I am writing this post partially to vent, partially to connect with others who have had a similar experience, and hopefully instigate some change in the culture around this.
Let me start off by saying that I am very passionate about Effective Altruism. I studied social entrepreneurship in university and EA has given me a very important moral and philosophical framework with which to ground my thoughts and feelings. 80,000 is a tremendous organization and way for a young person to consider the impact and outcome of their career.
However, I have found it very difficult to land a career in EA -- and I have a couple hypotheses why.
- Saturated Market -- This one is probably the most likely and the most morally confusing. I do not know the exact statistics, but I would guess that job postings on the 80,000 hours career board get a significant amount of applicants. This is great that so many people are interested in an EA job, but it has made landing an EA job incredibly difficult. Is there a solution for this? I am not sure.
- Elitist Hiring -- Based on the interviews that I have done with some EA aligned organizations, it seems that candidates that come from a highly academic background are desired more than those that might have a creative skillset. I personally find this dangerous and myopic hiring process that will stifle new world views and innovation required to reach the masses.
Now, neither of these things are inherently bad. They may simply just be a reflection of where EA is at in this point in time. But what I have found quite discouraging is the culture that both of these points come with. I have felt that as a community as a whole, we need more empathy. I understand that EA does take the approach of being a slightly more removed, statistics and logic driven framework. But narrative matters. Stories matter. People matter.
So how does this relate to my hypotheses above? I (and many I have spoken to) have felt consistently neglected across the hiring process. For somebody who has shown passion, desire and care for these organizations, they have in turn often pretended like I don't exist. This has manifested itself in not updating applicants on the status of their applicants, ignoring emails and showing up late to interviews.
I would love to see our culture shift here at EA. Towards more compassion, more gratitude and more love.