MH

Michelle_Hutchinson

7452 karmaJoined

Bio

I work as head of the one on one team for 80,000 Hours. Previously I worked at the Global Priorities Institute, ran Giving What We Can and was a Fund Manager at the Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund.

Comments here are my own views only, not my present or past employers', unless otherwise specified.

Comments
382

Thanks for writing this! It seems really useful for people getting started on their career to hear concrete experiences others have had. 

I'm so impressed with your persistence in finding roles that help others as much as possible. In your place finding it difficult to get the roles I wanted, I can imagine selecting for roles I'd enjoy and would pay well, rather than continuing to look for roles that helped others like in animal advocacy. I also imagine feeling kind of bitter about my bad luck. I'm so grateful for how resiliently you've stuck with the project of longrun having impact, and how kindhearted rather than frustrated you've continued to be.

A couple of other thoughts about the ideas in the post: 

  • One way people might think of getting short term grants is as being analogous to getting post docs in academia - doing one post doc is expected, two is fine, but after that if you're not finding longterm positions you probably want to be considering non-academic jobs in addition to academic ones.
  • How good/bad it is to have a stable job vs being on a grant varies a lot by person, and by life stage. Personally, I really value stability (eg living in the same place) and prefer having a manager, but have reasonable financial stability. Some of my friends really appreciate variety and independence. Others need more financial stability than I do. It could easily be the right decision for a person never to be willing to work on a grant rather than taking a stable job, even though the grant would be a much better option for someone else.

Wow, what an achievement! Amazing work. Enjoyed your write up of it

That's great news! Thanks for all the work going through the investigation, and strengthening the teams has likely been. 

I'm really sad to hear you feel that 80k isn't talking to you. Fwiw, I work at 80k now and think of myself as talking to you. 

It seems like an understatement to say 'I call it earning to give'. What you've done over the last decade seems like solidly, clearly earning to give to me.  

I wish it were easier to get away from comparative style labels, and what can feel like an incessant pressure to always be doing more for the world. To me, the ways I'm falling short compared to others are particularly salient, compared to things I'm doing that are helpful. My intuitive response to your post is that I've always felt like you were a more 'real EA' than me. But it would be nice if we could just all feel glad about our contributions.

Good point, I hadn't appreciated that. Thanks! 

Those do seem like good compromises.

I think in general people find it easier to notice criticisms of things than appreciate positives. But I think having more 'picking out surprising positives' is a useful way of learning, and in addition leads to a much more appreciative environment than picking out negatives. 

I worry that we currently have overly high standards for writing about positives because in addition to it being kind of tricky to notice them, there are other difficulties around things like dislike of glorifying people. My guess is that we could create a happier, more collaborative community if we had slightly lower standards for appreciation / noticing the positives type discussions.

I'm really glad you found it helpful!

I’m really excited that Zach will be coming on as CEO of CEA. After so many nominations and evaluations, it’s extremely gratifying to have found someone so qualified for the role. I’m grateful to the hard work everyone put into this, particularly to Max for coordinating and project managing incredibly smoothly, and for Oscar and Caitlin helping a tonne behind the scenes. 

Running CEA is an enormous responsibility, and one I’m glad to be able to trust Zach with. I very much look forward to watching him take CEA into the future.

Sorry to hear you didn't find what you were looking for in the 80,000 Hours career guide. You could consider checking out this website that maintains a list of social purpose job boards. I'd guess that going through some of those would yield some good options for full stack web-dev roles at organisations with a broad range of missions, hopefully including some inspiring ones!

Load more