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Hi! I'm a newbie INFP, here. Over the years, I've struggled intensely at finding a career path that doesn't make me utterly miserable! I was a lawyer, which I hated. The inescapable adversarial nature of it, made my skin crawl. I lasted 4 years before resigning. Then I took a public servant job. That was excruciatingly mind numbing and soul-crushingly repetitive. As a lawyer, I was constantly on edge, but as a public servant, I was constantly nodding off at my desk. I lasted for 2 years.

Since I was young, I'd fantasized about being a nurse, because I respect & admire what they do so much! I thought, I've got plenty of savings, now is the time to go to nursing school! Halfway through the course, I found myself starting to hate it! Constantly feeling under the gun, always being put on the spot by doctors & patients' families, running about the hospital like a headless chicken, feeling emotionally exhausted from everyone's concurrent demands, & feeling suffocated by the hierarchical & regimented working environment + mind numbing repetitive nature of the job. So I quit.

I know I sound like a useless, flaky, spoilt loser; and believe me, I feel very guilty about it! But there's no point to continue nursing school when I know I'll hate it as much as I hated being a lawyer & a public servant. So I applied for a 2 year early childhood education program. Kindy teachers don't earn much, but from my experience, the money I earned (& I earned a lot as a lawyer), means nothing when I felt like slitting my wrists every morning.

My question is... from your experience/ knowledge as an INFP, what are your thoughts on preschool teaching as a career for INFPs?
 

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From my experience as a elementry-school; step inteacher.(I'm 19) Its great if you understand the emotional behaviur in the group. Small kids are very unpredictical when it comes to stress and social enviorment. But when you understand The social-emotional behavior in The group, you can make them achive anything. Which feels great for my infp value-bank.
 

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I've wanted to teach ECU (Early Childhood Education) for a while, but life keeps getting in the way of schooling. probably one of the most satisfying INFP careers.
 

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It is totally okay to want to change your career path!

I'm still a teenager in school, but I do want to be a teacher of some sort when I grow up. Preschool wouldn't be my thing, certainly (a lot of my social developmental errors occurred then for me, and I wouldn't really understand how to help students who struggled like I did more than I'd just empathize with them), but if you love children and really want to help them and see them grow, I can see it being a great career for INFPs. Small children will love creativity and an extent of freedom in the class, and if an INFP can bring that to the table as a teacher, then the children will more likely come to love and embrace learning in the years to come. It's also going to be rewarding for the INFP teacher as an individual, no doubt, watching young children develop and learn. If it sounds like your thing, I'd say go for it!

Welcome to the forum, by the way!
 
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Holy crap - you're my age and you've gone through law school, worked as a lawyer, and gone half way through nursing school?

Congrats, because you have a big brain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd rather work with nuclear waste than children. I find them to be too unpredictable, sickly, and I'm a bit too rigid and adult to entertain them properly. That doesn't mean it wont be for you, though!

I'm studying to be a massage therapist. It's not a great gig in the U.S. (I'm not sure where you live), but in Canada that average income for a massage therapist is 40,000 because our civil servants, educators and nurses tend to have great health plans that include massage.

What other careers have you though about?
 
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I went to law school. Hated it. Thought I wanted to edit legal textbooks. Didn't want to move to where the jobs were. Worked in an office for four years. Liked the people, hated the office politics. Worked in publishing (sort of). Hated it. Worked in retail. HATED IT WITH A PASSION until I found decent employers to work for; then I just hated the way otherwise-decent people can bring themselves to treat their employees in a small business. Went to film school. LOVED IT!!!!! :D Found out I'd have to sell myself to sell my scripts. Buh-bye dreams of screenwriting. Fell in love with video editing. Got knocked up. On purpose. Oops?

Now I drive a school bus. I love it! I like working with kids, and I think it shocks some of them a little bit that I find something to like about everybody. I love my office-on-wheels. I get to turn my back on everyone most of the time. But I greet everyone with a smile and feel like I have the chance to set the tone for someone's day. I feel like I'm serving the community well by delivering their children to school (where the teachers do even more important work!), instead of trying to sell them something they don't need and didn't know they wanted until I waved it in front of them. The pay isn't good, but the benefits are great and the hours are fabulous. Best of all, the teamwork in our transportation department is top-notch because we all agree the most important value is to keep everyone safe. (Very little time pressure beyond showing up to the bus on time; after that it's safety first.) I hope I'm not boring everyone to tears with yet another Bus Driving fangirl spiel :tongue: I just really love it and think it doesn't get enough consideration as a valid career option, or even as a supplement to a second job/college/parenthood.

Bottom line, I definitely think you should pursue a different career that will make you feel happy, fulfilled, and most of all that you are contributing positively to society rather than enabling ridiculousness ;) If your Te is strong enough to develop and implement lesson plans (or you're able to channel another cognitive function to do the same tasks), then I think an INFP can make a wonderful preschool teacher! And make the world a better place for it :D
 

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I am editing this because I just came out of pre-school after doing it for like eight years. And I was doing a lot of complaining in this message, but I think perhaps even though it's not something I seek now, it was still a very valuable experience and an important profession.

You can make a positive impact on children's lives, and that is so valuable.

I don't think I'd trade some of those experiences for anything, as well as all the love I felt for those kids and being able to assist them in growing, and creating a safe environment for learning and their social development.

So yeah, it can absolutely be satisfying and a good job for an INFP. Plus, imo, even if people seem to expect teachers to act like ESFJ, it is really helpful to have different types of teachers, because there are different types of children, and each individual teacher can bring a different strength and perspective to the classroom.

So, again, I do believe it's a very fulfilling job and it's also super important, and we always need dedicated, thoughtful, and caring teachers and I think it may be very fulfilling to you. It's not like you have to do it forever (even though I am not considering preschool again, I still really value the time and the positive impact I had during that period of my life). In fact, even now that I don't know what I am going to do except that I want to do more art, it still makes me feel really good to know, without a doubt, that I had a positive impact on children's lives (who I grew to care about very much) for those eight years.

Pros/good fit:
I tend to be gentle, patient, and take it seriously. I embrace the theory and psychology behind ECE and do not tend to rely on 'tradition' as much, because I know that just because something 'works' doesn't mean it's best for the child. I always valued the needs of the children above all else.

I brought creative projects that engaged the children, allowing them to learn as well as create (as opposed to heavily teacher guided art projects that focused on a 'nice looking' product.) Respecting and learning about children's individual needs, their level of development, and their social development.

Making creative plans to reach and benefit children with special needs, allowing them the social and educational enrichment of the classroom. Being considerate of children's social and emotional needs, and giving respect to their feelings. Creating meaningful bonds with children, and allowing them to flourish under the guidance and protection of a trusted authority who respects their individuality, who they can feel secure attachment with, as they develop confidence to explore their environment and socialize with other children.

Cons:
Must constantly be alert and scanning your environment. Almost non-stop communication with other teachers (can be good or bad as you can learn a lot but also sometimes conflict). Many pre-schools are private and run like businesses, and administration doesn't always put the value of quality over profit. Depends on the philosophy of the pre-school--some philosophies don't jive well with me.

Developing rapport with parents is extremely important regardless of how much integrity you have as a teacher, as compared to other teachers. Self-expression may feel stifled. Creativity may be directed into work, leaving less energy for self-expression/creativity outside of work. Depending on where you work, pay may be very low, sick days almost non-existent etc.

Good schools will care for their teachers, but because pre-school is private, they do not all care for their teachers, and the job is demanding with a lot of exposure to germs etc, emotional exhaustion, and some employers can exploit the self-sacrificing, caring nature of many child-care workers. Ethical dilemmas about how to best serve the entire classroom as well as children with unique behavior challenges (like biting etc.).

Sorry--this was like a thousand words long before, and so trying to summarize the important points, but I think I threw organization and grammar to the wind on my second draft. lol
 

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I'm speaking as the daughter of an elementary school teacher and having worked in a daycare for one summer, so I don't have a lot of personal experience but I'll offer my thoughts, since this is a vocation that has often been suggested to me.

If you're someone who likes children and connects well with them, you'll probably find it fulfilling and motivating when you can make those personal connections with kids and see them grow. Personally, I know the best motivation for me to do anything is knowing that it's being done for someone I care about.

As an INFP you're probably going to have a gentle touch that very small children will find safe and comforting, and an ability to connect with them through 'simple' joys and a sense of wonder.

As an INFP you're probably also going to have insight about their feelings and individual personalities that will help you to nurture each with a personalized touch - this can make a huge difference for kids. However, sometimes school systems do not allow for individually tailored tactics in dealing with different kids and want everyone treated the same (even if it's not what everyone actually needs).

It can be hard to not 'play favorites' or pay more attention to some kids than others when there are certain kids you just really connect with and enjoy, and others who you just don't know what to do with, or how to get through to, etc.

I find that kids tend to respect you when you respect them, and I think INFPs are among the more likely types to interact with children as real people, so that can give an advantage, but on the other hand INFPs are often not very good at sounding authoritative when they need to be, and thus may find it difficult to get kids attention and maintain control.

Being alert and having a lot of energy to keep up with the kids is important. You may find it exhausting to have your attention torn in so many directions at once without the freedom to safely space out now and then, as INFPs often do.

Parents and school administrators can often be much worse to deal with than the children, especially when they don't seem to understand what's really best for the kids.

With small children patience is very important as well as the ability to switch gears quickly to match short attention spans, so consider how well you do with these things.

Personally, I think working with children is very fulfilling, but I found it a little too tiring so that at the end of the day at daycare I didn't have much energy left for doing my own things, however it was not soul-sucking or mind-numbing like a lot of other jobs could be. My conclusion was that I would probably prefer working with children in a more small-scale or individual setting rather than needing to keep an eye on and shepherd a large group of them.
 

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My question is... from your experience/ knowledge as an INFP, what are your thoughts on preschool teaching as a career for INFPs?
Nah you don't sound spoiled. I am 20 and I have had 6 majors already, including nursing. I have had 12 jobs since I was 16 and they all bored me to death.
Teaching might be good, I work as a preschool teacher's aide right now for kids who have mild to moderate special needs. It's fulfilling in the sense I am actually impacting these kids and families lives. And it's interesting because I learn things about autism, PEC's, ABA, etc.
I have been doing this for about two years and I'm not bored. But I would say for me personally it might be more interesting to be a school psychologist. I'm majoring in childhood development and psychology and seeing where I go.
You might also want to look into being a counselor if you enjoy helping people, idk I have done crisis counseling and that was very interesting for me if not a bit heartbreaking.
 

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Earlier I also wanted to be a lawyer and I still want to be one. But my father made me go to study as a programmer. And after I finished studying to be a programmer, I concluded that my father made the right decision. I thanked my father for making such a decision. That's cool. Even though I still want to be a lawyer. But I understand that I have a job and I can become a professional in many areas. And if I went to study to be a lawyer, I might have problems finding a job by profession. Of course, it was very difficult for me, I often bought homework from the site 🐆 Want to pay someone to do my homework? Choose us!, but for the graduation course it became easier and easier for me and I began to do more and more homework on my own.
 
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