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Thoughts on 80,000 Hours’ research that might help with job-search frustrations

As someone who a) is an undergraduate, working toward a major that does not open many EA doors (English) and b) is not very familiar with the EA community, I found the 80,000 Hours guide helpful for the following reasons:

  • It opened me up to the idea that there are probably lots of satisfying careers out there for me. Previously I'd only considered careers in two very narrow fields related to my immediate interests and talents.
  • It did not make me want to pursue the most impactful job. It made me want to find my most impactful job. Advice like "Don’t do something you won’t enjoy in order to have more impact" was helpful in getting me to think this way.
  • It specifically brought operations management to my attention as a field where I might excel.

Points of criticism/overall not-great experiences:

  • Before I saw operations management, I felt lost. Believing that no priority path was open to me, I couldn't determine what my actual best career path was; I just had examples of some other non-priority paths to consider.
  • The two(?) places in the guide with a disclaimer of "Actually this is misleading but we haven't fixed it yet, please see [blog post]" were a little bizarre. Ultimately I felt compelled to read the guide post and then disregard it.
  • This might change as I dig more into 80k's resources, but for now, I still don't have a great sense of:
    • how to get a job doing operations management for an EA organization or EA cause area
    • how competitive these positions are
    • whether ops management will still be a skill bottleneck in 5-10 years
    • in the event that I build up the skills needed for ops management and then don't end up in an EA ops job (because it's not marginally important anymore, or because it's too competitive), whether there will still be high-impact career paths available to me

Because of these uncertainties—especially the last two bullet points—I'm not sure whether orienting myself toward an EA operations management job is the best use of my current resources.