The idea this week: it’s incredible how dedicated many of you are to helping others.
One of my favourite parts of working on the one-on-one advising team is getting to see the important work so many people are doing up close. It’s incredibly inspiring to learn about the thoughtful, dedicated steps you’re taking to have an impact. In our conversations, we get to directly express appreciation for each person’s efforts. But we only get to do that for a fraction of readers, and only occasionally.
So I wanted to take this chance to say thank you to all of you working so hard and intentionally to help others. There are countless ways to make a difference — different problems needing solutions and different approaches to tackle them. I can’t speak to nearly all of those here. But I do want to highlight a few examples of work I know many of you are doing that I find deeply admirable.
- To those working long hours at a challenging job in order to donate a significant portion of your salary to effective organisations — thank you. It’s hard to stay motivated when the work itself doesn’t feel valuable. It’s hard to make time outside a full-time job to thoughtfully decide where your money can do the most good. And it can be tough being surrounded by people with different values who get to directly enjoy the fruits of their labour rather than using it to reduce suffering. I admire you for taking this path and sticking with it.
- To those pushing for change from within large, slow-moving systems where the incentives often feel misaligned with making progress — thank you. I’ve found it frustrating in the past to try to carefully build consensus and respect hierarchy when progress seems urgently needed. I’m glad some find that work inherently rewarding, and that some are willing to do it even when it’s not. Your efforts are so valuable.
- To those focusing on building skills that don’t feel useful day-to-day but hoping they pay off down the line — thank you for investing in your future impact.
- To those taking jobs that pay less but allow you to do more good — thank you for making this sacrifice.
- To those trying out different roles to learn where you can contribute most — thank you for thoughtfully exploring options.
- To students studying hard now but already looking ahead to high-impact careers — thank you for your foresight in planning.
- To those grappling with difficult questions to form careful views (for example, on which problems are most pressing) — thank you for doing the hard intellectual work needed to make thoughtful decisions.
- To those willing to trust the judgement of others when unsure what to do — thank you for your humility.
- To those still figuring out how they can best have a positive impact on the world, thank you for giving us the opportunity to inspire you and help guide you along your path.
If these resonate with you, please know I’m sincerely grateful for your efforts. A lot of this work seems very difficult to me. I’m glad some people take it on despite the challenges and that we all contribute in different ways.
The challenges facing our world can seem overwhelming, but knowing so many thoughtful, dedicated people like you are out there gives me hope and resolve. Even if we’re each playing different parts, in a sense we’re working alongside each other. When progress seems daunting, it helps me to remember the community of caring people behind it.
And because we appreciate you, we also want to remind you that to succeed in any job, it’s important to take care of yourself first. This might mean making your mental health a top priority if that would be helpful, even when you’re dedicating your hard work to helping others.
We also might be able to help you on your path. Find out more about our one-on-one career advising and apply to speak with us.
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