How to find a fulfilling career that does good

Why?

You have 80,000 hours in your career. It’s your biggest opportunity to have a positive impact on the world.
How can you best spend those hours?

How?

Three factors for an impactful career

1. Problem area

Focus on the most pressing social problems — those that are big in scale, neglected and solvable — rather than those that are popular or you just happen to stumble into. Examples of pressing problems are: alleviating global poverty, improving animal welfare, and reducing existential risk.

2. Career path

Think broadly about all the ways you might contribute to solving those problems to identify those where you can make the biggest contribution. Consider earning to give, research, communication, community-building, charity entrepreneurship, and government and policy careers.

3. Personal fit

Focus on paths that have the best personal fit, and that best meet your other personal criteria. To find your best fit, think like a scientist: make some best guesses at the most promising paths and jobs, identify key uncertainties, and do cheap tests to resolve them. Keep updating your plan every 1–3 years.

Take action

Next steps

Follow this global career guide

80,000 Hours’ new career guide is based on in-depth research since 2011. It covers everything you need to know about how to find a fulfilling career that does good, from why you shouldn’t “follow your passion”, to why medicine and charity work aren’t always the best way to help others.

It’s full of practical tips and exercises, and at the end, you’ll have a draft of your new career plan.

Read our career guides

The following career guides focus on pressing world problems and have concrete tips for people living in the Netherlands:

And there are several career guides on their way! If you like to chat about these or other cause areas, reach out for a virtual coffee.

Unfamiliar with EA? Join our intro programme first

If you’re new to Effective Altruism, our introductory programme is the perfect first step. Over 5 weeks, you’ll explore the core principles of EA, guided by a facilitator and alongside a small group of like-minded individuals in the Netherlands.

Book a career call with us!

Got questions or feeling uncertain? Let’s chat. Schedule a relaxed call with us. It’s a chance for a genuine conversation, where we can address your queries and share insights about the world of impactful careers. We’re here to assist and guide.

Explore more

Resources and opportunities

Career guidance

80,000hours.com

80,000hours.com

Has spent more than 10 years researching how you can best use your career to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Includes a career guide, podcast and job board.    

Probably Good

Probably Good

Is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to helping people find careers that are good for them and good for the world. They provide personal career advising, career profiles and other resources to empower more people to make a positive impact through their work.  

High-Impact Professionals

High-Impact Professionals

Helps working professionals to have the biggest impact possible. They run career workshops, support workplace groups and help run corporate fundraising campaigns.

Successif

Successif

Helps mid-career and senior professionals leverage their expertise to address pressing global issues. They offer career mentoring, opportunity matching and professional training.

Magnifying Mentoring

Magnifying Mentoring

Supports, inspires, and connects a global community of women, non-binary, and trans people of all genders who are motivated to have a positive impact with their careers and lives.

School for Moral Ambition (Dutch)

School for Moral Ambition (Dutch)

School for Moral Ambition aims to stop the waste of talent. They provide online resources to start your own moral ambition circle and plan your career.

Effective Environmentalism

Effective Environmentalism

Researching impactful climate career advice, and help people find impactful careers through coaching and workshops.

Animal Advocacy Careers

Animal Advocacy Careers

Speeds up the end of unnecessary animal suffering by matching people to roles that help animals  most. They have an online course, a job board and a careers advising service.

Training and Fellowship Programmes

Charity Entrepreneurship’s Research Training Programme

Charity Entrepreneurship’s Research Training Programme

Is an online course designed to equip participants with the tools and skills needed to identify, compare, and recommend the most effective charities and interventions. It is a full-time fully cost-covered programme that lasts 11 weeks.

MATS program

MATS program

Apply for the MATS program to fast-track your career in AI safety. Gain skills, financial support, and a network committed to reducing global risks. Apply now to make an impact.

Charity Entrepreneurship’s Grantmaker Training Programme

Charity Entrepreneurship’s Grantmaker Training Programme

Boosts your philanthropic impact. Acquire essential tools and skills for effective, evidence-based funding.

BlueDot Impact

BlueDot Impact

Runs courses that support you to develop the knowledge, community and network needed to pursue a high impact career. E.g. AI Safety fundamentals and Biosecurity fundamentals.

School for Moral Ambition (Dutch)

School for Moral Ambition (Dutch)

School for Moral Ambition aims to stop the waste of talent. They provide online resources to start your own moral ambition circle and plan your career.

Charity Entrepreneurship’s incubation programme

Charity Entrepreneurship’s incubation programme

CE is a nonprofit charity incubator. They research high-impact ideas, recruit aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them with the training and funding to turn these ideas into high-impact organisations.

Training for Good

Training for Good

Kickstarts policy and journalism careers that reduce risks from emerging technologies. They have two main programmes. A 7-month fellowship for entering European policy careers focused on emerging technology, and a 12-month fellowship for early career journalists interested in covering artificial intelligence.

Experiences

Career stories

I’ve seen the horrors of war and famine, which humanity aims to prevent. In contrast, factory farming is growing, subsidised by governments, and nonprofits receive far less funding. I realised animal suffering is even more neglected than human suffering.

I think it is a valuable flow-through effect of starting a charity that more people can get the opportunity to work on something impactful.

The huge network I’ve gotten in contact with through EA has been amazing. I’ve made this pivot much, much faster than I think I could have accomplished in other comparable fields.