Personality Cafe banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm borrowing from the "reasons why I'll be single forever" thread because careers seem to be another area where many of us struggle. I know figuring out what to do with my life is my top priority right now and I feel like the more I search the more I realize I'll probably never find a job/career I enjoy.

  1. I can't stick with a decision. All the best jobs require years of schooling but I'm afraid to commit to years of school if there's a good chance by the time I finish I'll change my mind about working in that field. I only have a BA in psychology so my options are pretty limited without getting more education.
  2. I'm torn between the desire to help others and take care of my own needs. Jobs that help others are usually simultaneously rewarding and draining and I'm afraid I would crumple under the stress. Plus the low pay for most helping professions means I probably wouldn't be able to afford many fun extras to try to cheer myself in my free time.
  3. I want to be able to be independent and creative but I also need structure. I've done office jobs most of my life and hated them because they feel boring and meaningless but I think if I took on a job with a lot of creative freedom I would feel lost without some direction. I would at least be prone to procratination.
  4. I'm pretty much 100% introverted. And shy. My ideal job would let me work alone (or at least one on one), but pretty much every job requires interaction from time to time. The only jobs that do seem to allow you to work completely alone are freelance gigs where you need to extrovert enough to be your own pitch man.
  5. I haven't taken my idealism down to realistic levels yet. I'm 21 and in that weird not-a-kid-but-not-quite-a-full-blown-adult-yet stage where I'm itching to find my own place and start a life of my own. But despite seeing the necessity of being practical so that I can pay the bills, I can't shake the feeling that I'll never be satisfied with my life unless I do something truly extaordinary with it... which pretty much paralyzes me from doing anything.
  6. I have no career role models around me. My whole family is ESXX and both my parents are SJs so they don't get it (I'm an INFP). They've both worked pretty practical jobs their whole lives and just keep recommending office type jobs to me - they don't understand why I wouldn't want to do that. (Full disclosure: My ESTJ dad actually work a kinda INFP job for a change now - high school teacher (special ed and math) - but he makes it sound like the administration is so crushing and hellbent on just graduating as many kids as possible that they encourage sacrificing actual teaching for just catering to the standardized tests, though this may just be because my dad's a teacher in a NYC public school where a lot of kids don't graduate or just barely do.)
  7. I'm just out of ideas. I've gone through every career on every list of suggested careers for INFPs (and many additional careers) and for all of them I've come up with reasons for crossing them off the list.
So who else is hopeless like me? What are your reasons? (Or by chance have any of you gotten over your obstacles and found a good fit job/career?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I am still in the schooling stage of finding a career. I am going for Pharmacy school.

Why? No particular reason other than the fact that it seems pretty nice and that it is good money. I have a good science background so Pharmacy just seemed like the logical pick. I don't think I'll hate it.

In terms of in obstacles I may face regarding my personality? I'll probably just better develop different cognitive functions and do whatever I need to so that I can live somewhat happily with a nice steady flow of income. I really don't see any other choice other than to adapt and develop myself in new ways.

I am still in the beginnings of gearing towards a career but already I keep trying to adapt and develop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
Couple of things...

First, let me give my background just so it paints a bit of context on where I'm coming from with this. I work as a Web Developer, which could be seen as something under the general heading of Software Engineering in some ways, and have found this to be a good fit for me. I like solving problems and helping people, as those were my two passions from years ago. There is a book called, "What Color is Your Parachute?" that may help in some regards when it comes to how to approach the working world in some ways. Earlier this year, I took an assessment called "Strengths Finder 2.0" that was good at showing me some more points about where my strengths are. However, this isn't great for finding a job but more for seeing aspects of the job under a different light. Some of my strengths could well apply to most careers as there is usually some learning on most jobs, some work to be done, a.k.a. achieving, being responsible is almost always a given, I love to think and some jobs have this more than others and lastly, I am rather strategic when it comes to seeing how to do things. Learner, Achiever, Responsibility, Intellection and Strategic are the 5 single word terms for these and they all do apply to my work. Now, if I may go after some of your points and how they apply to me:

1. When I started university in 1993, I didn't know anything about the world wide web, the dot-com boom hadn't started and I wasn't sure what I'd be doing for a career in the end. I went into Computer Science and Mathematics because I had better scholarships this way than Biochemistry, that's all. Even within my university years, my majors shifted a couple of times, I started in Co-op but dropped that after failing to get that initial work term in a few tries and some of the courses I wanted to take didn't happen at all. In other words, I had to shift over time and still came out OK. Part of going for an education is that you don't know where it will ultimately lead and that's OK.

2. This one I have but in a different way as generally I either like to run everything or let someone else run everything. Control issues are still a bit of a problem for me, but the key question here is what's wrong with trying out a few things and seeing what you like and don't like? Maybe you'll end up being an analyst somewhere or a writer of some form?

3. This reminds me of how Dan Pink suggests for most people to be motivated there is the need for Autonomy, Mastery or Purpose. The first is that independence you want which does exist in some positions, though there is the question of how much of a one person army do you want to be. My work is creative but I'm not sure many other people see software as being creative. Could being a graphic designer be something that would work for you?

4. You may want to consider if there are social anxiety programs near you or books that may help you overcome the shyness if it is significantly impacting your life. Have you analyzed if it is all interactions or specific patterns that seem to happen that drain you more than others? While I can relate on being shy in some ways, I have seemed to get past this with a lot of help and knowing that some of the stuff in life is finding a way around this.

5. Does your job have to define you? Really, is your job going to be that much of your identity at the end of the day? Just asking as for some people their job is a great deal of their life and for others it is just what pays the bills.

6. Even if you did have career role models around you, would this really help? I'm just wondering as I didn't have developers around me, yet somehow I knew that I was going to be a professional problem solver and that is what I do in a way.

7. Rather than look for reasons why something wouldn't work, why not look on the opposite side? Most job descriptions aren't going to really define what the work looks like as I'd be amazed if there is a job description out that that accurately describes my work that I've done in the past few years as it has changed quite a bit and will continue to do so, IMO. Are you trying to find the perfect job? Are you aware of how much customizing is done with the average job at times?

I'm not saying your concerns aren't valid, but consider what questions I'm asking here. Are you open to trying something and then learning something from it? Just some food for thought and good luck on finding a good career for yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jbking, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post and offer some perspective. Mostly I'm just trying to vent about this confusing new working world I find myself in as a recent grad and I thought maybe others might have similar frustrations. (Plus I think sometimes putting these kinds of problems down in front of you helps you get over them, for me anyways.) You bring up some good points that I wanted to address.

1. When I started university in 1993, I didn't know anything about the world wide web, the dot-com boom hadn't started and I wasn't sure what I'd be doing for a career in the end. I went into Computer Science and Mathematics because I had better scholarships this way than Biochemistry, that's all. Even within my university years, my majors shifted a couple of times, I started in Co-op but dropped that after failing to get that initial work term in a few tries and some of the courses I wanted to take didn't happen at all. In other words, I had to shift over time and still came out OK. Part of going for an education is that you don't know where it will ultimately lead and that's OK.
I already have my bachelor's degree so if I go back to school I'll be headed for graduate school, and the since the purpose of grad school is to gain a deeper understanding of one specific field it would be hard for me switch around once I get to that point (unless I pursue graduate degrees in more than one field, but I don't have the money - or probably the patience - to do that). But I am researching some different kinds of grad programs right now and I am definitely willing to go wherever the wind takes me.


2. This one I have but in a different way as generally I either like to run everything or let someone else run everything. Control issues are still a bit of a problem for me, but the key question here is what's wrong with trying out a few things and seeing what you like and don't like? Maybe you'll end up being an analyst somewhere or a writer of some form?
I have so many competing interests in mind I almost definitely will end up trying a few things before I find a good fit - just a matter of getting my foot in the door I guess.


3. This reminds me of how Dan Pink suggests for most people to be motivated there is the need for Autonomy, Mastery or Purpose. The first is that independence you want which does exist in some positions, though there is the question of how much of a one person army do you want to be. My work is creative but I'm not sure many other people see software as being creative. Could being a graphic designer be something that would work for you?
My creative talents don't really lie in the visual realm - probably more like writing, creative problem solving, or music - so I don't know about graphic design. But I do appreciate you pointing out that even many fields that aren't usually classified as creative have creative aspects (one of my favorite things about forums like this is getting to know people's subjective experiences rather than the just the basic info that's so readily available everywhere else). A creative career in the sense most people define it is probably not for me because I do need the structure, so it's probably more a matter of finding a job where creativity is accepted and beneficial rather than the defining feature.


4. You may want to consider if there are social anxiety programs near you or books that may help you overcome the shyness if it is significantly impacting your life. Have you analyzed if it is all interactions or specific patterns that seem to happen that drain you more than others? While I can relate on being shy in some ways, I have seemed to get past this with a lot of help and knowing that some of the stuff in life is finding a way around this.
Well though I am a little shy I wouldn't say I have social anxiety. I can work with people. Actually my last job I worked as a receptionist and I had to interact with lots of people in person and on the phone all day, but I just didn't enjoy making small talk and having shllow interaction with so many people everyday. I'd prefer to work alone, one on one, or with a small close-knit group and I think I do my best work that way. But I definitely don't have a strong personality for sales-type jobs (I'm not a great persuader or public speaker for instance) so I think contract work where you essentially have to "sell yourself" would be hard for me to come by.

5. Does your job have to define you? Really, is your job going to be that much of your identity at the end of the day? Just asking as for some people their job is a great deal of their life and for others it is just what pays the bills.
I don't know how much my job is going to define me because I'm really just starting out my adult life. You're right that I might do the most meaningful things in my life outside of work, but my job feels like the only thing I can plan right now and I'd like something to build on. I know I may have to settle for finding a job that's just a paycheck, but I'll spend a decent chunk of my adult life at work and I'd like to do something I find meaningful.

6. Even if you did have career role models around you, would this really help? I'm just wondering as I didn't have developers around me, yet somehow I knew that I was going to be a professional problem solver and that is what I do in a way.
It's true it's not necessary to have career role models, but it would be nice to be introduced to some different kinds of careers besides office jobs. Some of the careers I've been considering I've never even heard of until recently. Plus I know a lot of people get into a field because a family member or friend got them a job and for me that's pretty limited to office work.

7. Rather than look for reasons why something wouldn't work, why not look on the opposite side? Most job descriptions aren't going to really define what the work looks like as I'd be amazed if there is a job description out that that accurately describes my work that I've done in the past few years as it has changed quite a bit and will continue to do so, IMO. Are you trying to find the perfect job? Are you aware of how much customizing is done with the average job at times?
I know no job is perfect, but there's no harm in looking for the next best thing, right? :wink: But really I'm mostly venting (and trying to find a job I don't hate for a change) and I thought it might be helpful to air out my frustrations and see who else is or has been in a similar situation. Thank you for your response and I'll definitely keep what you said in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
Well...

Sometimes it can be fun to kick around ideas and ask questions, that I will definitely agree with you on that point. Besides, you never know where some trains of thought may lead....

I already have my bachelor's degree so if I go back to school I'll be headed for graduate school, and the since the purpose of grad school is to gain a deeper understanding of one specific field it would be hard for me switch around once I get to that point (unless I pursue graduate degrees in more than one field, but I don't have the money - or probably the patience - to do that). But I am researching some different kinds of grad programs right now and I am definitely willing to go wherever the wind takes me.
I'm reminded of how I have a few different options when it comes to school. Something like an MBA would be quite different than my Math degree or going after some Management degree, so there can be those higher level pursuits outside of what your Bachelors. There can also be something to be said for getting into something different than what your Bachelors was. While I did study Combinatorics & Optimization in university, I haven't had that many opportunities to use that knowledge in the world. However, there were some problem solving skills that were honed in those classes that have helped me in the world so sometimes there is something to be said for what was gained beyond the initial surface stuff.

Well though I am a little shy I wouldn't say I have social anxiety. I can work with people. Actually my last job I worked as a receptionist and I had to interact with lots of people in person and on the phone all day, but I just didn't enjoy making small talk and having shllow interaction with so many people everyday. I'd prefer to work alone, one on one, or with a small close-knit group and I think I do my best work that way. But I definitely don't have a strong personality for sales-type jobs (I'm not a great persuader or public speaker for instance) so I think contract work where you essentially have to "sell yourself" would be hard for me to come by.
I'm not a salesman either, though I do know that I'm a support person. Tell me the problem and I'll have an idea or two that may work. Sometimes it is easy to find a solution and sometimes it isn't that easy, but I like to think of myself of like an IT version of Dr. House's diagnostic skills.

It's true it's not necessary to have career role models, but it would be nice to be introduced to some different kinds of careers besides office jobs. Some of the careers I've been considering I've never even heard of until recently. Plus I know a lot of people get into a field because a family member or friend got them a job and for me that's pretty limited to office work.
Would where you did your Bachelors have a career department that may help you try to find non-office work? Secondly, while you don't want an office job, what kind of job environment do you want: Delivering something, going to someone's house to perform a service like an examination or fixing a component, working from home by telecommuting, working in a store, working in a non-commercial building like a museum or lab?

I know no job is perfect, but there's no harm in looking for the next best thing, right? :wink: But really I'm mostly venting (and trying to find a job I don't hate for a change) and I thought it might be helpful to air out my frustrations and see who else is or has been in a similar situation.
My concern would be that you hold out for that perfect job and accept nothing less than that when that perfect job may well be a myth. There is the question of what kinds of dealbreakers do you have when it comes to a job as almost everyone has a few of them. If you think you don't have any, consider whether or not you'd take a job as an assassin paid in cow dung. :wink:
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top