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80,000 Hours uses a four-factor framework to compare the social value of different careers:

  1. Role impact
  2. Career capital
  3. Job satisfaction
  4. Personal fit

80,000 Hours recommends pursuing the career that fares best in terms of all four factors. However, it suggests weighing personal fit more heavily than the other factors, because the best people in a job tend to be much more effective than the average person, and because it is important to avoid burnout in a job one dislikes.

How to weigh the factors also depends on a person’s circumstances. For example, the earlier someone is in their career, the more important career capital becomes relative to the other factors. And the more altruistically minded a person is, the less important job satisfaction becomes relative to the other factors.

Further reading

80,000 Hours. 2016. What should you look for in a job? Introducing our framework.
An introduction to 80,000 Hours’ career choice framework.