I just wanted to flag one possible failure mode.
I’ve come across a few people who said that “getting management experience”, for the purpose of eventually helping with direct work, was a big part in not wanting to do direct work directly. So far I haven’t seen these people ever get into direct work. I think it can be great for earning to give, but am personally skeptical of its applicability to direct work.
From what I’ve seen, the skills one needs to lead EA organizations are fairly distinct, and doing so often requires a lot of domain specific knowledge that takes time to develop. Related, much of the experience I see people getting who are in management seem to be domain specific skills not relevant for direct work, or experience managing large teams of skills very different from what is seems to be needed in direct work.
For example, in bio safety orgs, the #1 requirement of a manager is a lot of experience in the field, and the same is true (maybe more so) in much of AI safety. I think non-direct-work management tracks can be great for earning to give, as long as that’s what’s intended.
Strongly agree with this, as someone who had approximately the level of responsibility Khorton described until recently.
In my industry (quant trading) the extra value of further experience to outside goals past the level I’ve already reached is limited except potentially as a status signal.