↑ comment by Screwtape ·
2017-09-21T15:14:53.917Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I don't know what the best algorithm is, but what I did was something like the following.
Step 1. Make a list of the things you enjoy doing. Attempt to be specific where possible- you want to get at the activity that's actually enjoyable, so "making up stories" is more accurate for me than "writing" is, since it's the storytelling part that's fun for me instead of the sitting down and typing specifically. Sort the list in the order that you most enjoy doing the thing, with an eye towards things you can do a lot of. (I do like chocolate, but there's a sharp limit in the amount of chocolate I can eat before it stops being fun.) There's no exact length you need, but 10~15 seems to be the sweet spot.
Step 2. Line up the things you enjoy doing with jobs that do them a lot. Make a list of those jobs, putting under each job the different things you would like about them along with things you know you'd dislike about doing the job. Talking to people in that field, reading interviews with them, and good old fashioned googling are good steps here. Sort the jobs by how many of your favourite things to do are in them and how few things you don't want to do are in them.
Step 3. Take the list of jobs, and look up how much money each job makes, along with how much demand there is for that job and how many qualifications you'd need to earn to reasonably expect to get the job. Hours worked per week and health risks are also good things to think about. (Note: Sitting at a computer for nine hours straight should really count as a health risk. I'm not joking.)
Step 4. You now have a good notion of enjoyment vs practicality. If there's a standout winner in both of them, do that. If not, then consider your tradeoffs carefully. You will probably enjoy things less when you have to wake up every morning and do them, but it also caught me by surprise how little time it feels like I have to work on personal projects after eight or nine hours plus commuting.
Step 5. Think about UBI and cry a little, then dedicate a side project towards ushering in the glorious post-scarcity future.