Career planning and decision making — all our best resources
If good career planning can increase the positive impact you have with your career — or the satisfaction you get from it — by just 1%, then because a career is typically 80,000 hours long, it’d be worth spending 799 of those hours just planning.
Fortunately, we’ll be much faster, and think the rewards of good planning are much larger.
The articles and career planning template on this page are designed to help you make the best possible decisions in planning out your career.
They’re in-depth and based on the best academic research and existing advice we could find. And we’ve tested and refined the advice in them over the years by advising over 1,000 people one-on-one.
Follow the links below to create a career plan you feel confident in, choose between jobs, and get your next job.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to plan a high-impact career: an eight-week course
- 2 Longer-term career planning: all our other resources
- 3 Make an immediate career decision
- 4 Put your plan into action
- 5 Review your career once a year
- 6 Learn more about career decision making
How to plan a high-impact career: an eight-week course
If you’re wondering about what jobs to aim for in the longer term, or just want to step back and think systematically about your career and impact, you might want to sign up for our free career planning course.
It takes everything we’ve learned about career planning and turns it into a series of tips, prompts, and resources, starting from your longer-term goals and working towards actionable next steps.
Each week, we’ll send you one article to read and a couple of prompts to reflect on. At the end, you’ll have a complete career plan.
We’ll also send you monthly updates on our research and updates on high-impact job opportunities. You can unsubscribe from either in one click.
Longer-term career planning: all our other resources
We’ve created a 3-page summary of the advice in the full course.
You can start clarifying your career plan right away by filling out our template.
The entire course is available online.
Make an immediate career decision
If you need to decide between a couple of concrete options right now — such as which job offer to accept, which major to select, or which companies to apply to — we have a shorter process specifically for that.
Or see similar advice as an interactive tool.
Put your plan into action
See a summary of all the best advice we’ve found on how to make applications and get a job.
The final section of the planning process contains some tips on how to overcome procrastination and make sure you put your plan into action.
See a summary of the best advice we’ve read on how to network.
Review your career once a year
We recommend you review your career about once a year in order to reflect on where you want to go and whether you need to change direction to get there. To help you, we created an annual career review tool that asks a couple of key questions.
Learn more about career decision making
Career planning often involves difficult decisions and judgement calls that you will need to think through for yourself, such as which jobs you’re most likely to enjoy and be good at in the long term.
If you want to have a positive impact, you’ll face even bigger questions about which global problems are most pressing and how to help tackle them. Since the best options are usually new or unconventional, you’ll need to think independently and learn when to bet against the crowd.
This makes it really useful to improve your thinking and decision making, which is a great life skill too. Here are some of our best resources on how to do that.
- How to improve your decision making.
How much should you change your beliefs based on new evidence? Podcast with Spencer Greenberg.
See all our articles and podcasts on career decision making.
Get free one-on-one advice on your career plan
If you’re interested in working on one of the global problems we highlight, apply to speak with our team one-on-one. We can discuss which problem to focus on, look over your plan, introduce you to mentors, and suggest roles that suit your skills.