- According to effective altruism.
- How do I personally fit with this job?
- How satisfied will I be in this job?
- Am I excited by the job?
- Do I think I could stick with it for a significant period of time?
- How good am I, or could I become, at this type of work, compared to other people and compared to other careers I might choose?
- What’s my impact while I’m working at this job?
- How many resources can I influence, whether that’s the labor I provide, the people or budget I manage, the money I earn, or a public platform I have access to?
- How effective are the causes to which I can direct those resources?
- How does this job contribute to my impact later on in life?
- How well does this job build my skills, connections, and credentials?
- How well does this job keep my options open?
- How much will I learn in the course of this job about what I might want to do next?
Five Predictors of Job Satisfaction
- The most consistent predictor of jobs satisfaction is engaging work, which can be broken down into 5 factors
- Sense of completion
- To what extent does the job involve completing a whole piece of work so that your contribution to the end product is easily visible, rather than being merely a small part of a much larger product?
- To what extent does the job require you to perform a range of different activities, using different skills and talents?
- Feedback from the job
- How easy is it to know whether you’re performing well or badly?
- To what extent does your work “make a difference,” as defined by positive contributions to the well-being of other people?
- Sense of completion
Finding a Job
- It’s best to take empirical approach to finding a job
- Keep a track record to predict how good you’ll do in the future
- Learn as much about the work as you can
- Go and speak to people in the job
- See your career as a work in progress
Rather than having a fixed career plan, try to have a career “model”—a set of provisional goals and hypotheses that you’re constantly revising as you get new evidence or opportunities. It’s better to have a bad plan than no plan, but only if you’re open to changing it.
- Find where you’re uncertain, reduce that uncertainty
Before making a decision, don’t merely try to weigh all the pros and cons as you currently see them (though that is a good thing to do). Ask yourself: What is the single most important piece of information that would be most useful for my career decision? Now, what can I do in order to gain that information?
How to Have an Impact on a Job
- Through the labor you provide
- Through the money you give
- Through the influence you can have on other people
Working for a Nonprofit
- If you’re considering working for a nonprofit, ask these questions:
- Is the organization particularly effective?
- Will I learn a lot working here?
- Is the organization money-rich but talent-poor?
- Am I sure I want to work within nonprofits long-term?
Starting a Nonprofit
- It’s good to focus on one particularly important cause
- Also ask yourself:
- Why hasn’t this problem been solved by markets?
- Why hasn’t this problem been solved by the state?
- Why hasn’t this problem already been solved by philanthropy?
Which case should you focus on
- What’s the magnitude of this problem?
- How much does it affect lives in the short run and long run?
- How easy is it to make progress on this problem, and how easy is it to tell if you’re making progress?
- Do interventions to make progress within this cause exist, and how strong is the evidence behind those interventions?
- Do you expect to be able to discover new promising interventions within this cause?
- How many resources are already being dedicated to tackling this problem?
- How well allocated are the resources that are currently being dedicated to the problem?
- Is there reason to expect that markets or governments can’t solve this problem?
- Personal fit
- Given your skills, resources, knowledge, connections, and passions, how likely are you to make a large difference in this area?