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I'd like to pose a question to my fellow INTJs and perhaps some of the ENTJs if they would like to comment. My request is simple. I would like to know how I can apply myself in an alternative career to increase my salary or simply to enjoy the job in the first place.

A bit of background. I foolishly left college to married, and am left with a 1 to 2 year college education, 2 years of irrelevant retail experience, 3 years of questionably relevant retail merchandise supervision, and now 3 years of management where I've had between 3-4 direct reports, who have each had 5-10 reports, who have each had anywhere from 3-40 direct reports.

I do not mind managing others, however the various levels of competency and attitude/persona below me is almost high-school-ish. It's almost unbearable.

My skills are that of almost any INTJ: very competent, quick-learner, skilled leader, charismatic/diplomatic when I must be, basic word processing, spreadsheet, powerpoint, etc., and so-on. Otherwise I have no further education and no learned skills past managing (hiring, firing, teaching, training, etc.), planning, and professionally communicating.

What ventures might I be able to go into? I've been very interested in starting my own business based on PC repairs, but I am frequently working over 60 hours a week in my current job and have little time to dedicate to such endeavors.
 

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I hope you don't mind my stepping in here. I know we've jousted a little, but it's an interesting problem. I suspect you're asking ENTJs for 'business nouse' they may posess, which is a good start.

I'd like to pose a question to my fellow INTJs and perhaps some of the ENTJs if they would like to comment. My request is simple. I would like to know how I can apply myself in an alternative career to increase my salary or simply to enjoy the job in the first place.
There are plenty of jobs out there that pay a lot of money, but too often we INTJs might find them morally dubious. (We do have a moral code - I'll kill the right person for the right fee, but I'll be damned if I ever go into Sales again).

A bit of background. I foolishly left college to married, and am left with a 1 to 2 year college education, 2 years of irrelevant retail experience, 3 years of questionably relevant retail merchandise supervision, and now 3 years of management where I've had between 3-4 direct reports, who have each had 5-10 reports, who have each had anywhere from 3-40 direct reports.
I'm not quite sure I understand the reports system, but it sounds like you're stuck in the lower branches of a management tree. I don't envy you at all. I'll take shift work and ocassional drunken vomit thanks.

I do not mind managing others, however the various levels of competency and attitude/persona below me is almost high-school-ish. It's almost unbearable.
It's a fact of life that most people you'll manage will be far below your standards for yourself, even though they're otherwise acceptable. Acknowledge that you should only worry about underlings if they're under-performing (whatever that means) and state up front you expect them to do their jobs. Most people aren't going to astound you with their potential, but they might surprise you if let them.

My skills are that of almost any INTJ: very competent, quick-learner, skilled leader, charismatic/diplomatic when I must be, basic word processing, spreadsheet, powerpoint, etc., and so-on. Otherwise I have no further education and no learned skills past managing (hiring, firing, teaching, training, etc.), planning, and professionally communicating.
In my brief interactions with you I've little doubt as to your abilities. Not all INTJs follow the same path (despite rampant tales to the contrary) and I know for a fact several INTJs on this board aren't lab-based scientist, and some run their own (to varying degrees) successful businesses.

What ventures might I be able to go into? I've been very interested in starting my own business based on PC repairs, but I am frequently working over 60 hours a week in my current job and have little time to dedicate to such endeavors.
Hmmm... The crux of the case. I'll run with your suggested idea for the moment, then see what comes up at the end. Firstly, somewhere in the order of one in two small businesses fail, usually within the first two years. All too often people believe they can make a living out of something and they don't fully take matters into account. I have a friend who has some kind of art distribution syndicate ( I find it hard to focus as she's all too often over the place), who is struggling by, but requires a lot of separation. I was disturbed to find she'd done little planning when she went into it, especially given her partner is an ENTJ. It takes a food deal of planning, but you're an INTJ, right. Right? If you've planned for every contingency, you've just started.

Going into business doing something you love is also dangerous, as you might well come to hate it. To use an example a few of us might understand, go to your local gaming store and see how miserable most of the staff are. These are people who used to love gaming but didn't make the connection between a passion for a hobby and the miseries of a business. It's a risky proposition that may well see you living in a cave reading by gas lamp, and that doesn't even take into just how much time you'll spend on the whole thing.

Next it would be advisable to consider market penetration of whatever you're offering. If you're the only PC guy within 50 kilometers (or 31.07 miles) and a number of locals have computers, then you have a captive market. If you're just another guy on Main Street with a screwdriver and a motherboard however, things get a little tougher, especially when the other guy brings his cousins in from somewhere else to do the work for free. This can work both ways, as sometimes you might be encouraged to over-stretch yourself, and if you don't handle things like that VERY carefully, you'll discover crushing lows after dizzying highs.

There are, however, some bright spots. Politicians of all stripes love 'small business' as it shows the can-do [insert appropriate national] spirit, and how 'their land' and 'their government' allows anyone who wants to to prosper. Federal, state and local governments are all known to support business development (heck, if they do it China, they'll do it almost anywhere), and canny bureaucrats can sniff a good opportunity out. Here in Australia it's impossible not to get considered for some kind of assistance in starting a business, and grants of all kinds exist. I can't say they exist over there, but I wouldn't discount it. Technical colleges here are screaming out, offering their expertise in these sorts of fields, but most of what is offered can be gleaned from forums and books.

It's a big step, starting one's own business, and certainly not one I think I'd consider. However, with a lot of planning and considering contigencies, it can most certainly be undertaken. My advice would be a good dose of introspection, an awful lot of planning, and if you're partial to that sort of thing, a prayer or two.

Failing that, there are always jobs out there. Sure, some might be Montana or *ugh* involve people, but even in a struggling economy an enterprising individual can find a way to get by. Look at a situation, then turn it on it's head. Decide what you're willing to do, what's worth the risk and what you'd just walk away from.

I now make way for people far better-qualified than I to talk.
 

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I'd like to pose a question to my fellow INTJs and perhaps some of the ENTJs if they would like to comment. My request is simple. I would like to know how I can apply myself in an alternative career to increase my salary or simply to enjoy the job in the first place.

A bit of background. I foolishly left college to married, and am left with a 1 to 2 year college education, 2 years of irrelevant retail experience, 3 years of questionably relevant retail merchandise supervision, and now 3 years of management where I've had between 3-4 direct reports, who have each had 5-10 reports, who have each had anywhere from 3-40 direct reports.

I do not mind managing others, however the various levels of competency and attitude/persona below me is almost high-school-ish. It's almost unbearable.

My skills are that of almost any INTJ: very competent, quick-learner, skilled leader, charismatic/diplomatic when I must be, basic word processing, spreadsheet, powerpoint, etc., and so-on. Otherwise I have no further education and no learned skills past managing (hiring, firing, teaching, training, etc.), planning, and professionally communicating.

What ventures might I be able to go into? I've been very interested in starting my own business based on PC repairs, but I am frequently working over 60 hours a week in my current job and have little time to dedicate to such endeavors.
Start your own online business. Learn about online marketing first.
 

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It's a fact of life that most people you'll manage will be far below your standards for yourself, even though they're otherwise acceptable. Acknowledge that you should only worry about underlings if they're under-performing (whatever that means) and state up front you expect them to do their jobs. Most people aren't going to astound you with their potential, but they might surprise you if let them.
This is an unavoidable fact of life. read "The Peter Principle", by Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull.
 

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Just some thoughts....

What kind of work were you thinking of doing? This is the big question that comes to my mind along with considering a few other ideas:

PC Repairs - Have you often does this for friends and family? Would they be able to know some people that would help get things started? The key here is to explore what is around you as well as how well could that fit in some ways.

Side projects - This is where you could get into various sorts of salesman-like positions, like Avon or Amway. Melaleuca comes to mind as another company in this camp where once your in, then you could derive an income from getting others in on it. FD: I do shop on Melaleuca, but haven't tried to get anyone else to sign up.

Another thought altogether would be to consider volunteering and seeing if that kind of work may suit you better as there are various administrative positions within large charities like United Way, Red Cross or Salvation Army to name a few that come to mind in North America. I'm not saying you'd jump ship to them right away, but rather spend some time seeing what they do and if you can advise things better and possibly become some kind of consultant or adviser to the organization.

There are just random musings that may well have not be thoroughly analyzed multiple times so your mileage may vary and this may not make a lot of sense.

:confused:
 

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A few of my thoughts:

1. First of all, I'm not sure starting your own business is a good idea unless you have a rock solid plan. There is a lot of risk involved and there is a good chance you'll fail (I believe 90% of all businesses fail within the first year). Not saying that you won't be in that 10%, but I feel like you have options that pose less risk. Also, as someone in the IT field myself, not sure what PC repair you plan on doing, but I would steer clear of that type of business if its something the neighbor's kid next door can fix. This upcoming generation is very computer savvy, and the entire generation of youth will be your competition.

2. Further education. This can be returning to school (part time maybe) or obtaining certification. If IT is a passion for you, there is plenty of careers you can get into simply by obtaining a certification. An MCTS certification opens up a lot of opportunity for example, and I would say even compete with a 4 year degree in some cases.

3. Stick it out at your current job. It might be terrible and you might hate your job, but in this economy, the fact you have a job might be worth holding onto. Is the job a dead end or do you have some career growth? If it has career growth, maybe its just a matter of fighting through that low man on the totem pole work and wait it out for a lofty promotion. If you don't think that's the case, you can always juggle around in the industry applying to similar companies with a fluffed resume and asking for a small raise. You can bounce around in a single industry for a couple of years and experience a drastic increase in salary as long as you are qualified.

4. Lastly, you can switch industries. Consider teaching, contracting (you might hate your job still, but switching projects every 6 months or so make the job feel fresh), or an entry level position of a company that offers career growth.

Good luck!
 
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