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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,125 ratings  ·  118 reviews
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 decisions you’ll ever make. Make the right choices, and you can h
Kindle Edition, 343 pages
Published November 28th 2016
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 ·  1,125 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were a number of points in the book that felt implicitly elitist. I found Peter Singer's 'evangelizing' of effective altruism more compelling, but I've come to have quite strong reservations about this obsession with 'effectiveness' and 'efficiency'. 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 ea ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful and thought-provoking, though premised on elitist principles.

This book raised a lot of personal questions that are helpful to examine while trying to figure out career - how do I want to dedicate most of my time? What is the kind of impact I want to make? 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 way to "do good" is to earn as much money as possible with the g
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
The premise of the 80,000 hours project appeals to me - think critically, in-depth and vastly, about your career's trajectory and how you can create the most positive and thoughtful impact along your path. However, this book does not measure up to the expanse of this project. It is a second-string rehash of the website, which is superior in terms of functionality and comprehensiveness. The book version is static and dangerously authoritative, where the website allows for personalization and broa ...more
Siarhei Krukau
Nov 30, 2021 rated it liked it
If you're not interested in authors' research, history, background, interviews they've take and just trust them, then this book's content could be zipped into just two pages or less.

- Choose the path solving one of the important problems
- Also mind that some of the important problems gain much less attention, try to choose among those
- Choose the path with the biggest leverage, e.g. impact you could have and / or resources you could manage
- Choose the path that fits you personally

These factors d
Martin Smrek
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whish I could have read this some 15 years ago. Great summary of your options to make a difference where it really matters. Even if you've started many years ago. Seems like a book to fall back to, when one has to make some difficult altruist career choices. ...more
Abi Olvera
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Toolkit for an impactful life well lived

This book is perfect for anyone who wants to augment their social impact, no matter what their current job, dream job, aspiration, and interests are. If someone is making over $50,000 a year for example with no dependents, you are in the top 1% of the world. Even if you have no intention of any career change, this book explains ways to maximize your global impact with effective altruism. Most of us have roughly 80,000 hours that we will devote to our caree
Michael Janes
Aug 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Don’t listen to the audiobook. The quality is horrible and the voice actor makes numerous mistakes and mispronunciations.

However, this is a book that I think absolutely every high school junior/senior or college freshman should read prior to picking a major or even deciding if college is right for them.
Oct 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
although the premise of the book might seem cheap, it has provided me with a reasonably valuable framework to try and lay down my future career in a rational manner. to properly evalute it, i would probably need to read more books from the ‘career advice’ genre. i might do that sonner rather than later, as it makes the most sense to read them now.
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A pragmatic look at how you can improve as many lives as you can through your career. Expounds on the idea of effective altruism, where you try to make a lot of money and then proceed to donate anywhere from 10% to as much as you can. It has been calculated that $3000 in malaria nets can save a human life, while one additional person becoming a doctor in a developed country might only save an additional 4.

The book also has some ideas around how you should select a career and job, with straight-f
Aaron Gertler
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid introduction to the website. Best for quickly skimming, and for readers under 30 (preferably under 25). Not a comprehensive guide, but having read a lot of other material from a lot of other sources, I found that this book contained most of the material from the top 10% of what I'd read.

I wish there'd been more profiles of people who've succeeded using 80k-type strategies to move into various jobs. Perhaps that's available on the website somewhere?
Atanas Nikolov
Aug 06, 2022 rated it liked it
The book is good for anyone, who doesn't know what to do with their life, and is just out of high school/college/university. Why did I read it then? Because of its thesis of effective altruism. I wanted to learn more about how one arrives at its conclusions and also what philosophy fuels the arguments.

Sadly, I was not impressed and there are a lot of holes to poke. For example, the book claims that becoming a doctor is relatively low impact, so it's not really worth it. But it also claims that b
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't be mislead by the page count of 340 pages. This is really just a ~150 page book, with another 150+ pages of mostly skippable appendices. Compared to another "modern career advice" book I recently read, How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World: The Definitive Guide to Adapting and Succeeding in High-Performance Careers, I found this vastly superior. It relies on actual data & research, rather than anecdotes. It is brief & to the point. It doesn't contain lots of long-winded stories.

The biggest
Jul 30, 2022 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book with some fantastic practical recommendations.
May 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022, career
A dream job is something you're good at, that helps others, with benefits such as nice colleagues and a short commute.

Ideally, you want your job to improve the world. You can improve the world through your career by working on problems that are big, neglected, tractable, and which you're able to help solve.

If you're not sure what to do yet, don't just trust your gut. Instead, build transferable career capital and experiment with different jobs. Over time, you'll learn what you like and can use
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is more like an online guide than a book to be honest. I found their proposed idea of "earning to give" reasonable but somehow emotionally unsatisfying as someone who wants to do good. This book is also quite similar to the other book William MacAskill's Doing Good Better so if you've read that one, it's unnecessary to read this one. ...more
Rif A. Saurous
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Career advice meets effective altruism meets rationality. If you've already had a lot of all three, you may not learn a ton new here, but I feel like nearly every smart high school and college student would benefit from this. Not especially well written, but valuable content. Breezy and easy. ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Poses some interesting career advice. Most of it is basic and intuitive and the recommended careers are very narrowly scoped. I think it is a useful resource to skim through and keep as a reference point.
Kirina van der Bijl
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, or online series as I didn't read the book but instead the free online weekly version, is a great addition to anyone who wants more out of life and wants to contribute to the world and the people around them. It gives clear advice on what you could do to have a fulfilling carrier and to lead a fulfilling life and uses research to back this up. I like how it is not a demanding path that you 'have to follow' and you will 100% get happier, but it is more like suggestions of things you co ...more
Oct 29, 2018 added it
A lot of this book contains general career advice, particularly in building skills, networking, etc. However, the particularly useful parts are those that pertain to what careers have effective social impact and steps to begin careers in those fields. It’s not very long and a lot of the material is a synthesis of popular books on related subjects, but it’s a quick way to gather a general outlook on looking for work with social impact.
Aug 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Asking "what am I good at?" needlessly narrows your options. It's better to ask: "what could I become good at?" - p.123

Why? Because you are going to change anyway; and even more than you think you would!

I bought this book after seeing Benjamin Todd's TEDx talk about not to follow your passion when pondering about your career path. The book gives you broad but rather superficial advices and clues, most of which are scientifically/psychologically proven (with references given).
Lena Rakhimova
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the idea of this book it gives good strategiers I would advise this book especially for those who are on the way to take a next step in a career. It helped me to re-think my next steps and change the decision.
Kirsten Angeles
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gave good insights, and is a great book for those organizing EA groups (whether it’s to understand EA principles or to learn more about career mentoring)
Jan 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2022
essentially collected articles from the 80,000 hours website, but i loved being able to write my thoughts in it!

full of practical advice and things to think about. highly recommend
Nov 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
This a nice guide, worth reading for a short list of factors to take into account while choosing a workplace. I'll definitely use it in the future! ...more
Aug 27, 2022 rated it liked it
First half of the book is quite insightful. The second half is mediocre, vague and sounds just the same as other career books.
Aug 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
A very complete guide to effective altruism, with plenty of actionable steps. I'm seriously considering sending a free copy to every 18-25 year-old I know! ...more
Lucia Gannon
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can only find one fault with this book-that it wasn't available 30 years ago! The career advice is practical, relevant, well-researched and accessible. It should be recommended reading for all school leavers, following graduation and for anyone contemplating a career change at any stage of life.
As a person who has probably reached the "age of peak output" in her career, this book held valuable insights for me and helped me find renewed meaning in my work. Not everyone can have direct social
Kirana N
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I should not have read this book in the first place. It’s not made for people in the developing countries who are not “happen to be rich by virtue of where we were born” or “also happen to have political influence for the same reason” (those are excerpts from the book). Yes, I am very much annoyed by those statements.

I get that the main idea of this book is to guide people in choosing careers that not only suit them, but also create impact at large scale. However, one of the main points of this
May 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only made it 25% into this book.
Unfortunately it wasn't what I was hoping it would be. I bought the book after reading the waitbutwhy post about careers where this book was linked/recommended and I thought it would be more indepth than the blogpost.

However the first 25% of the book basically kept saying that in order to be happy you should donate your time/money to charity, and every chapter was more of the same, how you would achieve happiness by giving to charity. Obviously there is nothing
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Collation of results from a very grand project: to channel young careerist thousands into better tasks in higher gear. If you have the will to do well, you should read the website, and think through the planning exercise here.

Unlike everything else I've read about career development, since it talks about work and success without being nauseating.
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Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we're always on alert for any shifts in readerly attention that we can spot. Recently we've noticed a...
167 likes · 19 comments
“Rather than “follow your passion”, our slogan for a fulfilling career is: get good at something that helps others. Or simply: do what contributes.” 2 likes
“The true impact of an action depends on what happens because of that action, not on what happens, period. When we work hard and see positive results, it’s often easy to neglect the fact that some portion of those results would have occurred anyway, or that someone else might have filled our role just as well as we did. There is often a gap between true impact and ‘tangible impact’ – the immediate results of our actions – and understanding that gap is crucial to finding the places where you can make a real difference.” 2 likes
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