Career guide

Figure out what to do with your life

This career guide tells you the most important things we’ve discovered about how to find a job you’re good at, you enjoy, and that makes the world a better place.

Sign up and we’ll send you one part each week for eight weeks.

IntroWhat’s with the name?

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

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

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Part 1: What is a fulfilling career?

Research shows that to have 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:

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Part 2a: How much difference can one person make?

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:

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Part 2b: What are the biggest problems in the world?

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:

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Or skip ahead to the quiz to see what problems we recommend:

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Part 2c: In which job can you make the most difference?

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:

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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:

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Part 4: How to work out what you’re good at

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:

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Part 5: How to make your career plan

Rather than try to pinpoint the single best option, 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.

Learn how to write your career plan:

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Or skip ahead to the plan worksheet:

Make my plan

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:

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No time now? Sign up and we’ll send you one part each week for eight weeks.

What next?

Did we change your career plans?

If we’ve helped you at all, please tell us about it. Just a few minutes of your time lets us keep operating – we need evidence of impact to fundraise and continue providing free advice.

Help out

Make a decision

If you have a decision to think through, use our tool (or set a reminder to come back when you do).

Help me decide

Or join our LinkedIn group to ask a question about your career and meet people who can help you get the job you want. If you want more reading, check out all our other key articles (we admire your stamina).

Review your career

Check in on your career at least once a year. You can use our six-question tool to make it easy.

Review your career

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