I think it’s a good idea to consider how you’re feeling about your career each year. At least, intellectually I think it’s good. In practice, I find it really hard. Compared to others I know, I’m not as naturally drawn to personal reflection and goal-setting. I intended to reflect on my own career over the festive period… and ended up bailing because I found it too stressful.
But it is important! Without making time to check in on the big career questions, you might stay too long at a job, miss opportunities for doing more good, or fail to push yourself to grow — I’ve certainly been there before.
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So I suggest doing a career review this January — but committing to a realistic volume of work. You can start small. You can also try getting help — ask a friend to act as an “accountability buddy” or apply to talk one-on-one with someone from 80,000 Hours.
I’m committing to do it too this month — that’s one of the reasons I’m writing this newsletter!
Here are some of our tools and resources that you could use at whatever level of detail works for you:
The quick version (30–60 minutes)
Try our annual career review tool
These guided questions help you reflect on the last year, consider whether to change your job, and make a plan for this year.
Find new options on our job board
If your plan involves changing jobs, or you just want to see what’s out there, then our job board can help you find promising opportunities. It’ll only take a minute or two to set up email alerts to get notifications for the kind of jobs you’re most interested in.
The medium version (1–3 hours)
Get personalised help from our team
If you want to work on the pressing problems we write about, then you might benefit from talking to one of our team one-on-one about your options.
We can connect you with experts and hiring managers and suggest concrete next steps. Last year, our team had over 1,400 advising calls — our biggest year ever.
If you’re finding the application form hard to fill in, you could set yourself a timer for 30 minutes and then just submit it at the end. People also sometimes find that filling in the form itself is helpful, as it gets you to write down answers to mini career review questions.
We speak to about one in three people who apply. Although we can’t speak to everyone, we read each application and try to see how we can help — we offer most people we don’t speak to an introduction to someone else or a free book.
So if you’ve been putting off applying, why not take this opportunity to do it now?
The long version (8+ hours)
Try our eight-week career planning course
To go further in depth, our career planning course takes you through key questions about what you’re aiming for with your career and what problems you want to work on, and helps you build a more detailed career plan. You might find the worksheet template particularly helpful.
You can sign up to have the course sent to you over eight weeks, and it could even be nice to do it along with a friend so you can discuss the questions together.
More planning options