Job board: User guide & FAQ

80,000 Hours is a nonprofit that helps people pursue careers that effectively tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Our job board provides a curated list of the most promising publicly advertised vacancies we know about. We post roles that we believe are opportunities to either (and often both):

  1. Contribute to solving key global problems.
  2. Help people develop the career capital — skills, experience, knowledge, connections and credentials — to solve these problems in the future.

If you would like to talk to someone about how to prioritise these two factors when deciding on various career or role options, you can apply to speak with our team for free one-on-one.

We think that social impact is a bit like other areas such as business, finance, or the arts: to have an unusually large impact, you probably need to innovate in some way. This might mean coming up with a novel approach to a widely recognised problem, or it might mean deciding to work on problems that are currently neglected by society in general.

The question of which problems most warrant more attention right now partly depends on your moral philosophy. One idea that we take seriously is the moral significance of the way our actions affect future generations. Barring catastrophe, the vast majority of people who will ever live have yet to be born. This means that the value of passing on a better world — one that gives future generations a greater chance to lead flourishing lives — could be enormous.

This is part of the reason we are very concerned about the risk of existential catastrophes in this century. Such risks threaten the survival of humanity, and our ability to realise the potential of future generations.

Another key consideration is how society is currently allocating resources. If an important problem is already widely recognised, then it is likely that a lot of people are already trying to solve it. If that’s the case, then it will usually be harder for a few extra people working on the issue to have a very large impact. All else equal, you can likely do far more good in an area that is not getting the attention it deserves.

To learn more, see our key ideas page and our profiles of the world’s most pressing problems.

We include roles based on whether they have the potential to help someone contribute to solving one of our identified key problems and/or help people develop the career capital to work on these problems in the future.

We have a curation process where we:

  1. Source roles: We have a list of organisations whose vacancy pages we regularly check, and we also learn about roles from experts, the 80,000 Hours team, and external submissions.
  2. Review roles: We select roles based on our criteria outlined above:
    • For organisations and role types that we are familiar with, we will look at the details of the individual role for normally less than a minute.
    • For organisations we are less familiar with or a role we are unsure of, we will often take a longer look (and sometimes consult with outside experts or 80,000 Hours staff familiar with the area to help us decide whether we should include it).
  3. Publish roles: We add the roles that make it through the above process to the job board.

We try to list the best roles for our users that we can find, but evaluating organisations and roles is difficult and there are limits to the amount of time we can spend reviewing roles and/or the expertise we can draw on in an area.

See also: How should I think about roles that are listed or not listed on the board?

80,000 Hours’ career advice is based on 10 years of research alongside academics at Oxford. It is all available for free on our website. Some specific pieces we think may be helpful for people using the job board:

If you want to talk one-on-one with someone on the 80,000 Hours team about how you might have more impact with your career, you can apply here.

Some other places you might find useful to check include:

A few types of impactful roles may be underrepresented on the job board. These are likely to be roles:

  • Working in problem areas where 80,000 Hours has less expertise
  • At new organisations we haven’t heard of yet.
  • At larger organisations where there are too many roles to review to pick out the most impactful ones.
  • That are based outside the US or UK. We list a fair amount of global remote roles but we are less able to source and vet non-English language vacancies.

The total number of roles we list in a given problem area fluctuates, and is not a sign of how important we think the cause area is.
If you think we are missing impactful areas or roles (especially within our identified problem areas), please let us know at [email protected].

The job board aims to bring promising opportunities to your attention. If a vacancy is listed on the job board, it means that we think it may be among the best opportunities for some of our readers to have a positive impact. If you are excited about a role you find on the board, we encourage you to investigate it and seriously consider applying.

That said, there is a good chance that your best option is actually a role that is not featured on the board. There are many reasons for this, some of which we described above about our limited capacity to source and vet all impactful opportunities at a given time. If you find a role that seems promising but is not listed on our job board, you should not infer that it is less promising than the roles that we do feature.

In short: if a vacancy is featured on the board, take this as a positive signal that it may be worth your consideration. If a vacancy is not featured on the board, you should take this as a neutral signal.

Sometimes we list roles more for their career capital — skills, experience, knowledge, connections and credentials — than for their direct impact. This includes many entry-level roles at large organisations.

Also it is often the case that promising smaller organisations first need to build a strong team in order to have a potentially large impact in the future.

Including a role on the job board doesn’t mean that we think the organisation or the role is necessarily having a positive impact in the world. In some cases, we may list roles because a great candidate could have a strong positive impact in the role or organisation.

Most powerful organisations cause some harm or are at least somewhat controversial. For example, few people agree with everything that Amazon, Facebook, or the US military have done. But large organisations like these have large influence on several of our recommended problem areas, so if you want to have a big impact, your best option might be to work at such an organisation — either to build career capital so you can have an impact later, or to have a direct impact by helping improve them from the inside.

Regrettably, some media and political narratives sometimes encourage us to categorise organisations as ‘good’ or ‘evil.’ In reality, people at large organisations like these are doing a huge range of things — some good, some bad, and some neutral.

It’s important to consider what you’ll be doing within the specific job you might take, and how you might be able to shape that role in a more positive direction. In general, you’ll probably have more impact by contributing to organisations whose track records have been positive overall (we list some reasons for this in our article on harmful jobs). But this may not always be the case, so you should not automatically rule out taking jobs at controversial or unpopular organisations.

More broadly, all actions — including all career decisions — involve a risk of harm, so you need to do your best to weigh the upsides and downsides of your different options. This is one reason why career decisions are morally and practically difficult. Our general advice is to avoid taking jobs you expect to cause serious harm, even if you think they could do a greater amount of good. It’s also important to think carefully about how to reduce the risk of accidentally causing harm.

If you think we are mistakenly promoting roles that are foreseeably causing serious harm, please tell us here.

We only list roles that we think are among the best opportunities according to our listing criteria. However, we realise that there will be some great opportunities out there that we are not aware of.

If there is a role you think we should be listing on the job board, please send the link (and supporting information if needed) to [email protected], and we will consider it for listing.

Yes. Our team of advisors are keen to speak to people who want to have an impactful career. If you are excited about roles on our job board, you may be a good fit to talk to an advisor (for free!).

We can’t speak to everyone who applies, but if you’re not sure about whether to apply for advising, we recommend that you do. It doesn’t take long and just filling out the form might help you think through your career. And if we’re not able to talk to you right now, you can always apply again in the future.

Learn more about speaking with the team at 80,000 Hours.

You can leave anonymous feedback here (though feel free to leave your contact email if you wish).

We are constantly looking to improve our listings and services for our users, and would love to hear what you have to say.

Back to the job board