Big things are happening here at Practically Ethics. One half of our duo of ethical writers is upping sticks and moving to Oxfordshire to work for a meta charity that support effective interventions in international development.
I – Larissa – have been offered a job as a Communications Manager at Giving What We Can!
Who are Giving What We Can?
If you’re new to my blog you may not have come across Giving What We Can. They are no ordinary charity. Their aim is to build a community of people committed to donating at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities they can find. In doing this, they ultimately want to see an end to extreme poverty in our lifetime.
They conduct research on the most effective interventions in tackling extreme poverty and help people decide where they can donate that will have the biggest impact. They (along with us at Practically Ethics) recognize that in the global north we are extremely fortunate and so pledge to use some of our wealth to do as much good as we can.
I became involved in Giving What We Can after hearing a Development Drums interview with Toby Ord (one of Giving What We Can’s founders). Looking into them led me to chat with their Executive Director Michelle. From there I began writing blog posts for them about my own experiences of trying to be more ethical (alongside this blog); started a local group in Brighton to talk about how to do the most good and raise money for charity; and began managing their social media accounts.
Now, thanks to this amazing offer, I will be responsible for external communications and outreach full time. I will be communicating our latest research with members to help them decide where to donate, sharing our plans and metrics with donors and helping as many people as possible find out more about how they can have the biggest social impact. Some of this will be building on the volunteering I have done and my marketing and events experience from my previous company. The rest is exciting and new, it means big change and lots of learning (which I love).
Taking the leap
So how did this all come about?
This all happened in November 2015 but lead to such a busy period I’m only now really taking stock.
I suppose this had been a while in the making.
I’d had some chats with various members of staff as I volunteered in different areas (communications and outreach) and even visited the office with Coralie in March 2015. I attended a careers workshop which included upcoming positions at Giving What We Can at the Effective Altruism Global Conference in Oxford in the summer and then applied when the positions were advertised in October.
I suppose at the time I thought this would be amazing but isn’t very likely but then whilst in Basel after a work conference – just after lunch with Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus (the Swiss effective altruists) – I had a call from Michelle. I got the job.
Cue some agonising. Joe and I are very happy in Brighton, our friends are here, volunteering, his band, football. I like Roche (my previous company), my role was challenging, the people were lovely and had good prospects there. What is a girl to do?
Joe has been an amazing source of support. In many ways this impacts him more than it does me. Whilst he can keep his job everything else in his life needs to change for something that benefits me. But he left the decision to me, supportive of whatever I wanted. He has been caring and selfless and that is why I love him.
If today were the last day of my life…
Ultimately it came down to what sort of person do I want to be? What do I want to achieve?
I want to take risks, challenge norms and try leave the world a tiny bit better than it was.
Not that I’m particularly a Steve Jobs fan, but I do have this image saved with my daily routine. Whilst I always have to ruin these things with some pragmatism –”not always Mr Jobs but sometimes I do things that I hope will have long term positive consequences beyond my last day” – this is a good thought to have in the back of your mind.
What do you want your legacy to be?
What does the future hold?
I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe this won’t be the right fit for me. Maybe it will be just what I was looking for. Definitely it will lead me down a career path I never imagined.
I am sure though that I would always regret not trying more than I would regret trying something.
I will just keep trying to do the most good I can and see where it takes me.
For now Joe and I move to Abingdon near Oxford on Friday. Wish us luck.
Wondering what you can do to have more of an impact with your career? Check out 80,000 hours. They provide career advice for talented young people who want to have a social impact. Even if you’re not thinking of changing roles they suggest this easy way for anyone to have a big social impact.
If you have any questions or thoughts (or know any good places to go in Abingdon!) leave me a message in the comments.