List of Meta Career Advice Activities

Last updated: 30.09.2020

  • This document is an output of the Local Career Advice Project. It contains initial thoughts, considerations and ballpark time estimates. More work will not be done until after the first round of prioritisation. Feel free to comment and add suggestions. For more information on the Local Career Advice Network please see this project proposal.
  • The purpose of this section is to give readers a sense of the possible range of products that LCAN was considering investing time and resources in, and as a resource for anyone working on career projects.
  • It’s less useful for explicitly weighing the pros & cons of different events for an individual organiser

Potential Products Summary Table

Research ApproachProduct CategoryProductFinal Product(s)Research MethodsNotes
Self-help research

Advice for Group Organizers

Career Events

1-on-1s, Targeted Workshops by subgroup, Improving how to do your own career research

Self-help research

Advice for Group Organizers


Building/ Expanding/Using Networks

Best ways to help networking within the community - i.e. creating directories, subgroups, having how-to events on networking Expanding EA networks outside of EA Creating relationships with people working at promising local organisations

Self-help research

Advice for Group Organizers, Resource Creation

Partnering with Career Centers

Cold-calling emails, best practices and tips, introducing 80K resources. Active monitoring + encouragement

Getting local and national groups to build strong relationships with university career centers and provide free coaching and other services to interested students. Combination of headhunting and movement building. Hopefully career centers are incentivised to pawn off students to these groups for 1-1s etc.

Possible downsides: 80K’s career guide, arguably the best sell for this advice, is out of date and they aren’t going to update. It’s also location-specific

Process-oriented research

Guides and Resources

Industry/Field/Career Profiles

Regional versions of existing 80K profiles and articles.

Regional, or for understudied topics that certain localities have a comparative advantage in. See Lauro Langosco’s AI Policy Careers in the EU.

Process-oriented research

Guides and Resources

Industry/Field/Career Wiki

Crowd- sourced semi-public Careers Wiki. More like annotated bibliography than guide.

This is related to Improving how to do your own career research above.

Job/Org Research

Semi-public Job/Organization boards

Crowd- sourced job board database

Crowd- sourced job board database

For more details, see the full proposal

Job/Org Research

Semi-public Job/Organization boards

Regional/local curated job boards

Regional/local curated job boards, Lists of curated organisations, updating the with new organisations

Talent Sourcing

Isn’t neglected so we haven’t looked closely into this.

Detailed Activity Breakdown

Advice for Group Organisers

Questions that need to be answered for each intervention in this section

  1. What is the current state of [X] in local groups?
  2. Is there room for improvement?
  3. How tractable is this solution? Can it scale?
  4. How should the advice on career 1-on-1s be delivered to group organisers?
    1. Some kind of written resource
    2. Periodic
      • conference calls
      • workshops
    3. Advisors who can give personalized advice/coaching
      • Either 1 central advisor or regional advisors (i.e. members of regional/national groups)

Improving Career Events

Career events such as career fellowships, workshops and discussion sessions could be low-hanging fruit for improving overall quality of career advice.

Career 1-on-1s

This product would ask the following questions:

  • Are local groups giving advice at all? Why or why not? Is this negatively impacting their groups?
    • imposter syndrome/worried about giving bad advice
    • Organisers do not have consistent capacity to run 1-on-1s since they are so time-intensive
      • i.e. EA Netherlands core team members do give advice and when an opportunity to coach someone arises and run occasional career afternoons but it's adhoc. Alje used to do career workshops and one-on-ones but has now unfortunately moved on in part because he received a community building grant application.
  • What should the goal of career 1-on-1s be?
    • 1) Giving people explicit recommendations and advice
    • 2) Giving people guidance and structure rather than explicit advice

Time Estimate

  • Research - 30-60 hours
    • Consulting with 80K and group organisers who have done many 1-on-1s (David Nash, Huw Thomas, Eve McCormick, EA Geneva etc) on best practices, lessons learnt
    • Analyzing any existing data on the impact of 1-on-1s
    • Independent research into career coaching, mentorship and general advice giving
    • Research into encouraging people to be more proactive in creating and achieving plans (productivity and goal setting, can ask EAs like Lynette Bye)
    • How influential can 1-on-1 meetings be?
  • Design 20-40 hours
  • Preliminary Testing (5 interviews) - 20-40 hours
  • Pilot (10-20 interviews) - 30-60 hours
  • Writing and sharing results - 40-80 hours


  • A resource that can be used by most group organisers and is cause-neutral (i.e. the advice is generalizable)
  • An in-depth understanding of the impact of 1-on-1s
  • An in-depth understanding of general mentorship, coaching and conducting plans


  • track advisee’s career progress
  • if possible, compare pre-advice advisees to post-advice advisees
    • collect pre-advice advisees information before implementing solution

Career Workshops

  • Are there enough people per group to have career workshops (which assume some prior knowledge of EA)?
    • Would need 4-8 interested/dedicated attendees
    • If we are lacking a critical mass, alternative options:
      • 1-day Career Workshops for regions (where travel times are not too high)
      • Online workshops
  • Types of workshops
    • Intro EA/Career Workshops
      • i.e. Haverford and Harvard’s Career Fellowships
      • Can we design career workshops that ensure a strong EA foundation while still remaining practical and action-oriented?
    • 80K inspired 20 person workshops
    • Individual-focused career workshops.
      • 1-on-1 career planning with individual planning sessions mixed in
      • From Huw at Oxford: We meet with everyone 1-1, give them action points, and then they use the time during the event to pursue the action points and let us know if anything comes up, in which case we chat again for 15 minutes or so
    • Evaluate the state of current workshops for target subgroups like:
      • professionals
      • mid-late career people
      • particular subgroups that have highly desired skills
    • General thoughts
      • Could be follow-ups to career 1-on-1s for more targeted workshops (seems infeasible due to time constraints)
      • Usually the other way around


  • Not personal enough, career advice needs to be closely tailored to the individual

Time Estimate

  • Research project feasibility - 10-20 hours
  • Focusing/prioritising which types of workshops would be most valuable - 20-40 hours
  • Designing the workshop - 30-60 hours
  • Pilot testing the workshop with 2-3 local groups - 50-100 hours (not all our time)
  • Writing up final resources and sharing with group organisers - 40-80 hours


  • Scalable resource created
  • if it’s a multi-day workshop can be spread over 3-4 weeks to improve engagement over time and give people the chance to do independent research and share with others
    • Regional workshops - networking opportunity for participants
  • Preferable to 1-on-1s because
    • advice is diffused, so there is less focus on “You should do X”
    • interacting with others could improve motivation and accountability
    • more time-effective


  • impact-adjusted plan changes
  • number of group organisers

For scenario 2) in Career 1-on-1s and Career Workshops

Improving Individual Career Research Techniques - 100-180 hours

Time Estimate

  • Evaluating the quality of current individual career research: 10-20 hours
  • Research on improving career research techniques: 30-50 hours
  • Piloting new techniques with 1-2 local groups via workshops: 20-40 hours
  • Distribution of resources/training materials: 20-40 hours
  • Evaluation of materials: 20-30 hours


  • Empowers people and makes it easier for them to find the best options for them. This may lead to more satisfaction with their choices
  • If we do one of the crowd-sourced projects (careers wiki or job board database) below, this intervention can make the quality of that crowd-sourcing better


  • number of impactful/CC-building jobs found by participants
  • % translated into internships/jobs placed

Networks Guide

Building strong, reliable networks might be an effective way to help people find jobs that help build relevant career capital/are impactful. This solution will probably be paired with others.

Questions to be answered:

  • How tractable is this?
    • How much effort/energy does it take to build and maintain networks? Possible activities:
      • Creating and maintaining relationships with people outside explicitly EA community (i.e. local businesses, institutions, government)
      • Creating and maintaining directories of contact information
      • Organisers staying up to date on relevant events, communities and conferences
      • Hosting targeted events for networking
      • Organisers actively making introductions between members and others
    • Improving member networking skills
      • Part of career workshops and fellowships
      • One-off networking workshops
      • Encouraging a culture of networking

There are two possible scenarios for this solution:

1) there are already people in EA/affiliated network who haven’t been tapped into

2) there aren't enough relevant people and we need to research jobs/orgs and find them (and therefore need to do solution 6c, Local Job/Org boards)

Expanding on Scenario 1) :

Time Estimate

  • Brainstorm ways of expanding a local groups’ network - 20-40 hours
    • Gather ideas from group organisers - 5-10 hours
    • Interview people with relevant networking experience - 5-10 hours
    • Do research on networking and best practices - 10-20 hours
  • Evaluate and rank each idea - 20-40 hours
  • Design pilot tests for the top 3-5 ideas - 5-10 hours
  • Write an initial guide explaining on how to execute the idas - 10-20 hours
  • Pilot the project with 2-3 local groups - 30-50 hours
  • Write up the results of the experiments - 20-40 hours


  • Improve job/internship placement and opportunities gained
  • Increase number of opportunities available to members
  • Probably a lot of fuzzy, difficult to measure outputs that will need to be qualitatively measured


  • number of job referrals/jobs placed due to network connections
  • group members’ reported ease of access to information and advice via network
  • Compare directories of contacts and evaluate the quality of listed contacts

Guides and Resources

Regional Cause Area Guide

Estimate by Lauro Langosco for creating the AI Policy careers in the EU guide, which followed the same format as 80K’s AI policy guide.

Time Estimate

  • Background research on the EU: ~60-70 hours.
    • A lot of that time was invested in learning about how the EU works, a piece of research that is highly reusable.
  • AI Policy in the EU: ~60-70 hours


  • Encouraging people to pursue a certain priority path in their cause area
  • developing an understanding of how different institutions operate and the opportunities for action


  • (Unique) views/read-throughs (depending on our capacity for tracking)
  • (Impact-adjusted?) significant plan changes
  • feedback from local organisers’ who have given this advice to their members

Existing Efforts:

Careers Wiki

Goal: help people evaluate their personal fit for those roles and expose them to new careers and paths, make research less intimidating by giving a starting point

Benefits: individuals may be incentivised to do research if they know it’s being shared, this can serve as a starting point for more serious research into particular paths in the future.


  • Wiki contains bad information/misleading information. need to learn more about wiki platforms and how they maintain quality.
    • Don’t make claims, just be a repository of sources
  • gets an initial burst of energy and then dies down (i.e. like the EA wiki adn, possibly only active for 1 year
    • pair this with trainings/workshops to orient people to the wiki
    • in the initial months we can reach out to people in our networks who would have interesting things to contribute
    • stagger posting to different platforms/email lists with updates from the wiki
    • have advice in local languages to reduce barriers of access
    • treat this less as a wikipedia and more as a targeted wiki which is less active

Time Estimate

  • Preliminary research/brainstorming on wikis - 5-10 hours
  • Creating wiki guidelines - 10-20 hours
  • Pilot test of initial research with a few local groups/online - 30-60 hours
  • Quality evaluation - 20-30 hours


  • For career-changers
    • Increase time spent researching careers
    • Expand career options considered
  • Improve overall knowledge of impactful careers, fields and industries


  • Wiki web traffic/engagement
    • # of views/clicks
    • # of topics added
  • Qualitative analysis of quality of wiki content

Job/Organizations Boards

Building on Current solution: (not very active) - maybe make this semi-public? (i.e. need a eahub profile to see the jobs)


  • easily shareable
  • more intuitive format than a google spreadsheet
  • if we build relations with certain orgs we trust they can post to the board themselves


  • vetting concerns (note that currently is linked on the 80K website and anyone can post jobs.)


Job Board Database

Benefits (along with the above listed general job board benefits)

  • Crowdsourcing of open positions
  • Crowdsourcing of impact evaluations of open positions
  • Tracking of positions filled (impact) across the movement
  • Research on the overall data collected, possibly even job recommendations after enough data is available.
  • Potential to approach organizations directly for recruiting purposes (e.g., become zip recruiter for EA jobs)


  • High maintenance costs if created from scratch
  • poor quality of jobs
    • how can we filter out self-recommended job positions?
      • require 1 other person to approve of the job board
      • limit individual job postings to a certain group of organisations
      • require new jobs/org submit requests to provide some information about their challenges, link to EA cause areas or impact etc.
  • Will probably require active maintenance and curation
  • Unclear who will have the ability to curate international jobs without context
    • but could have a list of green-lighted orgs and institutions and roles in-built in the system
  • Will it be actively used?

Time Estimate

  • Research - 20-40 hours
  • Design - 50-75 hours
  • Programming - 50-100 hours
  • Database Maintenance - 5-30 hours per month?
  • Communicating results/training people - 20-30 hours

Local Job Board in the DK/Nordic Regions - 78-185 hours

Estimate by Sebastian Schmidt and Philip Porter at EA DK. Based on the other projects that they carried out at the time, they found that their estimates should be multiplied by a factor of 2 to be accurate.

Time estimate

  • Find collaborators 4 hours
  • Specify plausible research questions and approaches 5-30 hours
  • Rank approaches 6-10 hours
  • Doing the research 45-100 hours
  • Write up result 20-40 hours

Ways of scaling the project up/down

  • Can be quite minimalistic or expanded depending on time, as we can decide to focus just on general points (who to speak to/which organizations seem to be particularly high-impact) or actually give alternatives for a wide range of different specific careers.
  • Finding the research questions without actually trying to answer them would also be valuable - both as preparation for a future project, but also to let 80k Hours know what we find to be the biggest implementation issues, and also in case other local groups want to make a similar project.

Impact estimate (Fermi-style)

  • A guide that Denmark- or Nordic-based people (currently 300+ members of the EA Denmark interest group and 500+ on the EA Denmark FB page, but could also be marketed towards non-EAs) can use to inspire their career plans. It should hopefully mean a non-trivial number of significant plan changes, but very hard to quantify.
    • Maybe relevant for 33% of FB audience, and maybe 10% change their plans primarily due to this appendix= 20 SPC. It would be much more if we targeted people outside EA, or if EADK experiences significant growth in the near- to mid-term future.
  • A framework for making a similar guide for EAs in other countries outside the Anglosphere. It should also have an impact of several SPC.


  • (Unique) views/read-throughs (depending on our capacity for tracking)
  • (Impact-adjusted?) significant plan changes
  • Hours spent by us
  • This document is an output of the Local Career Advice Project. It contains initial thoughts, considerations and ballpark time estimates. More work will not be done until after the first round of prioritisation. Feel free to comment and add suggestions. For more information on the Local Career Advice Network please see this project proposal.
  • The purpose of this section is to give readers a sense of the possible range of products that LCAN was considering investing time and resources in, and as a resource for anyone working on career projects.
  • It’s less useful for explicitly weighing the pros & cons of different events for an individual organiser