Find a fulfilling career that does good

This free guide is based on five years of research alongside academics at Oxford. Receive one part in your inbox each week:

Otherwise continue to the first article. There are nine parts, each about 15 minutes.

Intro:Why read this guide?

You have 80,000 hours in your career, so your career decisions are some of the most important you’ll ever make.

Find out who we are, what the guide is based on, and how to use it.

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Part 1: What is a dream job?

Research shows that to have a fulfilling career, do something you’re good at that makes the world a better place. Don’t aim for a highly paid, easy job, or focus too much on your “passions”.

Find out the six key ingredients of fulfilling work:

Start part 1

Part 2a: Can one person make a difference?

Some careers have far more impact than others. As a baseline, any college graduate in the developed world can make a major difference to the lives of hundreds of people by donating 10% of their income to effective charities.

Find out how much of a difference you can make:

Start part 2a

Part 2b: What are the world’s biggest problems?

To maximise your impact, work on problems that are large in scale, that others neglect, and where it’s possible to make progress. Instead, many people fail to compare the scale of different problems, work on the same problems as everyone else, and support programs with no evidence of impact.

Learn how to compare global problems:

Start part 2b

Part 2c: Which jobs help people the most?

To find the highest impact jobs: (1) focus on on the most pressing problems; (2) choose the best method for working on the problem, considering research, advocacy and earning to give, as well as direct work like medicine, teaching and charity work; and (3) do something with excellent personal fit and job satisfaction.

Learn about the four main types of high-impact career:

Start part 2c

Part 3: Which jobs put you in the best position for the future?

Especially early in your career, take options that will give you flexible career capital – skills, connections and credentials that will be useful in many different jobs. Examples include mathematical graduate studies, consulting, and learning to program. Be careful with arts PhDs, charity jobs and vocational qualifications.

Read a list of ways to put yourself in a better position:

Start part 3

Part 4: How to find the right career for you

Don’t just try to figure out what you’ll be good at in advance by thinking about it. Instead, go investigate – speak to people to learn more, then try out your best options. Don’t expect to work out your dream job right away.

Learn how to narrow down your options:

Start part 4

Part 5: How to make your career plan

Rather than try to pinpoint the single best option – your single “calling” – accept that your plan is likely to change. Write out a flexible plan, which includes nearby alternative options and a backup if your plans don’t work out.

Work out your career plan:

Start part 5

Part 6: How to get a job

Don’t just send out your CV in response to job postings. Get leads through your connections, and prove that you can do the work by actually doing some. When you get an offer, negotiate.

See our summary of all the best advice on how to get the job you want:

Start part 6

The end:Work out what to do with your life

This tool helps you apply all the ideas to your own career, and make your plan. Once you’ve done this, you’ve mastered the guide.

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What people are saying...

“80,000 Hours is an exceptional organisation. This career guide is among the most thoughtful and grounded I've seen.”
Cal Newport Author of Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You

“Every college grad should read this.”
Tim Urban Wait But Why

“This incredible group is helping people have a greater social impact with their careers.”
Sue Desmond-Hellmann CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation