80,000 Hours Podcast

#122 – Michelle Hutchinson & Habiba Islam on balancing competing priorities and other themes from our 1-on-1 careers advising

80,000 Hours Podcast

One of 80,000 Hours' main services is our free one-on-one careers advising, which we provide to around 1,000 people a year. Today we speak to two of our advisors, who have each spoken to hundreds of people -- including many regular listeners to this show -- about how they might be able to do more good while also having a highly motivating career.

Before joining 80,000 Hours, Michelle Hutchinson completed a PhD in Philosophy at Oxford University and helped launch Oxford's Global Priorities Institute, while Habiba Islam studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University and qualified as a barrister.

Links to learn more, summary and full transcript.

In this conversation, they cover many topics that recur in their advising calls, and what they've learned from watching advisees’ careers play out:

• What they say when advisees want to help solve overpopulation
• How to balance doing good against other priorities that people have for their lives
• Why it's challenging to motivate yourself to focus on the long-term future of humanity, and how Michelle and Habiba do so nonetheless
• How they use our latest guide to planning your career
• Why you can specialise and take more risk if you're in a group
• Gaps in the effective altruism community it would be really useful for people to fill
• Stories of people who have spoken to 80,000 Hours and changed their career — and whether it went well or not
• Why trying to have impact in multiple different ways can be a mistake

The episode is split into two parts: the first section on The 80,000 Hours Podcast, and the second on our new show 80k After Hours. This is a shameless attempt to encourage listeners to our first show to subscribe to our second feed.

That second part covers:

• Whether just encouraging someone young to aspire to more than they currently are is one of the most impactful ways to spend half an hour
• How much impact the one-on-one team has, the biggest challenges they face as a group, and different paths they could have gone down
• Whether giving general advice is a doomed enterprise

Get this second part by subscribing to our more experimental podcast on the world’s most pressing problems and how to solve them: type 80k After Hours into your podcasting app.

Want to get free one-on-one advice from our team? We're here to help.

We’ve helped thousands of people formulate their plans and put them in touch with mentors.

We've expanded our ability to deliver one-on-one meetings so are keen to help more people than ever before. If you're a regular listener to the show we're especially likely to want to speak with you.

Learn about and apply for advising.

Get this episode by subscribing to our podcast on the world’s most pressing problems and how to solve them: type 80,000 Hours into your podcasting app.

Producer: Keiran Harris
Audio mastering: Ben Cordell
Transcriptions: Katy Moore

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