(TL;DR at the bottom)
I'm looking for some career advice as I'm not really sure where to go from here. Just for some background info, I'm an American guy working in a French digital agency as a UX Designer. I have about 3 years of professional experience as a UX Designer and a total of about 5 in web.
Here's my current problem: Lately I've been feeling a little bit disillusioned with my work. Even though I like the people I work with, I'm mostly working on projects that really just help big companies get bigger, and rich people get richer. I thought at first that maybe it's this specific agency, but then I realized that I felt the same way about my last job, and the job before that. I think earlier in my career I was content just to have the opportunity to work in an esteemed company and get some experience under my belt. But I'm finding more and more that I want to be more than just content, I want to feel good about my work. I want my work to have a real impact. Many designers think impact means the amount of people who see or interact with their work, but I disagree. For me, impact means how much my work genuinely adds to a person's life. And designing another fucking corporate intranet is not going to give me that.
So, after reflecting on this for quite a while, I've come to realize that I want to work on projects that genuinely improves peoples' lives, or at least gives them something that helps them to be happy or solves a real problem in their life. I want to design an app or website that helps people get access to clean water or education in Africa, or helps to solve the migrant crisis in some small way. I don't know, just spitballing here.
My questions for you, DN:
Is there such a thing like this, where I can still be a designer and be paid for my work, but doing good in the world at the same time?
How do I find jobs like this?
Do you know of nonprofits or startups that fit this description who are looking for (UX) designers?
(Side note: I am in France on a working visa, so ideally I'd like to stay here if possible because I'd like to apply for citizenship in a few years, but if not then I'm willing to look elsewhere in Europe.)
TL;DR : Becoming disillusioned with my work, tired of working on projects that don't help real people and only give big corporations even more money, wanting to work on projects that genuinely help people but still be paid.