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Discussion Starter #1
This past fall I started an MLIS program. Uh, so far it hasn't been what I expected. There's the whole economic aspect. There aren't a lot of jobs for librarians at the moment. Of course, I learn about this until after I enrolled and started reading librarian blogs, etc.

However, what concerns me more is that I'm questioning if this career would be a good fit for me. Being a librarian involves interacting with people more than I thought I would. As a reference librarian, you have to interact with the public a lot and often, the queries from patrons aren't the most stimulating conversation to be had. I mean getting asked where the bathroom is, to place a hold on item, fix the printer, etc. seems, well, boring. Also, I have to do all of the group projects, which I hate. It's not the members really. I just hate working in groups. I like having my own ideas and autonomy and group work takes away from that. Also, librarians apparently have to collaborate a lot in their career as well.

Another thing that annoys me is that most librarians tend to hate confrontation, hence they hate controversy or anything that could even lead to it. If they were on a forum, they would probably not participate much because they might fear getting into disagreement. For some reason this bothers me.

Lastly, a majority of the coursework is boring, kinda rote and it doesn't involve a lot of critical thinking.

I wonder if these issues are part of being an INFP or if these are just issues unique to me. Either way, what do you all think?
 

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I don't know that the issues relate to being an INFP...however, your post mentioned a lot of "cons" but very little "pros." Every job has downsides, some more than others. Are there things about the job you will love?

The question you have to ask yourself is, do the "cons" outweigh any "pros" of going into the career? Do you think being a librarian will make you happy, even if you have to deal with things that aren't completely awesome? If the answer is no, these cons outweigh the pros, then you should rethink.

I can really relate to not wanting to deal with the public...it was very exhausting for me when I had a fast food job. It took a lot out of me to handle customers, I had to have several hours of alone time after a day of work; but that's just me, and it could have been because I hated the job.
 

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Honestly, now that I've been in the program and dealt with librarians, it really doesn't feel like there are any pros besides the possibility of getting a job with a good salary and benefits and having first dibs on books (that is the biggest perk :D). In fact, I have been wondering if I decided to attend library school because I thought it would lead to safe job. I was unemployed for a year before starting school and it made me feel so lazy and directionless. In fact, I've been feeling that way (directionless not lazy) since I left undergrad.
 

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Honestly, now that I've been in the program and dealt with librarians, it really doesn't feel like there are any pros besides the possibility of getting a job with a good salary and benefits and having first dibs on books (that is the biggest perk :D). In fact, I have been wondering if I decided to attend library school because I thought it would lead to safe job. I was unemployed for a year before starting school and it made me feel so lazy and directionless. In fact, I've been feeling that way (directionless not lazy) since I left undergrad.
Sounds like being a librarian isn't the right job for you. Do you like research? If so, maybe you could go into something to do with history--like being an archivist (though tbh I don't know what the job market is for archivists these days...)
 

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Have you thought about the reasons why you chose to be a librarian in the first place? Were you disappointed because the job didn't meet your expectations and you wanted something better?
 

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Have you thought about the reasons why you chose to be a librarian in the first place?
Honestly, I felt pressure to "pick" something to do. I worked as a secretary for a year and a half and I hated it and quit. When I went a year without find anything else to do, I felt like I should go back to school for something. I found myself in libraries a lot and I thought working in one wouldn't be a bad career. I thought it would be a safe career (turns out it actually isn't btw). Plus, I thought since you need a Master degree to be a librarian, I would get some of the intellectual stimulation from being in an academic environment again.

Were you disappointed because the job didn't meet your expectations and you wanted something better?
Pretty much. The classes aren't stimulating at all and neither is the job itself. It's actually rather boring. I'm not sure why I didn't anticipate this. Plus, the librarian job market is crap with libraries cutting down on staff and making paraprofessionals do the work of librarians for half the salary. I'm taking out debt for this and I don't want to continue if my chances of getting a good job are slim and I hate the work.
 

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My aunt is a librarian, as are two of my friends (one of them has an awesome job right now - he is archiving and cataloging zines, of all things) and I also know of three people who are getting their Masters in library science right now, so I have a little idea about what you are getting into. From what I hear, the schooling is the worst part. Once you get through it, though, it gets better. I wonder if they purposely make the schooling hell so that they only get the most dedicated, disciplined people, and then these people get to have fun afterward...? My one friend who is a librarian has had to write a few books as part of his job. He had to research the history of the city we are in, specifically the auto industry, and he wrote a book on it full of cool pictures. I assume he enjoyed doing this. Would you enjoy doing something like this?

What about Information Technology? Is that similar to library science? My aunt who is a law librarian, strongly urged me to get into Info Tech when I was thinking about grad school. She said there are tons of jobs out there for this field.

But on the flipside, the state library in the capital city of my state just closed its doors. Very sad. It did not have enough funding to go on. This was a huge building with millions of records and books, including a state history museum and a library for the blind. And now its gone. So maybe libraries are on their way out. SO SAD. The internet is taking over.
 

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I think that guessing about something that you'll going to invest a major chunk of life and resources into, isn't a good idea. Why don't you ask 4 different librarians if you can shadow them for the entire day so you can see if you can spend 8 hours a day for years doing what they do? That's 8 days of real world research in order to decide if you're going to end up wasting 10-40 years of your life.
 

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I have done some shadowing (some of my classes require it). The shadowing hasn't made me more excited to enter my initial choice (reference services).
 

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Here's the advice that I'm giving my INFP daughter when it's her turn to go to college. Get a job, find a place and get a 2 year degree part-time because that's the absolute minimum in the US to get job. Have fun within your means until you figure out what you want to be doing which isn't going to be until 30 anyway. Most important, stay out of student loan and credit card debt. Debt great limits the number of choices you have.

For most INFPs, using your job as the thing that defines you and your happiness doesn't work. The object of a job is to provide more choices with those things that are your highest values. If you don't know what your highest values are, then figure that out first and write down a 100 reasons how working lets you live in those values. Don't waste your 20's, trying to figure out your 30's because you're not going to like it whatever you choose 10 years from now anyway.

Given enough time INFPs do figure out what they really want. I've never met any INFP that's figured out what they really wanted until they were 28-34. But by that time, they've gotten themselves into situations that don't allow them to pursue what they want.
 
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Here's the advice that I'm giving my INFP daughter when it's her turn to go to college. Get a job, find a place and get a 2 year degree part-time because that's the absolute minimum in the US to get job.
Well, I have a four year degree already and it hasn't helped to get a job (which is part of the reason why I decided to go back to school).

Have fun within your means until you figure out what you want to be doing which isn't going to be until 30 anyway.
I really don't have that long. I'm already in my late twenties, about to get divorced and I need to have a viable career that will allow me to be financially independent.

Most important, stay out of student loan and credit card debt. Debt great limits the number of choices you have.
If only it were so easy. In the US, at least, I haven't met anyone besides the rich that graduate from college without any student loan debt. When universities stop raising tuition rates and lower them to the point where you can actually pay for it by working your way through school, then I think student debt will decrease considerably.
 

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My wife took 7 years to get her undergrad by working part time to get her finance degree. She paid for her classes as she went along. She decided that she didn't like being a stock broker after 3 months. Because she had no debt, she quit the Fortune 500 company she worked at and went to film school.

I started studying about college degrees when I started having children. I dropped out of college after a semester because I used up my scholarship, knew I was never going to use an English degree and I didn't want to get into debt. I played mostly from 19-26. Always had a job and paid my bills and didn't get into any situations that would tie me down. I temped from 22-27. I traded not having medical insurance for freedom. I made just enough money for a 400 sq ft 1-room apartment, food and books until I was 26. For most people, that's too risky but I use to be foolishly risky. I think it's okay to be as risky if you have nothing to lose.

I taught myself design and programming from 26-29. Didn't have my first salaried job until I was 29. Today, I program for a multi-million dollar company. My dream job is not working. I like programming but I don't love it, but it's getting me to where I'm going faster than my other options. I really like my job though because my co-workers are completely awesome, I get a month of vacation every year and tomorrow the company caters lunch and I get to play video games with them for half the day as part of team building.

Here's what I can tell you. Freedom to choose in your 20's and early 30's is probably one of the most important gifts an INFP can give to themselves. So is going back to school going to give you more freedom or less freedom with the debt you'll be accumulating?

There's 6 Critical needs everyone has: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Growth, Connection and Contribution. The main point of a job is to provide Certainty (a consistent chance of eating daily and sleeping indoors). What I've observed in that INFPs want their job to provide Significance. Admin sucked so you quit and went back to school to find a job that might have more meaning, provide more Significance. I just don't think you can find meaning in a job. I've asked INFPs over 20 years on various forums if ANY of them have loved their job. The ones that did find careers they loved only loved their work for about 7 years max.
 

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What I've observed in that INFPs want their job to provide Significance. Admin sucked so you quit and went back to school to find a job that might have more meaning, provide more Significance. I just don't think you can find meaning in a job. I've asked INFPs over 20 years on various forums if ANY of them have loved their job. The ones that did find careers they loved only loved their work for about 7 years max.
That is actually really encouraging if you think about it. To me that says that we change over time and we follow different paths. We aren't going to find one amazing job that lasts forever, and if we set out thinking we will, we are only going to be disappointed later. I think you are right about leaving yourself the freedom to choose. Not getting in over your head. It sounds like it is in our nature to want variety and if we are trapped somewhere, we lose the freedom to pursue those other things. At least, that sounds like what you are saying.... my interpretation of it.
 

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My wife took 7 years to get her undergrad by working part time to get her finance degree. She paid for her classes as she went along. She decided that she didn't like being a stock broker after 3 months. Because she had no debt, she quit the Fortune 500 company she worked at and went to film school.

I started studying about college degrees when I started having children. I dropped out of college after a semester because I used up my scholarship, knew I was never going to use an English degree and I didn't want to get into debt. I played mostly from 19-26. Always had a job and paid my bills and didn't get into any situations that would tie me down. I temped from 22-27. I traded not having medical insurance for freedom. I made just enough money for a 400 sq ft 1-room apartment, food and books until I was 26. For most people, that's too risky but I use to be foolishly risky. I think it's okay to be as risky if you have nothing to lose.

I taught myself design and programming from 26-29. Didn't have my first salaried job until I was 29. Today, I program for a multi-million dollar company. My dream job is not working. I like programming but I don't love it, but it's getting me to where I'm going faster than my other options. I really like my job though because my co-workers are completely awesome, I get a month of vacation every year and tomorrow the company caters lunch and I get to play video games with them for half the day as part of team building.

Here's what I can tell you. Freedom to choose in your 20's and early 30's is probably one of the most important gifts an INFP can give to themselves. So is going back to school going to give you more freedom or less freedom with the debt you'll be accumulating?

There's 6 Critical needs everyone has: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Growth, Connection and Contribution. The main point of a job is to provide Certainty (a consistent chance of eating daily and sleeping indoors). What I've observed in that INFPs want their job to provide Significance. Admin sucked so you quit and went back to school to find a job that might have more meaning, provide more Significance. I just don't think you can find meaning in a job. I've asked INFPs over 20 years on various forums if ANY of them have loved their job. The ones that did find careers they loved only loved their work for about 7 years max.
What is your enneagram type if you don't mind me asking...4?
 

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What is your enneagram type if you don't mind me asking...4?
I have no clue. I never got interested in the Enneagrams. I prefer the New Personality Self-Portrait since in compensates for all the short comings of the MBTI.

I think they way I chose to approach my life has more to do with background than personality type. I grew up really poor so living in a tiny studio with no furniture and just a mattress wasn't really a hardship. I have good work habits because I saw my dad work 3 menial labor jobs and my mom working night shifts to get us by. That's the reason why I don't attach work with Significance. Work is to eat and have a place to sleep because not having those things kind of suck.
 
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That is actually really encouraging if you think about it. To me that says that we change over time and we follow different paths. We aren't going to find one amazing job that lasts forever, and if we set out thinking we will, we are only going to be disappointed later. I think you are right about leaving yourself the freedom to choose. Not getting in over your head. It sounds like it is in our nature to want variety and if we are trapped somewhere, we lose the freedom to pursue those other things. At least, that sounds like what you are saying.... my interpretation of it.
I don't think it's either good or bad. It's just our nature. So when we put all this effort into finding a career or job that will give us meaning for the rest of our lives (especially at 20) is going against our nature. But that's what INFPs do even though, if they ask other INFPs who have been in the work force for decades, they're going to hear that most INFPs get bored of their job after 5-7 years.
 
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Here's the advice that I'm giving my INFP daughter when it's her turn to go to college. Get a job, find a place and get a 2 year degree part-time because that's the absolute minimum in the US to get job. Have fun within your means until you figure out what you want to be doing which isn't going to be until 30 anyway. Most important, stay out of student loan and credit card debt. Debt great limits the number of choices you have.

For most INFPs, using your job as the thing that defines you and your happiness doesn't work. The object of a job is to provide more choices with those things that are your highest values. If you don't know what your highest values are, then figure that out first and write down a 100 reasons how working lets you live in those values. Don't waste your 20's, trying to figure out your 30's because you're not going to like it whatever you choose 10 years from now anyway.

Given enough time INFPs do figure out what they really want. I've never met any INFP that's figured out what they really wanted until they were 28-34. But by that time, they've gotten themselves into situations that don't allow them to pursue what they want.
This.

Hearing you say that was so important to me. Thank you.

(I'm right now so stuck with my university studies, being back at the point zero again, at the age of 25, trying to figure out wtf to do with my life. This forum and especially reading the post of the older INFPs somehow gives me so much insight as I try to solve my situation.)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My wife took 7 years to get her undergrad by working part time to get her finance degree. She paid for her classes as she went along. She decided that she didn't like being a stock broker after 3 months. Because she had no debt, she quit the Fortune 500 company she worked at and went to film school.
Good for your wife but that's not the situation for a lot of people through no fault of their own. There are many people who work (which I did btw) who still have debt when graduating. So please, don't give me the "just because one person did it everyone should" line. It's rather insulting.

There's 6 Critical needs everyone has: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Growth, Connection and Contribution. The main point of a job is to provide Certainty (a consistent chance of eating daily and sleeping indoors). What I've observed in that INFPs want their job to provide Significance. Admin sucked so you quit and went back to school to find a job that might have more meaning, provide more Significance. I just don't think you can find meaning in a job. I've asked INFPs over 20 years on various forums if ANY of them have loved their job. The ones that did find careers they loved only loved their work for about 7 years max.
It wasn't just that the job was admin. I've actually applied to other admin jobs. There were a lot of other factors involved in me quitting which are rather personal. All I will say is that it wasn't the job itself but it was external factors that made me quit. Plus, I wasn't the only person to leave that place that year. The principal and half the teachers left too. I'm sure we weren't all INFPs. There are many things I'm leaving out because this is a public forum.

Plus, I disagree about not finding meaning in a job. People do it all the time. My mother has a career where she finds plenty of meaning. Is it walk in the park, no? Does it pay as much as she would like? No. But she loves helping people and it works for her. Plenty of people do have careers where they find meaning in them. Not everyone does but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
 

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Good for your wife but that's not the situation for a lot of people through no fault of their own. There are many people who work (which I did btw) who still have debt when graduating. So please, don't give me the "just because one person did it everyone should" line. It's rather insulting.
It was to illustrate the not being in debt gives you more options. Is college debt completely unavoidable? People don't just give you money. You actually have to fill out and form and apply. So please don't give me the "lots of people do it, so that must mean it's the right way to do things."

I've never really met an INFP who does what everyone else does and is happy with their life.


It wasn't just that the job was admin. I've actually applied to other admin jobs. There were a lot of other factors involved in me quitting which are rather personal. All I will say is that it wasn't the job itself but it was external factors that made me quit. Plus, I wasn't the only person to leave that place that year. The principal and half the teachers left too. I'm sure we weren't all INFPs. There are many things I'm leaving out because this is a public forum.

Plus, I disagree about not finding meaning in a job. People do it all the time. My mother has a career where she finds plenty of meaning. Is it walk in the park, no? Does it pay as much as she would like? No. But she loves helping people and it works for her. Plenty of people do have careers where they find meaning in them. Not everyone does but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
Finding meaning in a your job and liking your work environment are two different things. Just because you find a job that let's you do the activity you want to do, doesn't mean the work environment will be enjoyable place to be. There's an assumption that loving the activity will balance out any negatives from the environment. The environment has a lot to do with the people who exist in that environment. So basically, if you don't get along with the other people studying the same thing you are, you'll probably won't like working along side them later.

Here's something interesting, a few weeks ago, I posted a question in this forum: Did your 2nd attempt at a career go better.


http://personalitycafe.com/infp-forum-idealists/90598-did-you-2nd-attempt-career-go-better.html
 

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I am a librarian, and I would want to stab pointy things in my eyes if you made me work reference services full-time. I am happiest as a solo librarian or the leader of a team. I have found over the years that there are almost as many types of librarians as there are librarians in the field. Currently, I am a librarian in a men's prison, and I am using everything that I learned both in library school and over the course of my career. If you want to take this offline, I would be willing to talk to you about what I do and why.
 
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