As an employee at CEA, part of my benefits include budget for professional development. Some things I can use it on include books, productivity tools, courses, training, coaching, etc.

I've spent approximately none of it, and I have the impression that there are some things out there that could improve my productivity/wellbeing/skills that I'm not aware of. If I can turn some of this budget into skills that will help me for the remaining 77,000 hours of my career, that seems worth exploring.

What are some things that I should consider using my budget on? Bonus points if you have firsthand experience doing this thing, but I'm happy for more speculative suggestions (so long as you highlight your uncertainty if that's the case).

I should also flag that some specific things I think I'd like to improve on are generalist research skills, epistemics/critical thinking, writing, and overall productivity.

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"I should also flag that some specific things I think I'd like to improve on are generalist research skills, epistemics/critical thinking, writing, and overall productivity."

This is a helpful start!

But for us to give useful advice here, it might be helpful to know what you currently do for work, what careers you want to do in the future, and what you specifically want to get better at, rather than just some skills that are nice to have! :)

Ah. Duh. My bad!

Right now I'm an MSc student at the Oxford Internet Institute studying part-time for a degree in social science of the internet, with a focus on economics.

I also work on content & research at Giving What We Can, which mostly involves simplifying and translating core EA ideas to something that a general audience would like to read/watch.

This summer I will be self-studying AI governance and then joining GovAI as a summer research fellow. Provided this path seems promising for me, I'm hoping to work at the intersection of policy and research in the AI governance field for the foreseeable future.

I'd like to specifically get better at writing more clearly, critical/creative thinking (using helpful mental models, having better reasoning transparency, and generally being more rational), and researching (more specifically, better at reading/interpreting a lot of existing research and forming my own inside view more quickly). More generally, I think I could probably also use better quantitative skills (economic modelling plus interpreting/working with data/statistics). I could also be a more organised person.

I'd also like to start working on my leadership skills so I'm better prepared for later on when I become a more senior member of whatever team I'm on.