As we kick off 2024, we’re taking a moment to look back at our 2023 content.
We published a lot of pieces aimed at helping our readers have more impactful careers, including a completely updated career guide, our revamped advanced series, around 35 podcast episodes, dozens of blog posts, and a bunch of updates to our career reviews and problem profiles.
We’d like to highlight some of the new content that stands out to us:
Standout blog posts
- How to cope with rejection in your career — Luisa Rodriguez, one of the hosts of The 80,000 Hours podcast, wrote this powerful personal piece about her experience with career rejection, the unexpected benefits of getting rejected, and helpful tips for dealing with it that have worked for her. If you have ever struggled with rejection, I think this piece might help you feel less alone.
My thoughts on parenting and having an impactful career — Michelle Hutchinson, the director of the one-on-one programme at 80,000 Hours, wrote this thoughtful reflection on her decision to become a parent, the effects of parenthood on her career and social impact, and the challenges and benefits of being a parent in a community of people trying to have an impactful career.
Some thoughts on moderation in doing good — in this post, 80,000 Hours founder Ben Todd addressed why moderation may be underrated by people trying to have a big social impact and how to avoid the pitfalls of extremism. This piece thoughtfully offers actionable advice on how to strike a balance between aiming to do more good and pursuing other goals in your life.
Most popular: What makes for a dream job? — this is our most popular article of the year, one of our most frequently read pages ever, and the first chapter of our newly overhauled career guide! We reviewed decades of research on job satisfaction and discovered that ‘follow your passion’ is probably not the best advice if you want a satisfying career. Instead, we found six key ingredients of a dream job. If you’re looking to find a more satisfying career path in 2024, reading this article is a great place to start.
Longtermism: a call to protect future generations — in our newly launched advanced series, we discuss one of the ideas that motivates much of our work: longtermism. In short, this means we think improving the prospects for all future generations — if possible — is among the most morally important things we can do.
Should you work at a leading AI lab? — AI labs could be a force for good or harm. While there is a risk you could contribute to harm in these roles, you might also directly reduce the risks through safety research, governance work, and information security roles. I think this is an important piece to read.
AI governance and coordination — opportunities to positively shape the development of AI are rapidly emerging in government, research institutes, and industry. This work has the potential to be high-impact by helping shape how society prepares and responds to the challenges of AI technology. But this is a high-stakes area with potentially large downsides.
Great power conflict — we think the risk of a catastrophic great power war is a top world problem. Our new article argues that trying to reduce the risk might be among the highest-impact options for your career.
Standout podcast episodes
Lennart Heim on the compute governance era and what has to come after — Lennart explains how regulation of supercomputing resources like advanced AI chips can help reduce the risks of quickly advancing AI systems.
Kevin Esvelt on cults that want to kill everyone, stealth vs wildfire pandemics, and how he felt inventing gene drives — Kevin, an MIT biologist, lays out the case that engineered pandemics are among the biggest dangers facing humanity.
Ajeya Cotra on accidentally teaching AI models to deceive us — will AI models be saints, sycophants, or schemers? Ajeya discusses how AI models with different motivations could emerge that perform similarly to each other during training, but behave very differently elsewhere. This is a great episode to dive into why aligning AI with human goals and values might be very tricky.
Seren Kell on the research gaps holding back alternative proteins from mass adoption — Seren discusses the state of the science behind alternative proteins, as well as the challenges and opportunities for progress towards making them as tasty, cheap, and convenient as meat, dairy, and egg products.
Alex Lawsen on avoiding 10 mistakes people make when pursuing a high-impact career — Alex, a former 80,000 Hours advisor, offers useful guidance on how to avoid some common career mistakes he has seen, including not failing enough (yes, really!) and taking the 80,000 Hours problem and career rankings too seriously.
And there’s more to come in 2024!
The 80,000 Hours team will continue researching, writing, and podcasting about the areas we think you could have the most impact with your career. We’re excited to continue helping our readers find fulfilling careers that do good!