You only have one life, so why not live it the way you want – or the way that will have the biggest positive impact on you and everyone around you?
Whether you’re just going through college, or looking to make a career transition, finding a life direction is one of the biggest challenges anyone can face. In the past, individuals often would go to career advisers and guidance counselors for assistance, however a not-for-profit called, 80,000 Hours aims to simplify the process by having users go online and answer a series of questions.
When I tested the service, the first two questions were focused on my career stage, first asking if I was a student, and then asking if I was early in my working career (under 30 years old). 80,000 Hours quickly said I should focus on flexible career capital – skills, connections, and credentials, to help me build a foundation for present and future success.
As far as suggested careers eligible to offer this “flexible” path, the site mentioned consulting, software engineering, data science, and qualitative degrees such as an Economics PhD. At a high level, all of these made sense and are in line with how I’m living now.
Moving forward though, it became clear 80,000 Hours isn’t just a site where you answer questions and receive a straightforward list of careers. It instead focuses on breaking down the planning process into manageable chunks.
The next stage of questions focused on developing a general plan for the next 3-10 years. This involved inquiring into causes about which I cared and possible ways to make a difference in those areas, and then had me consider the career options I had to reach those more fulfilling goals.
Overall, the 80,000 Hours process is almost like talking to a real career adviser. The user provides answers to a series of open ended questions which reference relevant advice sections on the website. 80,000 Hours also has a variety of other services to help you take a holistic approach to career planning such as their fairly straightforward career recommendation tool.
The biggest difference from a traditional adviser is that by default, the 80,000 Hours service is focused on helping people find careers which allow them to have a social impact. As the About Page mentions, one-third of university graduates want to make a difference with their careers but don’t know how to go about the process.
The company is also very transparent with their methodologies and their frameworks. Through making their financial records, self-evaluations, weekly progress updates, and even their corrections public, they show a great deal of confidence in transparency, and hopefully for the sake of all of us, in results.
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