Software Engineer
0 karmaJoined Working (0-5 years)


Thank you for this inspiring post!
I really admire your dedication and consistency with estimating the value an expense brings you against what that same amount could do for animal advocacy.

I'd like to share a few of my perspectives, since I actually had very different takeaways from some of the information you provide:

> Having a job that helps others might be overemphasized

I'm not very active in the community, but my impression is that when I was first introduced to EA, donating effectively was the main thing the movement was known for. So it might be that the focus on either of the 2 main ideas (having an effective job and donating effectively) just shifts continuously. 

> Although there is a lot of focus on impactful careers, Rethink Priorities' 2020 Effective Altruism survey found that around only 10% of non-student respondents worked at an Effective Altruism organization.

I believe only looking at respondents who work at an EA organization does not give you the full picture. If you look into the other categories, the motivation for people to pursue those careers is probably also to have an impactful career (e.g., Academia, Government, Think tanks / lobbying / advocacy, Work at a non-profit (not an EA organization). Those responses together add up to more than 45% of non-student respondents.

In my opinion, there are also some careers that do not get a lot of attention from EA (possibly because they don't fit the target audience or the requirement for neglectedness as well as the cause-area-specific ones do). 
One of those careers is working in education (there might be a substantial amount of confirmation bias here, since this is the path I am currently pursuing). My rationale here is that if as a (substitute) teacher you succeed in inspiring at least 2 students to eventually have an effective career in animal advocacy (or any other cause area or donate effectively), you possibly already had a bigger impact then you could have had in your entire (hypothetical other effective) career yourself.

Finally, it often seems like dichotomy to either have a meaningless but well-paying career or to have an impactful low-paying career, but I don't believe it always is. I would be very curious to read research about whether it is more effective to focus more on one of those goals instead of optimizing for a combination of the two.

I guess what I am trying to say is, if you have found a fulfilling job that allows you to have some positive impact while still earning enough to donate effectively through being frugal, that sounds like a sustainably effective position to be in.
Thank you for sharing!