I work at 80,000 Hours, talking to people about their careers; opinions I share here are my own.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Michelle! I think I agree with everything you have written. I also personally feel like my husband and I are having impactful careers despite having a toddler + 1 on the way, and I don't think we would be massively more impactful if we were childfree. This is due to a combination of factors: 1. Childcare time has replaced friend socialization time, basically completely. So we still have time to do a "normal" amount of work, we have just reprioritized our non-working hours. 2. As you know (being my supervisor haha), I work for a core EA org, which has a WONDERFUL parental leave/support policy. My difficult pregnancy has been happily accommodated in every way, and I have paid parental leave when the baby comes soon, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. I know British/European moms expect this, but as an American, it really is wonderful to have this level of support from my employer. So I think working for the right org is pretty critical for being able to have an impactful career while having kids. 3. My husband founded his own EA startup, so he sets his own schedule. This also allows him to be flexible with his hours and be hyperfocused on working on high impact projects, instead of wasting the working hours he has available on stuff that's less important. 4. My husband is also an excellent partner, who has been averaging more than 50% of the childcare (especially when I'm too pregnant to function). This is a critical factor in me being able to get work done, despite having a high energy toddler.5. We have access to 8am-6pm daycare, which covers the normal working day. Unfortunately childcare is insanely expensive in the US. We pay over $2k per month in a high cost of living area for one child in daycare. We're lucky to be able to afford it, but figuring out how you're going to manage childcare should also be considered if you want to have kids + impact. Getting free childcare from grandparents is definitely the dream here. We do have some grandparent help, which allows us to do things like go to EAGs for a weekend, but basically nobody besides grandparents or people you pay seems to be interested in helping take care of children in modern Western society. (Kinda sad imo.)
6. Making new humans and trying really hard to give them happy lives seems like having a positive impact to me. I work on some longtermist causes, where it's extremely uncertain what our work now will produce later. But literally creating a new life and taking care of it feels like it has a pretty certain positive expected value :) Or at least more than what I would be doing with my spare time otherwise!
Thanks for summarizing/quoting the most important bits of these articles! But also... AHHHH
I found this guide extremely useful and well formatted. Thanks for putting the effort into writing it! The quotes from Ops people were also a fun way to break up such a big info dump :)
Thanks for sharing this info, Claire! I think your team correctly concluded that in-person events are enormously valuable for people making big career changes, but running in-person events are expensive and super logistically challenging. I think logistics are somewhat undervalued in the EA community, e.g. I read a lot of criticism along the lines of, "Why don't community organizers or EAGs just do some extremely time costly thing," without much appreciation for how hard it is to get things to happen. From this perspective, lowering the barrier for in-person events by buying a conference venue seems like a reasonable investment. It's fine to scrutinize the details (were there better deals given location/size constraints?), but I would like more critics of this purchase to acknowledge how buying a conference center has a lot of benefits.
These are really interesting figures, thanks so much for sharing! Is the 2022 data up to date through November? Or does it cut off substantially earlier in the year? Wondering why it's so much lower than 2021. Sorry I'm being lazy here and not looking at the raw data myself.
Thanks very much for posting this update!
I totally agree there is a lot of value in going corporate first. I recommend this route to many people! But it does seem unfortunate to not have the choice between EA/corporate, or have the choice set up pretty badly.
Somewhat embarrassing (for me) how you made the same arguments here, but with more clarity and detail than I have, months before my post 😅 100% endorse everything you said! Would have linked to this earlier, just didn't see it when you originally posted, sorry!
Thanks for chiming in here! You're exactly the kind of person who is being put in a bad position :( I hope you can figure something out! (And maybe consider applying for 80k coaching?)
Cool survey! Multiplying average rating by reach is an interesting technique, but I wasn't reading carefully and was super confused by the results for a minute. It was smart to report the differences between resources recommended based on who was doing the recommending and to whom. Do you have any thoughts on how Rob Miles manages to create useful content for both experts and newcomers? I would have thought a few of the other resources on your list were trying to achieve this as well, but it seems like he's doing the best job.