80,000 Hours: Find a fulfilling career that does good

3.8
Find a fulfilling career that tackles the world 's most pressing problems, using this guide based on five years of research alongside academics at Oxford.

You have about 80,000 hours in your career: 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years. This means your choice of career is one of the most important decisio you ’ ll ever make. Make the right choices, and you can help solve some of the world ’ s most pressing problems, as well as have a more excitin, interesting life. For such an important decision, however, there ’ s surprisingly little good advice out there.

Most career advice focuses on things like how to write a CV, and much of the remainde is just ( misleading) platitudes like “ follow your passion ”. Most people we speak to don ’ t even use career advice – they just speak to friends and try to figure it out for themselves.

When it comes to helping others with your career, the advice usually assumes you need to work as a schoolteache, doctor, charity worker, and so on, even though these paths might not be a good loo for you, and were not what the highest-impact people in history did.

This guide is based on five years of research conducted alongside academics at the Institute of xford. It aims to help you find a career you enjoy, you ’ re good at, and that tackles the world ’ s most pressing problems.

It covers topics like:

1. What makes for a dream job, and why “ follow your passion ” can be deceptive.
2. Why the most effective ways to make a difference aren ’ t always the obvious ones like working at a charity, or becoming a doctor.
3. How to compare global problems, like climate change and education, in terms of their scale and urgency.
4. How to discover and develop your strengths.

It ’ s also full of practical tips and tools. At the nd, you 'll have a plan to use your career in a way that 's fulfilling and does good.

What people are saying

“ Based on evidence and good sense, not platitudes ”
- Steven Pinker, New York Times bestselling author Johnstone Family Professor of Philosophy at arvard University.

“ 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.

“ Every college grad should read this ”
- Tim Urban, creator of Wait But Why.

Read more online

This books is based on the free guide you can find on the 80,000 Hours website, where you can find many more articles and our most up-to-date content. All profits from the book are used to fund 80,000 Hours, expanding our research and enabling us to reach more people.

About the authors

80,000 Hours is an independent non-profit founded in Oxford in 2011. It performs research into career choice, and provides online and in-person advice.

Benjamin Todd is the CHAIRMA and co-founder of 80,000 Hours. He grew the organization from a student society at Oxford to a non-profit that 's raised$ 1.3m in donations, and has 100,000 monthly readers. He has a Master ’ s degree in Biochemistry and Philosophy from Oxford; has published in climate physics; and speaks Chinese, badly.

Noah is advised by the whole of the 80,000 Hours team, including Professor Will MacAskill, author of Doing Good Better, co-founder of the Effective Altruism movement, and the youngest tenured professor of philosophy in the world.
Available Languages
Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published November 28th 2016
Number of Pages
343
Asin
B01M70QISP

Community Reviews

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gave it

What is my definition of " doing good "? Where the book falls apart for me is that, aside from actively being in a select few, narrowly scoped careers, the book says the best pat to " do good " is to earn as much money as possible with the oal of giving part of your earnings or influence as many people as possible to effect change by being in a " prestigious " position.

War and pillaging other nations started with elitist thinking- " We 're better than them so we deserve to get all their resources. " Fast forward a couple centuries and " Now we feel guilty about our incredibly unequal distribution of global wealth so we 'll write books funneling people into high-paying careers so they can send part of it over to these poorer countries. " It 's more so a bandaid than anything.I do n't know if making money is the best pat to do good.

gave it

I 've sometimes felt effective altruism ( EA) implies that if you 're not the very best at something ( like a global development job) you 're simply wasting resources and should get out of the way ( and just earn to give).

I think the arguments are important to consider, but I can only speak as someone that is obviously not as smart nor as competent as the people pushing this movement; and from this position it feels quite discouraging, and I 've often felt my life to be less valuable and that I do n't have anything particularly worthwhile to contribute to issues like global poverty.Also the AI terror stuff is weird to me.

The surprising stuf about utilitarian logic ( as it exists in 'effective altruism') is that assumes that 'we' ( believes in EA) can be and should be 'in control'.

Becoming 'influential' is central to 'effective altruism', because that is how one achieves a greater 'amount of good' overall.

The one thing I think EA offers those oriented to 'social justice' is that you do n't have to wait for the revolution ( e.g. in tax reform or better social programs) before good can be done, and I think EA makes a good case that giving ( 'donating') can make a difference and you do n't have to be that cynical about it.

EA also appeals to 'rationality' to make a good case for the relevance of advocacy, which those oriented to 'social justice' work do quite well in my opinion.This book would have been very usefu in high school, helping to illuminate the landscape more clearly about career options ( advantages/disadvantages), but I think it should also be complemented with other perspectives.

gave it

While there are some hings that people who have already embarked on a career can glean from this, the advice ( and nearly all the related stories& anecdotes) is about people in university ( or, at best, a post-graduate program) .If I knew a high-schooler or college student pondering their future career path, this would be an excellent memoi for them.

One of the trengths of the memoir is that it offers strong advice against rushing into non-profit work right out of niversity, about avoiding helping with popular problems ( where the marginal impact of your efforts will be minimal; the world probably does n't need another breast cancer researcher, for exampl), and about playing to your strengths ( they suggest that for some people it is better to " earn to give " rather than making direct contributions; a corporate lawyer who donates$ 50,000 a year to anti-malaria foundations in Africa is likely to actually do far more good over their life than someone who becomes a primary care physician in America) .When you are early in your career, you have little or no career capital which will limit how far you can advance in a non-profit and how much impact you can have.

In such cases it makes more sense to work in the corporate sector for a handfu days to build up career capital first.Although it ’ s ood to make a difference right away, you also need to invest in yourself to maximize your impact in the long-termThey acknowledge that finding a career is fraught.

At one point they give a list of suggested jobs: tech startup founder, quantitative trading, startup early employee, software engineering, data science, and management consultin.

gave it

Any short review of this ook will really not do it justice, as the tips on career opportunities, life satisfaction analysis, global suffering alleviation considerations, job hunting, and communities is invaluable.

gave it

However, this ook does not measure up to the expanse of this project.

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