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Career planning is really hard, (and for me, quite scary!) but 80,000 hours offer free online 1-1 career advice.


I (Alex Vellins) have spoken to them twice and found them to be friendly, incredibly knowledgeable and very focused on impact.

For me, the only limitation is that it's on you to take action on the resources they provide; so don't expect to leave with a full career plan, rather, expect to leave with:

  • Useful research questions and alternative framings

  • A great variety of useful resources

  • Options that you wouldn't have previously considered

  • And possibly connections to people working in your cause area!


Most people overestimate the amount of preparation required to apply to 80,000 hours, so if you're not sure, please apply! We expect that doing something like our Arete fellowship will be sufficient, but if you've thought deeply about the worlds problems and what you can do to tackle them, we'd be excited for you to apply!

"Some benefits and limitations of 80k advising from my personal experience:



-If you've not thought deeply about career planning before, 80k advising is a great call. They can introduce you to opportunities and even cause areas that you've never heard of before, and suggest concrete steps to start exploring them.

-Even if you've thought long and hard about career plans, 80k have a huge network of contacts that you can benefit from. They can introduce you to new contacts and help build your own network in the field.



-At the end of the day it's one 60-minute phone call, so the onus to take action on the things discussed in the meeting is on you. The 80k advisors only have time to check in and see how things are going every few months.

-If you've thought long and hard about your career the advising will be less useful, because 80k will be able to recommend fewer organisations and opportunities that you've not heard of. That being said, there is still a lot of value from making connections, see above.

-This goes without saying but prepare for the meeting beforehand, or else you'll miss out on a lot of potential value. I'd recommend something like 2hrs spent on 80k's preparatory doc before the meeting."

Still not sure? Here's what two EA Durham Graduates have to say about the service:


Iyngkarran, researcher at the Transformative Futures Institute

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Sam in his Durham glory!

"I was really impressed, and quite honestly surprised, about how insightful the 80K advisory session was. Huon, the advisor I booked a session with, helped me reframe job hunting and opened my eyes to career paths and opportunities I had not previously considered. Whether you're just starting your degree or coming to the end of it, I'd definitely recommend making the most of this free, actionable, and valuable service."

Want help applying? Book in a chat with me, Alex Vellins, (co-president of EA Durham). There is no application form and no preparation needed. I can talk you through the opportunities available and help you formulate your answers to the questions in the 80,000 hours application. 

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