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MOTM Dec 2011
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I think it depends on what role we play there & how much freedom we have.

As for corporate careers, I can't say I'd be interested. I'm pretty sure my strengths would be undervalued & maybe even underused, and I'd feel suffocated. Smaller companies may be an option, if they were relaxed. I tried my hand at entrepreneurship, and I honestly feel I did my part well over all, even of the business did not end up making it.

I am good at behind the scenes work if it is something that excites me. Commercial arts is my niche. I envision, create, & produce, taking projects from concept to completion (this sounds like my resume....I'm also detail-oriented & punctual - RIGHT!). I can even deal with money pretty well. If I have some flexibility/freedom in the work environment & the work itself, then I will shine. I know what looks good & what people respond to viscerally.

What I am bad at is networking. A big chunk of business is who you know. You have to meet new people, make connections, sell them on your ideas.... This is where I fail. I don't take initiative in these areas (because I HATE it) & am rather awkward with new people. I also get frustrated with clients easily, due to being sensitive & often dealing with non-visionary people who don't like new things. An honest business partner to handle the people end would be ideal, but that's actually hard to come by....
 

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I can only speculate on whether I am "cut out" for the business world, as I haven't spent any significant time there. I have worked mostly as a teacher and as a librarian (the latter is a career suggested for INFPs, right?).

Right now I also work in an unpaid position as a state coordinator of a grassroots civil liberties group. My first task was to pull together a "town hall" style meeting at which the two executive directors of my group would be speaking. I had to invite other activists and a law enforcement official to also speak at the meeting. Because I am not the best at finding other volunteers, I shouldered the entire responsibility myself. The worst was finding a civil libertarian (other than myself...I don't like public speaking) to serve on the panel. I had never done this sort of thing before, but was amazed at the postive responses I received from those I invited, who were attorneys from better known civil liberties groups and law professors. I don't have a law degree, just an English degree. But I care deeply about my chosen issue, and I can write, and all they could see are the words I sent them, and that I was knowledgeable and passionate.

It's a cliche, but communications skills ARE important, and luckily for you, you are an INFP!
 

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ugh... this will sound horribly conceited :(

i do amazingly well in the business world. i don't mean i'm some CEO making millions... i'm pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole. i use my abilities to see into and read people every day as well as my imagination to help me think around corners and find and solve problems faster than anyone else. everyone i deal with in the office regularly really likes me. i use my quirky sense of humor and often get laughs without any effort. people for some reason instinctively open up to me about their problems and i usually don't have much to offer in return but they still walk away feeling better for having talked about it. i regularly deal with other departments and vendors and even sometimes have to call someone out if there's a problem. i'm confident about my abilities and the people above me pretty much let me do my own thing. all because i continue to learn to play to my strengths.

and at the end of the day... i just don't want to see another human face, talk to anyone on the phone, or do anything more involved than watching the simpsons. i feel weary, emotionally wrung out, and sometimes completely out of give-a-damn. if i don't get my weekend to myself to disconnect i usually feel it all through the next week. given my choice i'd feel much better sometimes in a work environment where i didn't have to interact with people for 8 hours a day.

in summary... once you know what your strengths are and learn to use them to their fullest potential you'll likely go far in any field or position you land in. it may feel like its draining the life out of you but i'm confident you'll find the best way for you to recharge at the end of the day.

one recommendation: if you're someone who doesn't handle stress or confrontation very well then you'll want to stay out of call centers/help desk positions.
 

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Good point about "recharging." The other major task I have as state coordinator of the civil liberties group (I don't want to name it...I'd rather not promote anything political here) is making lots and lots of phone calls, often "cold" calls promoting my cause. This is hard for an introvert, but necessary if I wish to make a difference.

I find I do my "recharging" at the beginning of the day. I have to get outdoors and walk at least a few miles a day, usually through a park, and if I have time, spend at least a few minutes in meditation. If I don't take the time to do this I find I burn out quickly and retreat back into my shell anyway.

At times I feel I treat myself as if I am some wilting lily, but began to feel less strange about this when I read Gandhi's autobiography. Gandhi of course was a gifted activist and a fellow INFP. Toward the end of his life he found he needed at least an hour a day of meditation to stay effective. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel strongly that everyone, no matter what their personality type, could use a little space like this in their lives to maintain awareness and authenticity.
 

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I couldn't do it. My mother (INFx) worked in Corporate America in the late 70s to early 90s. During that time, women in the workplace were treated like crap and my mother slapped a guy in the face in order to set an example because the guy was harassing her. My mother and aunt have really thick shells because of that.

Anyways, I couldn't thrive in the business world because...I don't belong there.:laughing:
 

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Anytime you want to be paid for something you do, it's a business. The moment an INFP forgets that is when they find themselves unemployed and blaming society for not recognizing our "unique" qualities.

Business works pretty simply. If you are useful, people will pay money for that usefulness. If you are useless, then why should anyway pay you for not being helpful?

Usefulness includes the ability to communicate that usefulness which means marketing and selling. Those two skills, I've seen INFPs deride for years and they wonder why no one wants to hire them. A job interview is just a sales pitch.

When someone says, I will pay you to do this thing for me, who wants to do it, they are looking for someone who's useful in helping them solve their problem.

Being successful is being able to solve other people's problems better than someone else. Otherwise, they won't pay you or they'll just go to someone else.
 

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It has taken me 40 years but all that "do what you love and you'll never work a day of your life" and "follow your bliss" and "do what you love and the money will follow" stuff finally came true for me.

I am self-employed as a children's entertainer/inspirational speaker using soap bubbles to motivate others to follow their dream.

I've never made such a wonderful living in all my life, I'm doing something I love and I'm well paid for it, I am my own boss and can pick and chose my clients!

So, yes we INFP's can be successful in business...we just have to find the right business where we can express our true nature! At least that's been my experience.
 

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Some parts of business life may be suited for us, but some not so. When it comes to reading and helping people and to having creative ideas we can shine.
But i find it a lot harder to deal with all the commercial and organisational aspect of the job. As a businessperson you have to do everything by yourself and the world outside is really hard and unforgiving.
Business is not charity. Its tough out there.
 

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Would love to hear some more opinions & inputs on this excellent old thread.
What do you guys think?
Are we INFPs cut out for the business world or not?
Any proof?
thx
 
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I think you're cut out for whatever you decide to do. I think from my perspective I'm cut out for any position that interests me, because none of the jobs I've had in the past have interested me, and yet, I still never had a job that I wasn't good at.
On the other hand, I did read an article that stated that INFPs are not cut out for the corporate world particularly if it's a ENTJ dominated environment. I'm not sure if I really believe this article, because from what I've seen we can be pretty chameleon like and take on whatever traits we need to take on for the moment in order to accomplish the things we feel need to be accomplished.
http://funnybusiness.typepad.com/funnybusiness/2004/08/infps_need_not_.htmlhttp://
 

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A lot of the corporate jobs require good social skills. When trying to climb the corporate ladder, it's not what you know, it's who you know. The environment is highly competitive and often hostile. Someone progressing within a company generally comes at the expense of somebody else (usually the person who is less competitive or sociable). I think INFP's can do a job as good as any other type, but our approach is far too passive. We lack management skills, social skills, competitiveness, and just plain business smarts. We dont suck up to bosses in hopes we are considered for the next promotion, we dont befriend people we dislike just for a competitive edge, and we dont seize the opportunity to make someone look bad if it means we look good. We are too soft and modest to make it much further than entry/mid level positions within a corporation.

A teacher/social worker/psychologist/writer doesn't need to climb any kind of ladder to be appreciated. They are appreciated simply by being good at their job, and aren't rewarded by size of their paycheck, but by how much they enjoy it.
 

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I think a lot of success in the business world comes from convincing someone that you're selling the best mousetrap when you know it's just another mousetrap. We're not very good at that because we're not interested enough in money (at least I'm not) to invest a lot of time and energy in being someone we're not. I'm much happier in a creative or caring profession.
 

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I believe I could do quite well in the corporate world, as far as money goes, which as it turns out isn't very far.
Possibly I could be great at marketing, Probably nothing with numbers.

As far as my music business is concerned I am terrible at promoting myself.
This could also be a flaw in the corporate world. Generally, I let my talent speak for itself. I'm assuming I would do the same with something like advertising.

While in many ways I am a "go getter" I only go get the things I actually care about.
I can't see me staying motivated for too long in a 9-5 situation.
 
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I could never sell the crap a lot of companies are pushing for profit. The guilt would drive me mad.

I'm highly intelligent and very creative, willful and don't know what "giving up" means when something interests me enough. Plus I can't stand to have a boss. These are all qualities suited for something other then the corporate world.
 

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It all depends. Is it a highly specialized job? Or clerk grunt work? Either way, I hate the corporate world and offices. I would rather jump out of a window than have to work in an office, I would be perfectly miserable working for a corporation. It feels like it is pointless to me, there is no deeper meaning other than making money for some CEO I probably would never even see. What impact am I having on anything other than someone's wallet? It isn't that I can't handle the environment, I don't mind working with people or being cold and calculating when my job is on the line, but I just cannot put my heart into the type of work that is generally involved when working at a corporation. It is the meaninglessness of it all that I cannot stand.
 

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Nope. :cool: Too cool.
 
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