Coaches for exploring careers?

post by Alex Sanders · 2021-12-18T05:27:32.041Z · EA · GW · 5 comments

Does anyone have recommendations for career coaches who can help with career exploration and who subscribe to the philosophy that trying out lots of types of work early on in one's career is a useful exercise?


My understanding of EA career advice (specifically 80,000 Hours and Holden Karnofsky's [EA · GW] career advice) is that trying out different projects or even roles early on in one's career (potentially for a few years) can help one identify top skills.  Knowledge of one's skills can allow one to focus the rest of their career on path(s) that leverage those skills, leading to a more satisfying and impactful career.   Trying to actually apply this advice in practice is quite difficult: Which types of work should one try out ?  How can one tell if they are performing well in a particular skill?   It would be very helpful to have a coach to work through this process.  However, most career coaches I've found do not subscribe to the belief that trying out different types of work through long term projects or different jobs is worthwhile.  It seems that most career coaches encourage their clients to take a lot of strength assessment and personality test (which I believe 80,000 Hours argues do not work) and then pick a career path based on these tests, some informational interviews and maybe some job shadowing, which seems really ineffective.  

So far I've identified the following coaches that likely support trying out different types of work:
(1) 80,000 Hours Coaching - Unfortunately, this is very exclusive.  If you are not focused on a priority career path, my impression is that this service is currently almost impossible to get.  EDIT: This is not the case, 80K coaching does not only focus on applicants interested in priority paths and it is not as difficult to get coaching as I thought - please see Michelle Hutchinson's comment below
(2) Private EA Oriented Coach - From my understanding her career coaching focuses on improving productivity, rather than career exploration.  

Can anyone recommend some coaches (paid or free)?



Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Michelle_Hutchinson · 2021-12-19T12:04:20.225Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'm not exactly sure of these people's views, but they're all effective altruist coaches, so you might be interested in checking out their websites: 

Tee Barnett
Daniel Kestenholz

Anne Wissemann

80,000 Hours actually doesn't only coach people already focused on a priority career path, though it is more useful for people who have a similar understanding of impact to 80,000 Hours' understanding. We currently talk to around 50% of people who apply for coaching.

Replies from: Alex Sanders
comment by Alex Sanders · 2021-12-20T01:09:07.009Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Michelle, Thank you for your response!  I will look into these coaches.  I actually did apply to 80,000 Hours coaching in 2020 but was not accepted :(.  

Replies from: Tee
comment by Tee · 2021-12-27T15:40:08.081Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks Michelle! Hey Alex, happy to chat with you more about how I can help. Much of how I've helped others (including EAs) in the past regarding career transitions has revolved around the deliberate discovery, examination, articulation and refinement of your perceptions surrounding the many dimensions of the potential transition. (I say 'potential' because changing jobs isn't always the desired result). 

I'd contrast my approach to content– or landscape-specific type of information/model sharing, in the way that other career coaches might offer. For example, rather than telling you what's out there, my clients have chosen to create exploratory plans for coming to get information they'd need. 

If that's interesting, you can choose a time to chat with me here! (times for January 2021) 

Hope you find a skilled person to help with this in any case ~

Replies from: Alex Sanders
comment by Alex Sanders · 2022-01-04T01:50:15.469Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Tee, thank you for your comment.   I signed up for a meeting with you under my real name! (used a pseudonym for this forum)! 

comment by Alex Sanders · 2021-12-26T23:37:25.942Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

To add to Michelle's answer,  Anne Wissemann linked to a Google Doc containing a list of EA / rationalist coaches.