I think a key piece of advice I’d have is to think of what you’re doing more as sound boarding rather than as trying to convey information. People asking for careers advice are often pretty keen to get ‘answers’, and tend to assume that others have a bunch of information they don’t. I often feel I fall into this trap, of thinking that others must know the answer to ‘how impactful is x’, when usually they have little more information than me. So I think it’s important to push back on the idea that we can give people answers to what role will be most impactful for them, and make clear that what we’re doing is helping them think through a fundamentally difficult and personal decision. I think reading articles like our one on making tough careers decisions might be helpful for doing that. I think the community as a whole will do better if we try to get lots of people working on the hard problem of what’s most impactful, than if we expect to get answers from just a few people and then try to propagate them (also because doing the latter means the information is likely to get distorted if people aren’t thinking it through for themselves).
I’d also try to be well versed in what resources there are around on different causes, career paths, jobs etc. You’re usually only talking to someone for an hour, but if you can use that hour to suggest a bunch of articles/books/podcasts/videos to them, they might end up spending many hours on those.
Coordination amongst local communities seems like it’s really valuable—particularly if you can find other local groups that are particularly similar to yours, or have also experienced some particular problem that you’re currently having. There’s an EA groups slack, with a career planning 1-on-1s channel, which seems very useful for getting people working together. This seems all the more valuable for new local group leaders getting up to speed.
Unfortunately we don’t have capacity to write a guide on this, or to train people on how to do it. We might in the future, but unfortunately it won’t be soon. My impression is that the Oxford local group has written a brief guide on it which they’re considering sharing with others.