedom to build a business where a lot of human interaction isn’t required.” Yes, please.

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Tech isn't known for being incredibly inclusive, so it's not surprising that only 70 percent of senior program managers on Fairygodboss feel like their companies are down with gender equality. That said, these same women reported a job satisfaction score of 4.4, and average salaries landing somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000 — so if you're interested in pursing program management, don't let sexism in tech keep you from trying. (In fact, you might help to fix that bad rep by doing just that.)

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Bookseller jobs tend to receive favorable reviews on More specifically, bookseller jobs at Barnes & Noble are highly-rated. This could be due to the fact that Barnes & Noble offers health insurance and store discounts to part and full-time employees alike. Or it might have something to do with the fact that, depending on your needs, the position of bookseller can either be a full-time gig, a stepping stone to publishing work, or a low-key side hustle. Even better, there’s some great feminist bookstores out there — and you could totally open your own if you find you enjoy being a bookseller (and take on the role of a CEO to boot).

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