You're reading our old career guide.

We hope you'll find this page useful, but please bear in mind that it was written in 2016/17 and may not reflect our current views.

See our key ideas series for the latest introduction to our research on how to help solve the world's most pressing problems with your career.

Read our key ideas series

Case study

Dr Owen CB

Owen's story

Owen became involved in the 80,000 Hours community through Giving What We Can in Oxford, and was introduced to the case for basing career choice on impact. Through further discussions, he became convinced to use his research skills to work directly on the most pressing questions.

He decided to stop doing research into pure mathematics, because it’s a well-established field which already attracts many of the world’s smartest people. Instead, he could have a greater impact by entering the new field of global priorities research, which involves developing frameworks to help work out which global challenges governments, non-profit organisations and individuals should focus on.

Owen eventually accepted a job at the Global Priorities Project, which we helped to launch as part of the Centre for Effective Altruism.

He says we had a ‘significant impact’ on his beliefs because we introduced him to the relevant arguments for the first time. He adds:

One of the major influences of 80,000 Hours was the idea of framing a career as part of what you can achieve for good in the world rather than just thinking of achieving good via donations.