Career choice is a crucial decision in the life of most individuals. People spend more time on their jobs than on any other activity besides sleep—about 80,000 hours over the course of a typical life (MacAskill 2014: 269). Choosing the right career, therefore, may be one of the most impactful things an altruistically-motivated person can do.
Some authors argue that there is no moral requirement to pursue the most impactful career. Such a requirement would be excessively demanding. The choice of a career may be comparable in its centrality to a person’s life as the choice of a marriage partner. But few believe a person is morally required to choose an impact-maximizing marriage. By analogy, it may be concluded that there is no moral requirement to choose an impact-maximizing career (Cholbi 2020).
Cholbi, Michael (2020) The ethics of choosing careers and jobs, in Bob Fischer (ed.) College Ethics: a Reader on Moral Issues That Affect You, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 878–889.
MacAskill, William (2014) Replaceability, career choice, and making a difference, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, vol. 17, pp. 269–283.
Todd, Benjamin (2016) 80,000 Hours: Find a Fulfilling Career That Does Good, Oxford: Centre for Effective Altruism.