January Meetup – How People Choose a Career and Why We Should Care

The next monthly discussion meetup is Saturday, January 7 @ 2 PM (see below for location details).

For better or for worse, a significant portion of our adult lives is dedicated to working, so it’s worth thinking about how we choose (or arrive at or fall into) our career/jobs. This is important at both the individual level (playing a role in our overall happiness or life satisfaction) and the societal level (presumably some choices will lead to more innovative and/or more productive workers, for example).

For January’s meetup, we’ll consider these issues by focusing, in particular, on the idea of following your passion, though all ideas are welcome, of course. For example, the concept of earning to give is also very much relevant here.

The key details and suggested readings/videos are below. Please feel free to come to the meetup even if you don’t do any (or only some) of the suggested reading. These are just starting points to get the discussion going and are by no means required.

Also, please feel free to come even if you’re worried it will be awkward, you won’t fit in, or you aren’t the “typical person who comes to a Rationality meetup.” We are welcoming (albeit occasionally argumentative)!


Date: Saturday, 1/7 @ 2pm–4pm
Location: South Loop Strength & Conditioning – upstairs in the mezzanine
645 S Clark
Chicago IL 60605
Note: Todd owns this gym so that’s why there’s a Rationality meetup at a gym 🙂
If you have trouble finding us, text/call Shane at 608-436-1809.


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A Rationality/Effective Altruism perspective:

“To find work you love, don’t (always) follow your passion”
Related TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKlx1DLa9EA

“Your biggest opportunity to make a difference: our guide to what makes for a high-impact career”

Academic research:

“Passion matters but not equally everywhere: Predicting achievement from interest, enjoyment, and efficacy in 59 societies”

“Implicit Theories of Interest: Finding Your Passion or Developing It?”


“‘Follow Your Passion’ Is The Worst Career Advice—Here’s Why”

“When Following Your Passion Turns Toxic”
(A potential downside to following your passion: you may be more easily exploitable)