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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Recently logged back into this account after 8ish years or so; good to be back ^^.

In a slight conundrum about life choices/carrer:

I've been a server/musician through most of my 20's; I've had a very fulfilled life, and am really happy with where my music has taken me. Over the past year though (and especially since Covid hit) I've been considering taking up another career. Really, I'm tired of struggling financially...

I've been seriously considering going back to school for nursing. The job itself is pretty appealing: the hours are flexible, I can work part time/make music and still make more than I do now, the money is good, and most importantly I'm doing meaningful work, and helping others.

My only worry is that my personality type won't fit well in this career, and I'll end up miserable..... Any Infp nurses out there? Any INFPs in the medical field? Or INFPS that started a carrer later in life that worked for them???

Thanks for reading all this, I appreciate it =)
 

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It's not exactly the same thing, but I was playing around with the idea of getting a degree in Social Work, until the pandemic shut everything down. I put it on the back burner for the time being. I don't know if I'd enjoy something like that, but I figure that I can figure out my feelings while I'm doing field work and actually working with people who are sick or addicted to drugs/alcohol.

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling. Whatever happens, I hope you're happy with the result!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not exactly the same thing, but I was playing around with the idea of getting a degree in Social Work, until the pandemic shut everything down. I put it on the back burner for the time being. I don't know if I'd enjoy something like that, but I figure that I can figure out my feelings while I'm doing field work and actually working with people who are sick or addicted to drugs/alcohol.

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling. Whatever happens, I hope you're happy with the result!
Thanks for responding! I'm on boat with you "figuring out my feelings while doing field work". I figure just going for the damn thing will be better than all the "what if" scenarios I keep worrying about. Plus I'm really excited to go back to school and to learn, especially for the science courses =)

I have a friend who is in social work (another infp), and she seems to really enjoy her work!
 

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I am actually on the track to becoming a nurse, or at least I might be. However I have had many doubts about whether it is what I really want to do. After being in school for so long studying science, it is hard for me to still find interest in the subject anymore. Now, I feel that I may want to pursue an artistic career. I've realized that my heart longs to have creative freedom. As an infp, I understand that nursing might be really appealing. I still really care about helping people. It is just important to understand how much studying and time you have to put towards it. It can be hard to have a life and pursue other passions while you are in nursing school or even taking prerequisites.
 

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I don't personally think it's a good idea to look at how to make life decisions through the lens of your MBTI type. Your personality type is just a foundation for your personality, everything built upon it is unique to you. It's all down to whether you think you would thrive in that environment. What your own personal strengths and weaknesses are, and what you do and don't feel happy doing.

If that sort of job sounds appealing to you, that's what you should go for. If you don't already know if it's the job for you or not then you can't possibly know until you give it a try. I can't really speak from experience, but it seems like the majority of professional musicians do that just as a secondary job and have some kind of career as their main financial support, the number of people who can actually make a living off their music is tiny. There's no shame in doing both.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I am actually on the track to becoming a nurse, or at least I might be. However I have had many doubts about whether it is what I really want to do. After being in school for so long studying science, it is hard for me to still find interest in the subject anymore. Now, I feel that I may want to pursue an artistic career. I've realized that my heart longs to have creative freedom. As an infp, I understand that nursing might be really appealing. I still really care about helping people. It is just important to understand how much studying and time you have to put towards it. It can be hard to have a life and pursue other passions while you are in nursing school or even taking prerequisites.
Thank you for the reply! How far are you in your nursing program currently, and are you enjoying it? Also curious what sciences you studied? Science is probably my favorite subject (which is also what makes nursing appealing to me) =).

I feel you on wanting to have creative freedom... in fact that's why I want to pursue nursing as well, because I think I've reached the limit of financially supporting my passions, and I want to earn more money so I can pursue those artistic passions further.
 

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Recently logged back into this account after 8ish years or so; good to be back ^^.

In a slight conundrum about life choices/carrer:

I've been a server/musician through most of my 20's; I've had a very fulfilled life, and am really happy with where my music has taken me. Over the past year though (and especially since Covid hit) I've been considering taking up another career. Really, I'm tired of struggling financially...

I've been seriously considering going back to school for nursing. The job itself is pretty appealing: the hours are flexible, I can work part time/make music and still make more than I do now, the money is good, and most importantly I'm doing meaningful work, and helping others.

My only worry is that my personality type won't fit well in this career, and I'll end up miserable..... Any Infp nurses out there? Any INFPs in the medical field? Or INFPS that started a carrer later in life that worked for them???

Thanks for reading all this, I appreciate it =)

Science is fun, but it can be a grind when it's all you do--all day, every day. Nursing is a tough field with lots of work and procedures and details. Frankly Thinkers do better at it than Feelers. My ESTP sister was a head nurse in charge of a busy emergency room in a big city. She loved the action and being in the center of things, but it drove her nuts after a while. She would come home from work every night and puke, just from all the nervous anxiety built up during work. And this COVID-19 stuff is showing how difficult nursing can be, with what's happening in the hospitals of cities currently.


Social work is probably more along the line of suitable work for Feelers, because it's more psychology-based. Although that can be a tough field too, because you typically have to deal with huge, endless caseloads of people with enormous personal and legal problems. I knew an ISTJ in that field, and she said it's tough. Another field that I personally would consider, if I had to start all over: Human resources in the corporate environment. Again, it's psychology-oriented and people-oriented. But also it's the corporate environment, so there's more money there and things are less high-pressure. It's kind of corporate and legal-oriented, but at least it doesn't have all the pressure and problems of nursing and social work.

Just brainstorming here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey, thank you for posting!

I never thought about human resources... I actually have a degree in music business, so I'm not unfamiliar with corporate settings... I do know that I really dislike office life and structure >,<.

For a hospital setting, I think I'd be more prone to seeing the big picture of how ultimatley I would be helping someone in a potential life-saving way. I think the work itself would justify the stressors for me. I hope anyway.

I know it's completly different and not even close, but I've worked in restaurants that required a lot of physical and emotional demands from people, where we were understaffed and the environment wasn't very healthy. I feel that if the work I was doing was truely meaningful for me and for someone else, I could still thrive in that kind of environment....

I'd be bummed if it was all Thinkers in that setting though T-T I hope I can find one INFP who thrives in that kind of environment....

may I ask what your line of work is?
 

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[snipped...] may I ask what your line of work is?
I went in a whole different direction from anything mentioned so far. I was a professional translator. (I'm retired now.) I was on the staff of a big translation bureau at one of the big international agencies in Washington DC, and I translated documents from lots of different languages into English. Translation work was a great match for my INFP personality. Foreign languages are communication-related, which is a strength for INFPs.

But I wouldn't recommend getting into the translation field these days. These days you can't find any big translation bureaus anymore. Everything is done remotely: The translators are self-employed and work at home, and machine translation provides competition. Translations are often handled as piece-work, and most translators have to be constantly scrambling to find a steady source of work. So the field isn't as lucrative as it used to be. It's more of struggle these days.

Still, my own experience in the field gave me exposure to the corporate environment. I rose up through the ranks at the international agency and became a mid-level executive. Got into management. I know people say that the corporate environment is a bad fit for INFPs. But in fact I rather liked the corporate environment myself. I felt like I was doing important work; and corporate life pays well. Corporate work is low-pressure and predictable, allowing you to do a nice 9-to-5 routine. Your off-time is your own. In my mind, corporate life is better than being an underpaid nurse running around an emergency room trying to keep people from dying. :)

Again, if I had to do it all again from the start, I would repeat the corporate route. But I would want to study psychology, and the HR route would be a good way to do some work associated with psychology and still be corporate (work pays well, low-pressure environment, nice 9-to-5 routine, etc.)

But that's just me, of course. :)

Oh, also I was a late bloomer like you. I didn't graduate from college until my mid-30s. Before that I was in the military for some years, and then I did some bumming around for several years. I found that getting a late start didn't hurt me at all. It helped to go to college as an older student and then have all that extra experience and maturity as a newbie in my field. Being a late bloomer was fine, in my case.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went in a whole different direction. I was a professional translator. (I'm retired now.) I was on the staff of a big translation bureau at one of the big international agencies in Washington DC, and I translated documents from lots of different languages into English. Translation work was a great match for my INFP personality.

But I wouldn't recommend getting into the translation field these days. These days you can't find any big translation bureaus anymore. Everything is done remotely: The translators are self-employed and work at home, and machine translation provides competition. So the field isn't as lucrative as it used to be. It's more of struggle these days.

Still, my experience gave me exposure to the corporate environment. I rose up through the ranks and became a mid-level executive. Got into management. I know people say that the corporate environment is a bad fit for INFPs. But in fact I rather liked the corporate environment myself. I felt like I was doing important work; and corporate life pays well. Corporate work is low-pressure and predictable, allowing you to do a nice 9-to-5 routine. Your off-time is your own. In my mind, corporate life is better than being an underpaid nurse running around an emergency room trying to keep people from dying. :)

Again, if I had to do it all again from the start, I would repeat the corporate route. But I would want to study psychology, and the HR route would be a good way to do some work associated with psychology and still be corporate (work pays well, low-pressure environment, nice 9-to-5 routine, etc.)

But that's just me, of course. :)

Oh, also I was a late bloomer like you. I didn't graduate from college until my late 30s. Before that I was in the military for some years, and then I did some bumming around for a decade or so. I found that getting a late start didn't hurt me at all. It helped to go to college as an older student and then have have all that extra experience as a newbie in my field. Being a late bloomer was fine, in my case.
damn. It sound like you've led such and interesting life!

That's fascinating that you worked in language! I lived in Japan for a bit in highschool, and picked up Japanese really well! I would definetly have gone into linguistics if it wasn't for music. Definetly see how INFP's thrive in translation.

It's also good to hear that you're a late bloomer as well! I have to constantly remind myself I'm not doing anything wrong, that I'm just goin my own way... at least I'm not standing still.
 

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damn. It sound like you've led such and interesting life!

That's fascinating that you worked in language! I lived in Japan for a bit in highschool, and picked up Japanese really well! I would definetly have gone into linguistics if it wasn't for music. Definetly see how INFP's thrive in translation.

It's also good to hear that you're a late bloomer as well! I have to constantly remind myself I'm not doing anything wrong, that I'm just goin my own way... at least I'm not standing still.
By the way, nursing and health care tend to be kind of corporate these days. Health care tends to occur in a corporate bureaucracy structure. But that can be a good thing. If you become a nurse, you can lateral around and try different departments at a hospital, for example: emergency room, obstetrics, geriatrics, etc. You can even work your way into management. That's what my ESTP sister eventually did--got into the management side of home care for senior citizens. Much lower-pressure than working emergency rooms.

So that's something to think about with the nursing field: The bureaucratic side of health care in general.
 

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Hi @Berns321!

Have you taken the Holland Code quiz? I would suggest you do so. It identifies your top 1-3 career interest areas out of 6 possible domains. You can then check out career fields accordingly. I believe nursing is usually SI. Overall, I would not discourage you from nursing on the basis of being an INFP alone. I might, however, suggest certain settings, like ones that tend to be quieter and more personal.

Personally I was pre-med and then nursing track but I discovered in the process of college and working part-time in allied healthcare that (1) I wasn't as interested in hard science as soft science and (2) I really don't like administering medication! Still, I don't believe I ever made any major errors while doing so, and tried hard to be precise and pain-free. I think I could theoretically make good nurse, especially in areas like geriatrics that require gentleness and personal attention. I just think I would be more stressed and less interested than in socially/educationally focused work, so I chose the latter instead. I also have tried some business management and office work but prefer being up on my feet a bit and engaging with people a lot the time. I still love working with people in a helping capacity (my Holland code is SAI). A bit like you, I would really love to find a position that I can do in tandem with working on my art as well. I have considered options like teaching, OT, and SLP.

@steve_g if you are in the US, already have a Bachelor's, and are interested in substance abuse counseling, a fair amount of positions don't require an BSW or MSW. You could check out the PRTFs around you and see what their requirements are. You may be able to dip your toes in that pool without getting the degree.
 

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I can only offer you my personal perspective but of course cannot speak for all INFPs. I made two traineeships in the hospital. One in surgery and one in forensic medicine. I will say this: To pursue a career in medicine these days, you have to be very idealistic! Doctors and nurses are constantly under immense pressure. The time that is actually intended for patients and detailed diagnostics often falls completely by the wayside. Hospitals in Germany are efficiently organized according to strict cost-benefit criteria. All in all this has little to do with idealism. From a patient perspective, I was misdiagnosed twice. Physicians are very fast to prescribe you medicine instead of searching for the roots of disease. Nothing wrong with acting fast! It is important in case of life-threatening diseases but causes should be taken more carefully into account in the case of lengthy, complex diseases. If you want to go into medicine, I think an INFP is far better off in a niche for example as a nutritionist or counselor. I'm also in my late 20s and can understand that you have had enough from struggling financially but would advise you to make a traineeship in a hospital first and see if you really the atmosphere. I would also like to recommend the books of Barbara Sher. She's an INTJ who is amazing at helping people and will give you a completely new perspective on your career and challenges. My last advice is to not compare yourself to others and their pace of life.
 

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I would like to add some more advice about the things I've recently noticed. I hope it will help you.
- INPFs tend to see the "whole picture" and prefer whole style learning. Medicine is based on facts. If you really believe in becoming a nurse or physician go for it, but this approach is much more suited for holistic practitioners. There are only a few physicians that combine a holistic approach with medicine. An example is Anthony Youn: Anthony Youn, MD
One of my physicians is a sports medicine who is specialized in nutrition. I've already mentioned it and think that nutrition would be a good niche for INFPs.
- There is an excellent book which was written by an INFP: "The INFP book" by Catherine Chea. You can find it at the Google Play Store. It's short but gives you good advice and techniques for maneuvering through the professional world.
 
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