What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s probably a question you’ve heard many times before. Maybe you have known since you were little; maybe you still don’t have a clue. Either way, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your future career.

So, what makes a good job? There are two common answers: doing what you love, or doing what will make you rich.

But according to the US organisation 80,000 Hours, neither of these things are as important as you might think. Instead, after reviewing top studies on the subject, it recommends looking for a job with the following six ingredients:

1. Engaging work that will keep you interested throughout your career. (The name “80,000 Hours” comes from the amount of time the average person spends at work – that’s a lot of hours!)

2. Something that helps others.

3. Something that you are good at.

4. Supportive colleagues.

5. A lack of big problems, such as long commutes or very low pay.

6. A job that fits in with your personal life.

Do you agree with this list? What do you think are the most important factors when considering a future career?

If you want more ideas, read interviews with young people about their careers in our special report.

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How can you find your mission? In this video, The School of Life looks at the ways you can figure out the skills you have to offer the world, and the problems you want to solve. Is this a good approach to careers?


  1. Take this simple online personality test to find out what kind of careers might suit you.
  2. List the 10 most important things that you want from a future career. Do any of them match with the list by 80,000 Hours?
  3. Write your own story about an adult with a career you find interesting, in the style of The Day’s special report. Interview them about what their job involves, how they got there, and what advice they have for others.