How do you recommend balancing "investigating cause areas / roles" against just "jumping in" and learning as you go?
By "investigating cause areas / roles," I mean something like carefully thinking through which cause areas / roles might be most impactful, trying to reduce your uncertainty on a number and variety of tricky, relevant sub-questions, etc.
By "jumping in," I mean something like generating your initial best guesses about the highest impact areas for you after spending a significant, but not huge amount of time (i.e. not many years) thinking, learning, etc.; diving into a hands-on experience in your top pick (personal project, internship, fellowship, etc.); and learning whatever you can there. This would include not only learning more about the skills / knowledge relevant for that particular cause area, but also learning more that could help you refine your assessment about which cause areas/roles are highest impact for you.
I'm currently trying to weigh different options for cause areas &/or roles and feel a bit overwhelmed by uncertainty. It feels like there are a handful of very difficult questions I'd need to answer before feeling much less uncertainty. On top of that, it's difficult to find much time for doing this while working full-time. I have some initial "best guesses" that I feel interested in exploring. I'm beginning to wonder whether I should just aim to dive into one of my current best guesses and learn and update as I go. (My current best guesses have been informed by things like 80K's advice, misc. EA info I've absorbed over the years, and of course, my own thoughts/intuitions.)