Annotated List of EA Career Frameworks & Theories

This bibliography was created as part of the Local Career Advice Network. It is meant to be a comprehensive list of work in this space. These sources are not vetted or endorsed.

Suggesting a new resource: Please go to the google doc search for the title of the article or author's name before adding a new one. When you add a new source, please link to the article and add the author’s name/username, and a short summary or comments. Feel free to add comments  to existing resources. For other annotated bibliographies, see here.

Theories and Frameworks

On the lack of EA jobs

What to do with people? By Jan Kulveit. Jan suggests building a networked hierarchical structure where broader goals are decomposed into smaller parts that can be more easily dealt with. This way, people can start looking for smaller, neglected tasks within different cause areas and do them.

This post is about figuring out a “Task Y” for EAs to do. There are significant challenges here because of EA’s unique structure (see Vaidehi’s poster on the topic).

Unsolicited Career Advice By ConcernedNetizen. Very short post but quite a good summary of the situation.

EA jobs provide scarce non-monetary goods by Milan Griffes. EA jobs are highly sought after because they provide social status, sense of fulfilment and having impact. Therefore, there will be a lot of competition for these jobs.

Careers outside of EA orgs

The career and the community by Richard Ngo. His claim is that there are strong norms that encourage young EAs to work at EA organisations straight out of college, and we should try to counteract this.

Keeping everyone motivated: a case for effective careers outside of the highest impact EA organizations by Florian Jehn. The comments section outlines some of 80K’s thinking and the two sides of whether or not the claims in the post need to be addressed. Some commenters think that local groups already do the things suggested, others point out that current incentive structures for community builders limits the actions they take, and the average person who may not end up at an EA org needs other options.

Getting People Excited About More EA Careers: A New Community Building Challenge by Sebastian Oehm. EA org hiring landscape may disproportionately favor EA orgs over other EA careers, community building contributes by rewarding people for working at EA orgs and providing less assistance to those searching for other roles. We should strengthen core community building within professional groups and find new signals to demonstrate commitment to other jobs.

80K-related commentary

Identifying talent without credentialing in EA by Ben West. Ideas for identifying talent without the need for signalling and credentials. This kind of thinking could be useful for a lot of the target demographic for this project.

Career choice: Evaluate opportunities, not just fields by Ben Kuhn. He talks about how the difference between opportunities in a single field seems to matter just as much as the difference between fields.

Towards Better EA Career Advice by Alexander Rapp. Critique of 80K’s advice and suggesting that it isn’t thorough enough to provide overall career advice for the EA community.

Thoughts on 80,000 Hours’ research that might help with job-search frustrations by Arden LK. Focus on 80K’s research to find your best career vs “the” best career, focus on personal fit.

Why talent gaps exist

A Framework for thinking about the EA Labor Market by Jon Behar. An economic perspective trying to understand the talent gaps in EA, suggestion that these gaps will continue.

A framework for assessing the potential of emerging locations by Jah Ying Chung. A framework which explains why some regions may be overlooked, and a set of holistic metrics to measure local groups. Useful for thinking about niches in different countries.