Introduction:

Why should I read this guide?

You’ll spend about 80,000 hours working in your career: 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years. So how to spend that time is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Choose wisely, and you will not only have a more rewarding and interesting life, you’ll also be able to help solve some of the world’s most urgent problems. But how should you choose?

 Each dot illustrates one of the 80,000 hours in your career. If you could make your career just 1% more impactful, or 1% more enjoyable, it would be worth spending up to 1% of your career figuring out how to do so. That’s 800 hours – five months of full-time work. Fortunately, this guide only takes about 4.

Each dot illustrates one of the 80,000 hours in your career. If you could make your career just 1% more impactful, or 1% more enjoyable, it would be worth spending up to 1% of your career figuring out how to do so. That’s 800 hours – five months of full-time work. Fortunately, this guide only takes about 4.

What you’ll learn

See a summary of the 12 articles in one page.

The first six articles discuss which options will be most fulfilling and have the highest-impact over the long-term:

  1. What makes for a dream job?

  2. Can one person make a difference?

  3. How to have a real positive impact in any job.

  4. How to choose which problems to focus on.

  5. What are the world’s biggest and most urgent problems?

  6. What types of job are high-impact?

The next four cover how to narrow down those options and succeed by investing in yourself:

  1. Which jobs put you in a better position?

  2. How to find the right career for you.

  3. How to be more successful in any job.

  4. How to write a career plan.

The last two cover how to take action and launch your dream career:

  1. How to get a job.

  2. How our community can help.

Who is this guide for?

Most sections are relevant to everyone. Earlier in your career, you have more flexibility, but no matter how old you are, you need to invest in your skills, choose which problems to focus on, and compare the options open to you. Although we designed the guide especially for students and recent graduates in their 20s, the ideas apply to a reader of any age.

For people who are already working in a specific area, we also have information on what to do within different career paths, global problems, and areas of expertise.

Start reading now:

What makes for a fulfilling job? What the evidence says.

"How to Have a Meaningful Career with a Large Social Impact." 80,000 Hours, 80000hours.org/career-guide/introduction/.