What do we mean by this strategy?

Enter careers that enable you to build a package of generally valuable skills, connections and credentials – ‘career capital’.

What’s our evidence this strategy is promising?

At the start of their careers, most people can significantly boost their abilities to make a difference over the rest of their careers by first investing in themselves. We think this is common sense, but it has also been supported by our investigations into specific ways to build career capital. For instance, we’ve found many examples of people who have been able to boost their income 20-100% within six months by learning to program.

It’s important to focus on building career capital which will serve you well in many different scenarios, because it’s hard to predict where the best opportunities will be in the future. For instance, if you learn to program, then you’ll have decent employment prospects (including part-time and remote work), and you’ll also be in a better position to do research, entrepreneurship and contribute to non-profits.

Which options are best within this strategy?

If you want to maximise your self-development, focus on options that give you good opportunities to build career capital and are a strong personal fit. If there’s an area you think you could excel within, consider doing that, even if it’s not obviously “high-impact”.

Of the career paths we’ve investigated so far some that seem particularly good for building career capital include: