If you’re already familiar with our framework, and want to apply it to compare several options within our how to choose process, you can use this worksheet, which collates all the key information onto one page.
We’ve made a table you can use to score each of your options.
See a filled in example here.
We’ve provided space for you to add your own factors, since our framework doesn’t always perfectly capture the most important aspects of your situation. You might also want to focus on certain subfactors within each main factor. For instance, if you’re particularly worried about burning out, then you could consider “burnout risk” as part of career capital; or if you’re especially concerned to keep your options open you could make that a separate factor. Play around until it captures the most important factors for you.
We’ve also provided space for you to add your own personal factors, because making a difference isn’t the only thing that matters in most career decisions. See our page on job satisfaction for more information on what personal factors are often most important.
Full list of assessment questions
1. Path impact potential
The role impact of an option is the extent to which it gives you opportunities to make an immediate impact.
Influence: What opportunities will I have to direct money and labour to effective causes?
- Direct impact: will I be able to work on effective causes directly with my own time?
- Earnings potential: how much do I expect to earn and have free to donate?
- Advocacy potential: will I gain a network, public platform or influence over an organisation?
Cause effectiveness: how effective are the causes you’ll be able to work on?
- Scale: If we made more progress on this problem, by how much would the world become a better place?
- Tractability: How easy is it to make progress on this problem?
- Neglectedness: How many resources are already being dedicated to tackling this problem?
- Personal fit: Given your skills, resources, knowledge, connections and passions, how likely are you to excel in this area?
For full detail, see our page on role impact.
In addition, we’ve found the following rules of thumb useful:
- Have other high impact people taken this path before?
- Is there a reason why this path will be neglected by others? For instance, does it involve incurring personal risk?
- Is this a common-sense way of making a big difference?
- How flexible can you be in your choice of cause in response to new evidence?
2. Personal fit
Your degree of personal fit in a role is your chances of excelling in the role over the next few years.
- Try the path out and see how you do.
- Speak to people in the path, and find out how people similar to you perform.
- Ask yourself whether this option is exciting, whether you would want to persist in the face of setbacks, and whether you’ve performed well in similar situations in the past.
- Consider whether you’re likely to be satisfied within this option. See our page on job satisfaction.
For full detail, see our page on personal fit.
3. Career capital
Career capital is the extent to which a career option gives you opportunities to put yourself in a generally better position to make a difference in the future.
The main questions to ask yourself are:
How useful are the skills, connections, credentials and other benefits I’ll gain?
- Are the skills increasingly in-demand, transferable and a good personal fit? Will I gain other useful knowledge?
- Will I have impressive achievements or gain useful qualifications?
- Will I have opportunities to make connections with influential, competent people who want to make the world a better place?
- Will this option contribute to my financial independence?
- Will this option put me a good position to take risks with your career later?
How good is the environment for learning and self-development?
- Will I get good feedback on your progress, especially from real-world results?
- Will I work with inspiring, high-achieving and altruistic people, who will support your development?
- Will I have flexibility over my time?
- Does this career have good job satisfaction?
For full detail, see our page on career capital.
4. Exploration value
Exploration value is the extent to which an option will help you learn more about which options are best in the long-run.
- Does this option appear high potential?
- Am I highly uncertain about how high potential it will be?
- Can I rapidly learn more if I try it out?
For full detail, see our page on exploration value.
5. Other personal factors
Some common personal factors that matter include:
Engaging, meaningful work: the extent to which you have variety, autonomy, a sense of completion, feedback and work that you feel makes a difference.
Getting on with your colleagues: the extent to which you get help from, like and form meaningful relationships with your colleagues.
Hygiene factors: do you have reasonable hours, job security, a short commute and sufficient pay?
Though note that these should already be partly accounted for under personal fit. For more, see our job satisfaction page.