Dear ClearerThinking readers: This week, we want to let you know about the new Career Guide from 80,000 Hours — an organization devoted to helping people find meaningful work. They think in the same analytical, data-driven style as ClearerThinking, and we believe you could get a lot out of the guide if you're interested in improving the world with your career, or finding work you love.
80,000 is roughly the number of hours you'll spend in your career (40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year for 50 years). That means your career decisions are among the most important ones you’ll ever make.
Usually career advice isn't based on much evidence — it's just some guy's opinion. 80,000 Hours, however, has conducted five years of research alongside academics at Oxford. They’ve drawn on all the research they could find on job satisfaction, performance prediction, career decision-making, and so on.
Their guide covers a wide range of questions, such as:
What do 60 published studies teach us about what really makes for a dream job?
What’s the best best advice out there on how to get a job?
How much good can one person do?
How can you find the world's most pressing problems?
Which jobs help people the most?
Which jobs lead to long-term success?
Some of the key things they’ve learned include:
To have a fulfilling career, do something you’re good at that makes the world a better place. Don’t aim for a highly paid, easy job, or expect to discover your “passion” in a flash of insight.
Some careers have a huge impact — much more than others, in certain cases. In fact, any college graduate can help hundreds of people.
To maximize your impact, work on problems that are (1) large in scale, (2) neglected by others, and (3) feasible areas for progress. Many people fail to compare the scale of different problems, work in fields that are already crowded, and support programs with no evidence of impact.
If you’d like to get 80,000 Hours' advice on how to find a career you enjoy and are good at, and that makes a real difference in the world as well, you should: