A (free) weekly career planning course for positive impact

by 80000_Hours2 min read1st Jul 2021No comments

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Career choice
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If you want a career that’s both fulfilling and impactful, but are feeling unsure what to do, we’ve created this free weekly course to help you make a plan.

Each week, you’ll receive one article to read and some questions to answer, which start with clarifying your longer-term goals, and work towards actionable next steps.

If you complete the whole thing, you’ll have considered the most important questions about your career, made a career plan you can feel confident in, and given yourself the best possible chance of finding work that’s satisfying and makes a real difference.

The course will help you apply everything we’ve learned about career planning, drawing from academic research on decision making and our experience giving career advice to over 1,000 people.

It’s designed to be helpful no matter which issues you want to work on or what your skills are, and whether you’re still a student or have been in a job for years.

It aims to help you step back and ask the big questions. If you need to decide between a couple of concrete options right now, we have a shorter decision process specifically for that.

It’s not necessarily an easy (or a particularly short) process. But you have 80,000 hours of working time in your life, so if you’re lucky enough to have options for how to spend that time, it’s worth really thinking about how to spend it best.

You can sign up now, or see all the sections right below.

Sign up for the course on the 80,000 Hours website


Just give me the summary

We’ve compressed the main advice in the course down to a 3-page summary: everything we’ve learned about career planning.

Part 1: What does a fulfilling, high-impact career look like for you?

Lay out your definition of impact, what you value, and what is most important for your happiness, drawing on factors we’ve identified in our research.

Part 2: Clarify your views of which global problems are most pressing

Learn how to compare global issues in terms of the potential impact of working on them, and get ideas for problems you could help tackle.

Part 3: Generate ideas for longer-term paths

Learn four ways to come up with ideas for longer-term career paths, and how to narrow them down based on our career framework.

Part 4: Clarify your strategic focus

Based on your situation, we’ll help you decide whether to focus more on exploring, on taking an ambitious long-term bet, or on immediate impact.

Part 5: Determine your best-guess next career step

Learn how to generate ideas for your next steps over the coming years, both by working backwards and by working forward. Then learn to narrow those options down based on our framework and your strategy.

Part 6: Plan to adapt

We explain ABZ plans, and how they can help when making decisions in the face of huge uncertainty.

Part 7: Investigate key uncertainties and make a judgement call

Learn how to identify your key uncertainties, and get lots of ideas on how to investigate them. Then apply research on decision making to make the best possible decision.

Part 8: Put your plan into action

Some final tips on how to translate your plan into concrete next actions and make sure you follow through, as well as advice on networking and how to make successful job applications.

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