Working in the field of humanitarian aid or for an NGO is one way to use your career, but it is certainly not the only one, and in most cases not the most effective. In its career guide, 80,000 Hours outlines options including careers with direct impact, careers in consulting, policy, research, or careers that aim to fund priority areas by donating a significant portion of their income.

What problems to solve?

For years, 80,000 Hours has researched which global issues are the most pressing. The greatest benefit comes from solving such problems which have so far been rather left aside,

One example of such problems is existential risks. Some of the most obvious existential risks are nuclear disaster and global warming. However, working with them is not the most effective, as many people are already working on mitigating these risks. Pandemics and artificial intelligence safety receive much less attention, which is why channeling resources into the latter two has a much greater positive impact.

Since global problems are very difficult to identify, all attention cannot be focused on just a few individual problems. That is why it is also worth prioritizing the development of an effective altruism community, research on global priorities, improving the decision-making processes of institutions, increasing the welfare of industrial farm animals and improving the health of poor people. In the future, these priorities will definitely change.

What career to choose?

In order to make the world a better place with your work, you need to do your job well. We often don't know what work we are best at, so it's helpful to research different positions and/or tasks and try them out if possible. One of the most effective ways to do this is to find people who are already working in this field and learn from their experiences.

Career model: "What should a dream job consist of?". Source: 80,000 Hours.

Below are some of William MacAskill's recommendations for planning your career from the book "Doing Good Better":

How can you help with your work?

There are many possible jobs, but in MacAskill's opinion, the surest choice is to work for a highly effective non-profit organization, such as GiveWell.

Another option is to do work that would increase one's own career capital, so that it would be possible to do more effective work in the future. Such developing jobs are related to, for example, consulting, sales and marketing.

MacAskill cites entrepreneurship, science and politics as career options with a lower chance of success but potentially greater impact. Some of the most popular jobs in the EA community are in these fields.

An effective way to do better is also to choose a high-paying job (e.g. in finance, medicine or software development) and donate a large part of it to the most effective associations.

In order to create a career plan for yourself, we recommend that you take a closer look at the materials created by 80,000 Hours.

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