sofiabalderson

I’d like to devote my career to improve the welfare of farmed animals. I’m interested in many EA topics in general and always happy to connect to like minded and non-like minded individuals ;)

Topic Contributions

Comments

How to Get an EA-aligned Job: My Experience

Hey Evan, thanks a lot for the feedback, I'm glad it's been useful! Interviews are tough to get right, but it is possible :) Good luck!

I burnt out at EAG. Let's talk about it.

Yes to Swapcard all year round!! People didn’t reply to my messages from Sunday evening, but I guess it’s solvable as most people have their emails there.

I burnt out at EAG. Let's talk about it.

Thanks a lot for this post and sorry to hear you’ve burnt out. I had something similar at my first EAG and my solution for this conference was to space meetings out over 4 days and also not go to any after parties or dinners + have short days (like finishing at 3-4 if you have back to back meetings). This EAG was much better, and I think I’ll have even fewer meetings next time as my voice took a bit of a battering 🤣 I think there is a lot of pressure to have meetings as I thought: “what if they wouldn’t want to meet online later”. In hindsight, if they don’t want to meet online later, maybe you shouldn’t be meeting at all. I definitely think that the organisers can do more to prevent attendee burnout, maybe more recommendations on how to spend your time and definitely scheduling a retreat after EAG with no break doesn’t seem very wise to me. The org I work for is planning a 3 day break between the retreat and EAG which sounds about right to me, I shall literally do nothing those 3 days 😂 Also thanks for your last paragraph RE pressure, very relevant to all of us EAs I think!

How to Make Your First EAG a Success

Thanks a lot Vaidehi! Hope to meet you at the next EAG!!

Some thoughts on vegetarianism and veganism

I agree with your comment and love the story! Re your welfaretarian argument,  how do you measure the happiness of the animals if you didn’t grow them yourself?  Also, can a life be happy if you are ultimately killed before your time has come?  I’m not judging, just curious about this concept as I haven’t heard of this. 

New EA book: “How to Launch a High-Impact Nonprofit” by Charity Entrepreneurship is now available worldwide in paper and eBook format.

Amazing news and great that it's so available! I was recommending this at the AAC careers fair, and not only to people wanting to start an org, but also to people who want to understand what makes an impactful charity! Also copying my Goodreads review here: 

I got recommended this book as I'm starting a charity soon and it exceed my expectations. This book covers pretty much everything you'll need in the first couple of years and suggests further resources for the future (if you'd like to delve even deeper into each topic). Each chapter is very comprehensive but short enough to keep you interested. It seems like all the best advice from the years of charity entrepreneurship experience was collected, combined with the industry best practice, and organised into neat chapters. I was delighted to find answers to some questions I had for a long time: "how do you speak to potential donors?" or "how to you make the right decisions and trade-offs"? It felt really validating to read about the common fears and worries of new founders and made me feel like we're in it together and all problems have solutions. My thinking became more rational and evidence-based - the book is not just about building charities, but also making the right decisions and balancing responsibilities. I've actually recommended this book to my friends who are involved in effective altruism organisations (not necessarily in a founder capacity) and they borrowed some tips from it too. The best thing is having this book to refer to in the future too as my organisation grows. Really recommended!

How to Get an EA-aligned Job: My Experience

Hey Akash,  thanks so much for reading and also for your thoughts. I love that you connected the "helping" bit with EA principles - I don't think I thought of that!  So this is a really valuable point. After all, we are trying to make an impact with our jobs and by applying for a job, we are trying to solve a problem for the organisation and the cause area in general. Also many thanks for sharing this with your network, I hope it will help more people!

I agree with you about transparency, we definitely shouldn't say anything that's not true about our candidacy and shouldn't hire any facts that make us a bad fit. And you are also right in saying that this can backfire, especially for non-EA ogs and for people with impostor syndrome (most of us haha). I can think of underepresented groups not getting roles as, generally, men are more likely to be overconfident about their ability. 

I would say that the key here is to treat each application individually, try to see exactly what the hiring manager is looking for, and start by presenting yourself in the best possible light. Put your best foot forward!

If you're absolutely sure that you don't have a particular skill, I think it's possible to be transparent and also talk about any skill/aptitude gap in a positive way. I think a lot of EA orgs will hire for potential and attitude, so phrasing things like "I haven't done this yet, however, I'd really like to learn in/I have learnt things really quickly in the past/done something very similar". That is if you genuinely like to do it.

Another way to talk positively about skill gaps is flipping it and finding why not having this skill will give you an advantage (fresh eyes, ability to form the way you operate in this org etc.). 

So what I'm trying to say is, having been on the hiring manager's side,"I can't do this"  shows that the person doesn't want to learn or isn't right for the job. I would much rather hear "I've never done it but I'm just so excited to learn". 

Additionally, many orgs now offer trial tasks, so before you say "I am not good at strategy", if it's a core skill and it is tested, I would first see if you can do the trial task. Sometimes we appear to be good at something we've never done! So I wouldn't speak so soon until you try it :)

Introducing Shrimp Welfare Project

I remember when Karolina messaged me about a year ago inviting me to apply to CE and Shimp Welfare was the first charity idea I saw and I was like "Whaaaaat I'm not doing that. What's next, bacteria welfare?" And now I'm going to be leading a charity working on insect welfare. The irony lol.

On a serious note, the sheer numbers, the welfare and practices facts, and especially the neglectedness of the invertebrates really brought me around. I really think you folks are working on some pretty important stuff, not only making an impact for the shrimps but also paving the path for success for neglected species welfare projects.

I wonder if so far you've found that people "get" what you're trying to do? Or do you think that some people you speak to still think we should be focusing on bigger animals? I, for example, was pleasantly surprised by how many people "got" insect welfare and were excited about it. I guess there will be differences between EA and non-EA folks? Also, you mentioned that you are not public or consumer-focused, which might be why there isn't a "pushback" against this work?

Many thanks for this blog post and for your work, I'm very much looking forward to seeing what you achieve in the next few months and a year.  The movement will benefit a lot from your experience!

Why You Should Consider Skilled Volunteering

Yes, we definitely need more portals like this! I think a lot of charities would love to have more volunteer requests from skilled professionals but the platforms like the AAC ones are not very well publicised (if they exist at all).

How to Get an EA-aligned Job: My Experience

Hey Cristina, thanks a lot for your kind comment - I really appreciate it! I too wish someone held my hand through my first job application experience, I didn't know any of this haha. Unfortunately, I had to learn all of this through mistakes, so I hope people reading this will avoid some of them! I  also hope that more people will get the support they need, peer support groups are a very good idea! We should suggest it to AAC or 80,000 Hours!

Load More