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Career Planning Support

It can be really hard to make time to think in a structured way about career plans during the busyness of life. Maybe you manage to fire off applications for internships or jobs en masse, or maybe you put it off until it’s too late to worry about it anymore. But investing time in planning your career seems really important. As 80,000 Hours observed, a typical career lasts for 80,000 hours. This makes it a hugely valuable resource to direct towards addressing the world’s most pressing problems. 

 

For this reason, EA Cambridge is eager to support individuals who are interested in using their careers to make the world better effectively. We offer a number of programmes which we hope will enable you to focus some time on the following:

 

  1. Figuring out which problem(s) you should work on

  2. Considering how you might be able to work on those problems in the long-term

  3. Working out what your next steps might be for pursuing that path

 

Below, we set out three programmes through which EA Cambridge might be able to support you in planning your career. The option which suits you best will depend on your stage of career-planning, your key uncertainties, and how much time you are able to invest in the career-planning process.

 

If a typical career lasts for 80,000 hours, then in theory it would be worth spending up to 800 hours working out how to make your career just 1% better. Fortunately, we can help you take some shortcuts.

 

Career-Planning Intensive

The Career Planning Intensive is a 6-week programme, involving weekly 2-hour sessions with 3-4 other participants, designed to support people who want to use their career to address the world's most pressing problems. The first 5 sessions will take place in consecutive weeks, while the final session will be a review call 1 month later. In between sessions, participants will investigate the career-related uncertainties they have identified so that they can discuss what they have learnt and update their plans the following week.

 

The first session will involve icebreakers for the participants (~ 4 per cohort) to get to know each other, as well as a career-related discussion, while the other sessions will consist of 1-1 and group discussions on cause prioritisation, long-term paths, next steps, and collecting feedback. 

 

This programme is aimed at individuals who've already spent some time thinking about which problems they should work on, and are familiar with core EA concepts. An example could be someone who's completed the In-Depth Fellowship, or who has been involved in the EA community for over a year. You certainly do not have to be committed to an 80,000 Hours priority path (https://80000hours.org/key-ideas/#priority-paths) to participate; we hope this programme will be useful in identifying the paths and next steps which are the best fit for you personally.

 

You can express interest in the Career Planning Intensive here. In the form, you may specify the period during which you would like to participate (anytime between summer 2021 and February 2022). 

 

Career 1-on-1 Mentoring Series

This is an opportunity to have a series of structured, 1-on-1 career chats with a mentor, in which we will break down your career-planning into manageable steps. Each session, you will work through part of an adapted version of 80,000 Hours’ in-depth career-planning worksheet with a mentor. You will discuss your existing plans, identify your key areas of uncertainty, and make a plan for addressing those uncertainties. In between sessions, you will spend some time investigating those uncertainties, so that you can update your plan in the following call. 

 

Sessions may vary in length, but will usually last ~1 hour. The number of sessions you have with your mentor will depend on how many uncertainties you have and which areas of your career plan you are most uncertain about. If you are uncertain about which problem you should focus your career on, you may have 8+ calls. If you are confident about which problem you should work on and how you should work on it in the long-term, then you may have ~5 calls to discuss your next steps. 

 

Sessions will take place at regular intervals, e.g. every 1-2 weeks - the frequency can be agreed between the mentee and mentor. Ideally, sessions will be spaced such that mentees will have time to make progress on their uncertainties between conversations. 

 

If you would be interested in participating in this career 1-on-1 mentoring series, you can apply here. The application form contains some questions to assess whether this series is the right fit for you and to work out what the sessions should focus on if so. If we’re able to accept you onto the programme, your mentor will ask you to fill out specified sections of the in-depth career-planning worksheet in advance of the first session. 

One-Off Career Chat

We also offer the opportunity to have a one-off career chat with a mentor, lasting ~30 to 60 minutes, in which to discuss key uncertainties surrounding your career plans. You might choose to discuss which pressing problems you want to work on, your long term plans, how different options compare against each other, and your next steps. 

 

If you would be interested in this, please fill out this form to let us know a bit about you and your career plans.

 
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