[Question] 20,000/40,000 Hours- MidCareer Options

by LHarrison 1 min read29th May 20199 comments

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A question, framed by the concept of taking 80,000 Hours and splitting it up to recognize that not all people are at the start of their 80,000 Hours, but what are resources available to help people recognize personal strengths on their career path that should be considered when looking at steering their career in a more EA direction? The advice from 80,000 Hours on the topic is still a sketch and I was curious if there have been other articles touching on it more.

Imagine, for the sake of the question, someone who has already spent 70,000 Hours on solving a problem (pick your favorite one) and then either they themselves or society collectively has "solved" the problem. Without playing too much to the sunk cost fallacy, would it make sense that the most effective course of action for that individual (not the EA community as a whole) to be to stay the course, poke around the "solution," make sure it sticks, instead of going to something else?

This ties into the concept of career capital as a factor, but I find that there's not a lot of discussion of leveraging the career capital you already have, versus charting a course to build career capital (where most of the advice seems to be, like focusing on flexible career capital). A lot of the advice seems to be "Your situation may vary."

The discussion of comparative advantage by Benjamin Todd touches on this, but in a more thought experiment way to look at concepts to carry through to the real world in coordinating careers.

Is this just generally an area that hasn't been well developed?