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One of the most often overlooked ways that you can make a contribution to the world is through your career. With your work being something that you need to do anyways, and considering you will spend approximately 80,000 hours at your chosen career over your lifetime, it is the most of yourself and your energy that you will ever give and dedicate to one area of life. I think however, the reason that this option is often neglected is because we have been raised to believe that impact through your career means devoting your life to a non-profit/charity while sacrificing things like money, career advancement, satisfaction and security. I know at least for me, that this was my impression anyways. However, it turns out that you could actually have a career that you like, that has opportunities for advancement, and can have a bigger impact on the greater world around you than you would think.
There is a non-profit called 80,000 Hours that focuses on exactly this, how you can make an impact using your career, and which careers are the most impactful. The results are actually not what you would expect. Most would tell you that if you wanted to make an impact with your career that you should go into medicine, teaching, a political campaign, or a non-profit for example, but actually that advice is counter intuitive. Because this has been the thought process for so long, there are actually already a lot of people working on these issues, meaning it's harder to actually contribute and make an impact because the best opportunities have already been taken. Further, based on years of research to this point, there are far more impactful careers to choose from apart from the ones aforementioned. Just some of the examples of the most impactful careers available today, that you can choose are in the following fields:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Government Policy
- Operations Management for Global Companies
- Biotech Research, Strategy & Policy
- Research & Research Management
- Tech Start-up
I bet the above examples surprised you, they did me. There are many more careers listed on the site, in-fact the whole goal of the organization is to provide research backed career paths that are high-impact. They do this by:
- Providing you with different career path ideas based on years of research.
- Guides to help you choose the career best for you based on the contribution criteria and your desires.
- Processes to help you with decision making and creating concrete plans to move forward with.
- Guides to help you build your career capital by developing your skills and your network.
- A job board with vacancies connecting you with careers, organizations and opportunities.
- Career Reviews.
- Ways of making the most of your current job.
- And more…
A lot of the content is aimed at 18-30 year old's that are about to embark on their career journey, and as I have already dedicated many years to my current career, I found the topic of making the most of your current job, actually quite interesting and helpful as I reflect on my opportunities for contribution in my well established profession.
One of the ways I came across this information was through the Tim Ferris Podcast with Will Macaskill. It was a fabulous interview that I personally took so much from, and have already started to incorporate into my life. In this podcast episode they dig into the 80,000 hours organization and explore the topic of making your life make a difference. I highly recommend you take the time to listen or to watch below:
I would highly suggest you take some time and dive into the site, their guides, and other resources they have available as this out-of-the-box approach to giving back really seems to check all of the boxes in the hierarchy of needs, especially considering the world of today. Take a look for yourself:
- Basic Needs being satisfied by a job offering good compensation and benefits. ✅
- Psychological Needs are met by belonging to a group in a meaningful vocation you are proud of with advancement opportunities. ✅
- Self-fulfillment Needs - Challenging yourself and meeting your potential by tackling to the world's greatest needs and having a voice in shaping the future. ✅
To me, this way of thinking when approaching one of your biggest decisions, your vocation, seems to be the best win/win approach that I have come across, whilst still considering all your life pillars and creating a life that you actually love! I would love to hear what you think about this approach, the 80,000 hours organization & resources, and where you are currently in your career/impact journey, let's start a conversation in the comments below ?
Design YOUR Life ~ Be Authentic. Be You. Be Sharp.
Design YOUR Life ~ Be Authentic. Be You. Be Sharp.
I would love to connect, come join me on the socials where I share what I'm learning & get a daily dose of positivity!
- 80,000 Hours ~ Start here - 80,000 Hours (80000hours.org)
- Follow Tim Ferris on YouTube ~ https://youtu.be/I9C41fx64dw
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs ~ Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia