You have 80,000 hours in your career.
This makes it your best opportunity to have a positive impact on the world.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to use your career for good, but aren’t sure how, our in-depth guide can help you:
- Get new ideas for high-impact careers
- Compare your options in terms of impact
- Make a plan you feel confident in
It’s based on 10 years of research alongside academics at Oxford. We’re a nonprofit, and everything we provide is free.
If you’re new, start here to learn how to compare career paths in terms of impact, using three key factors: problem, contribution, and personal fit.
We’ll use them to show why some of the career paths open to you can probably do vastly more for the world than others, but why they’re probably not the ones you’re currently thinking about.
Key ideas guide
This guide covers the most important ideas you need to understand to have a high-impact career, such as how to define social impact in the first place, how to compare global problems, how to work out what you’re good at, and more.
There are about 15 key articles, or you can listen to a podcast summary, or see a two page summary. If you read this guide over a weekend, you’ll have understood the most important ideas we’ve learned in our research, and be ready to start making your career plan.
In-depth conversations about the world's most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them.
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Our job board presents some of the most promising publicly advertised vacancies we know about. If you’re a good fit for one of them, it could be your best opportunity to work on one of the world's most pressing problems, or to get the career capital you need to have a big impact later.
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The issue you work on is probably the most important factor determining your impact. It’s important to focus on issues that are not only big, but also neglected and tractable. We have advice on how to compare different issues, and a list of especially pressing problems you could help tackle in your career.
The highest impact paths are those that put you in the best position to tackle the most pressing problems. To help you get ideas for ways to contribute, we review some common options and list some unusual but especially high-impact paths.
To help you make a personalized career plan you can feel confident in, we have a series of resources on planning & decision-making, including an 8-week course and template to plan a high-impact career.
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September 13, 2022
In which career can you make the biggest contribution?
Get 1-1 advice
If you’re interested in working on one of the global problems we highlight, apply to speak with our team one-on-one for free. We can discuss which problem to focus on, look over your plan, introduce you to mentors, and suggest roles that suit your skills.
Two people working together can have more than twice the impact, so we’ve helped to build the global effective altruism community. It’s made up of thousands of people around the world, who aim to help others and use evidence and careful reasoning to find the best ways to do so. Get involved to learn more, and to find mentors and collaborators who want to help you have a greater impact.
Who are we?
We started 80,000 Hours when we were about to graduate from Oxford in 2011. Our aim was to provide the advice we wish we’d had back then: transparently explained, based on the best research available, and willing to ask the big questions. By doing this, we hope to get the next generation of leaders tackling the world’s most pressing problems.
How come this is all free?
We’re an independent nonprofit funded by individual donors and philanthropic foundations. They donate to us so that we can help people have a greater positive impact on the world. We don’t accept any corporate sponsorship or advertising fees.
Who is this for?
Our aim is to help people tackle the world’s biggest and most neglected problems, and our advice is aimed at people who have the good fortune to be able to make that their focus, as well as the security to change path. Due to our limited capacity, some of our advice focuses on a narrow range of paths, and is especially aimed at talented college students and graduates aged 18-30, though many of the ideas we cover are relevant to everyone.
What research is your advice based on?
Our advice is based on 100+ expert interviews; what we’ve learned advising 1,000+ people one-on-one over 10 years; and where possible, the academic literature on global problems and career success. We’re affiliated with the Global Priorities Institute at the University of Oxford.
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