This is your most important decision

Why your career is your biggest opportunity to make a difference, and how you can use it best

You have about 80,000 hours in your career: 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for 40 years.

This makes your choice of career the most important ethical decision of your life.

From adulthood, you’ll spend almost half your waking hours on your career — more than the time you’ll spend eating, on hobbies, and watching Netflix put together. So unless you happen to be the heir to a large estate, that time is the biggest resource you have to help others.

This means if you can increase the positive impact of those hours just a little, it will probably have a bigger impact than changes to any other parts of your life.

And we’re going to show that – if you have the privilege to have options – you can probably increase the impact of your career not just by a little, but by a huge amount.

Some of the paths open to you probably do vastly more for the world than others, but they’re probably not the ones you’re currently focusing on.

Our generation faces issues of historical importance, and you can help tackle them. And you don’t have to become a doctor, teacher or a charity worker – there are many other routes to contribute that can be even higher impact.

By considering a broader range of routes, you may be able to find a path that has far more impact, while being just as — or even more — fulfilling as the path you’re currently on.

So how did we end up thinking this?

When our founders, Ben and Will, were about to graduate in 2011, they wanted to find work they enjoyed, that paid the bills, and that made a contribution to the world. But they felt really unsure what to do.

Given the huge amount of time at stake, it seemed worth doing some real research to find the best path. But it didn’t feel like the existing careers advice even tried to compare paths in terms of impact, nor was it based on much evidence. So they started to research the question themselves.

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