Thank you for taking the time to write this post, Michelle! A lot of it resonates with me and it’s a good reminder to sometimes zoom out a bit and think about the positives and the good parts about EA.
Women and Non-Binary EA Meetup: Join Us!
Effective Animal Advocacy meetup
Women and Non-Binary EA Meetup: Join Us!
Thank you for writing this really useful and entertaining post, Severin. It has definitely motivated me to facilitate some more gatherings!
Done, took less than 20 seconds—thanks for posting :)
The Operations team at CEA transforms
Thank you for writing this up and putting it out there (coming from a non-fancy background I can totally relate!).
One of the best things for my mental health this year was realising and allowing myself to accept that I am not and never will be a top researcher/EA thinker/ the person with the most accurate AI timelines/.…
However, I do have an ops background and can see that my work is valuable, and there is no need for me to be the smartest in the room, as long as I get stuff done.
I’d guess there are small things everyone can contribute (even just being a friendly face at an event and talking to new people can be really valuable).
Additionally, I wish we had some more socialiogical studies about the EA community (posts like this one by Julia Wise).
This is not a helpful comment: But I wish I had known there were EAs in Guatemala when I was there 2 years ago—thanks for the work you do!
Max Dalton (CEA) gave a talk about this at EAG London 2021 - help find your dream colleague, going through the pros and cons and giving some arguments for using some of your time for mentoring.
“Social situations are also assessments”
This is something I was surprised by when I first got more involved. Thank you for writing it out so clearly—I think there are many people who would benefit from knowing about these EA social dynamics.
And more general: Thank you for providing so much value to the community and offering to help in these tricky situations.
“If it would feel like a relief to have someone’s permission to go, you have mine.”
This resonates and feels important, thanks for including this, Julia! <3
Thanks for taking the time to write this, Joy! I like your clear and engaging writing style, and the length and structure of the post.
Things I’ve done in the past that fall under ops (and haven’t been mentioned before)
Working with all sorts of (external) people:
Volunteers and interns (writing job adverts, coming up with policies and performance reviews, coordination between people and projects)
Members: I worked in a small NGO with 300 members, so I’d be the person to send out updates, answer any questions and do all the admin stuff, plus organising events
Newsletters and keeping the website up to date
small scale Data analysis
Things I’m now doing as an Executive Assistant:
Personal things such as booking doctors appointments, arranging travels and vaccines, phone contracts, sublets, passport renewals, expenses—anything that saves the person I’m supporting some time
Comms: I’m drafting emails in somebody elses voice which is interesting and exciting
Scheduling and getting familiar with all the time zones
Just a lot of detail oriented, watch team backup, to make sure things don’t drop and deadlines are in check
Some more random thoughts:
I feel like group organisers could make great ops people, because they often have to do a bit of everything. So if you’ve enjoyed being the person holding the group together and making things happen, it could be a good indicator that you’d like ops
Operations sometimes looks easy from the outside, and mostly people only notice you if/when things go wrong (because normally, you remove obstacles before they appear for others)
I can totally recommend the office with Thomas and Basti organising it. I come here once a week and I enjoy working there a lot. The rooms are spacious, we have spare monitors, the kitchen is big enough to have lunch together and it’s great to bump into people working on EA things :)
If you are ever in Berlin, feel free to come by.
Recently, I’ve started working as a full-time personal assistant in an EA org. I’d be really interested to hear any advice on how to reduce the amount of time scheduling takes up (currently 1 h of my day). Is there any advice for how to process scheduling requests, often over different time zones and with busy people? Calendly works for some situations, but is not really that helpful.
Meta: Just wanted to quickly say that I really appreciate how you communicate on the Forum, Peter. You’re thoughtful, ask productive questions and lay out biases which I find very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to engage with the content on the Forum, and sharing your thoughts.