Guide: How to find your best option

Guide: How to find your best option

Finding the right long-term option is one of your most important decisions

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.

Don’t hope, take action

Often we see people hoping the right career will magic itself into being.

Or just basing their decision on what they expect.

But careers are unpredictable, and particularly your fit with them.

Explore like a scientist

Scientists don’t just reason about their world. They make testable predictions and then they actually test them.

That’s also the best way to explore in your career.

A step-by-step process

1. Generate a long list of options

Select at least 5 from our career paths.

2. Research your options

3. Write out what you’re unsure about

4. Do ‘cheap tests’

You can do cheap tests:

How to make time, even if you’re busy

  • Explore options that you’re excited about

Don’t lock yourself in – keep your options open

You learn a lot over the course of university, and if you lock yourself in, it could be based on limited information.

You probably shouldn’t have settled on your best long-term option before university

An extremely small fraction of 20 year olds (and, tbh, most adults) have a robust sense of self — their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and skills and anti-skills.