Career advising

Discuss the wiki-tag on this page. Here is the place to ask questions and propose changes.

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It may be useful for this entry to draw on the following passage from What is meta Effective Altruism? (and my commentary on it):

A subset of EA movement building that is cross-cutting is research specific to the allocation of talent. Other effective uses of one’s time could be included within this such as volunteering, although this has not historically been a focus of this kind of research. 

There are three main types of carer advice research:

  1. Movement-level career advice research: "Which career paths are especially impactful, overall, for people to join?"

This research identifies bottlenecks in top causes and makes recommendations on how to address those bottlenecks, such as specific actions (e.g. career paths, jobs) movement actors can take to pursue them.

Examples : 80,000 Hours cause profiles, Animal Advocacy Careers’ skills profiles, Probably Good, Local Priorities Research (see below), Studies predicting which jobs get automated

  1. Individual-level research: "How can a given person find an impactful career that is a good fit for them?"

This research identifies best practices, frameworks and tips on how to have a successful, fulfilling career. It could help people find a career that is the right choice for them: that is aligned with their values, that they can excel at, and that they are motivated to stay in in the long-term.

Examples: 80,000 Hours' 2017 Career Guide, Career Profiles, So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport

  1. Career advice intervention research: "What can we do to help more people find impactful careers?"

This research identifies specific interventions (e.g. career 1-1s, articles, events, headhunting) which can help achieve 1) and 2). 

Examples: Animal Advocacy Careers pre-registering a study of their career 1-1 calls, Research on the effectiveness of coaching.

My commentary on that:


I found the distinctions you drew between types of career advice research interesting - I hadn't really thought of those distinctions before and expect to find that useful in future. I've also suggested that that section be drawn on for the new EA Wiki entry on career advising.

That said, I think it should really be a four-part (or maybe five-part) distinction, with the parts being:

  1. Movement-level (or "generic") career choice research: "Which career paths are especially impactful, overall, for people to join?"
  2. Generic career success research: "What can a person do to maximise their chance of getting into the jobs they want, doing well in them, remaining productive and happy, not burning out, etc.?"
  3. Individual-level career choice research: "How can a given person find an impactful career that is a good fit for them?"
  4. Career advice intervention research: "What can we do to help more people find impactful careers?"

Currently your "individual-level research" category kind-of implies that it includes a bit of work on what would make someone successful, but really that's something fairly different and something that can be researched in a more generalised way.

I say "or maybe five-part" because one could also add "Individual-level career success research". But I'm guessing that that wouldn't add much.

Wishlist for some heroic editor: 

  • Tag a bunch of posts
  • Expand the entry to say brief things about things like:
    • How useful do various forms of career advising tend to be?
    • What are best practices for career advising?
    • What orgs work in that space?
      • E.g., 80k, Animal Advocacy Careers, Probably Good, presumably some others
    • How can one test fit for or build career capital in career advising?
  • Add this entry to the Related entries section for some other entries (e.g., 80,000 Hours), and maybe add an internal link to it in the bodies of those entries too

As a meta note, I've created the flags TODO: add to other Related entries and TODO: add internal links to this entry so that one can also use the flag system for the two types of tasks you describe in your final bullet point. I will also add descriptions for each of the flags so that their meaning is clearer.

Good thinking, thanks!

Possible alternative names:

  • career coaching
    • Seems slightly worse to me, since it seems a less intuitive name for this thing
  • career advice
    • This seems worse to me; it seems like it'd make the distinction between this and the entry on career choice less clear
  • something else?