[INFJ] - Ex-Teacher/Ex-Performer--Out of Ideas | INFJ Forum

[INFJ] Ex-Teacher/Ex-Performer--Out of Ideas

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by Poco Agitato, Jan 14, 2015.

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  1. Poco Agitato

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    First time on the forum here, and I hope someone can offer some advice.

    My background is centered around music. I currently hold down four part-time music jobs, and it is exhausting. I am traveling between jobs, which can be 2+ hours of commuting on some days. I go to 2-3 weekday jobs each day, plus a Sunday church gig, and have gigs or extra accompanying work (recordings, recitals, rehearsals, choral concerts) on nights and weekends. I also have two small children that I don't get to see much due to working all the time.

    I taught for three years in two different public school districts (two schools each) and it was exhausting. As an INFJ, teaching felt more like performing to me than performing (if that makes sense). Huge classes and putting out fires meant my anxiety would be through the roof on a daily basis.

    I have been playing piano since I was six. I competed through high school, majored in it in college, and studied it some more for post-graduate work. I currently have no benefits with any of my jobs, the pay is low and barely covers daycare, and music programs are getting cut right and left in our state. I left the teaching positions partly because the writing was on the wall about where the programs were headed, and they were cut a year or two after I left. I was a good teacher, but I was left with the feeling of "what have I gotten myself into?" about a week into each school year. I am also a good accompanist, and accompany for several schools, but every accompanying position I take ends with me substituting for the music teachers when they find out I can take their classes (INFJs are nothing if not competent and reliable). I am substituting for the next month in four classes while the high school choir director I play for listens to individual voices. Every day. For a month. For no extra pay. And this isn't the first choir director that has used me.

    I would love to find a different line of work, but this is all I have ever known. When you have been training to do something since the first grade, you have understandable hesitations to leave it! I loved the security, benefits, and salary of the teaching position, but I am nowhere near the extrovert personality needed to head large music classes.

    Has anyone else out there quit teaching or quit the arts to do something else? Does anyone have suggestions about another line of work? I can tell you that "doing what you love" isn't paying the bills. I am grateful to at least be a working musician when so many of my friends are struggling for work, but I think I have exhausted all aspects of making money through music. Frankly, I want to love music in general instead of resenting it, and I think I need to disengage from the work aspect of it to find that love again.

    I have experience in dealing with different personalities and learning styles, clerical work, maintaining a music library, etc. through teaching. I had part-time jobs working different aspects of agriculture, as a veterinary assistant, and waitressing. I really liked the alone time when I did clerical work. Any INFJs love clerical work, or would I get tired of it? I miss my kids and would probably love a 9-5 job.
     
  2. Scientia

    Scientia A true lady

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    I can understand why you are exhausted! If you like clerical work, want stability and 9 to 5, how about searching for a government job? Usa.gov has listings for the fed and you can also look at your local town, county, etc.
    Also, you might look at local universities. They usually need staff. You might even find a music department that needs an admin.
     
  3. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
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    Have you ever thought of a research position? Perhaps, musical library assistantship or internship? This way you are not teaching but still managing musical resources. You could focus more on positions as a school library instead of being in the classroom.
     
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  4. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    Sounds like you are burned out from the music. I did clerical work in the past but believe me if you are the artistic type your soul will start to suffocate with the boredom of clerical. Even with the added stability; INFJs do enjoy solitary work but feel much more fulfilled working in small teams or groups of like minded people. Have you considered working in libraries; maybe in the music department or something related to the knowledge you know. You can also explore a different aspect of music and media that are in high demand. It all depends on whether or not you want to use your previous knowledge and build on it or pick up something entirely new.
     
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  5. ineffectivelyliterate

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    I worked as a Circulation Assistant my last few months in college and I really liked it. I would say that working at a library would be the something to seriously look into. There are many options within the library, for jobs. I really enjoyed filing and putting away books (the system), which made me consider clerical work as well. Due to your experience, I feel like you would be able to get a job within the library easily. I only say this because, out of college, I tried to find a job as a Library Assistant and was often competing against persons which had more experience and were looking for a stable job (at the time, I was considering going back to grad school before I was working as a Vet Assistant). While you still have to 'perform', it is in the stable and safe environment of the library which is a comfortable environment (I was an English major and there are only a few places that I am seen in public, which is a bookstore or the library). I would say that it doesn't hurt to try and explore other avenues so as to not be burned out by music through teaching.

    The only constant in life is change.
     
  6. heiots

    heiots Community Member

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    Hi there. I don't have that much experience in the working world, but perhaps my two cents can offer a different perspective. I graduated with a B.A. in Music less than two years ago, and having gained a fear of performing (which never existed until I attained college-level musical knowledge. Ironic, haha.), I had to be really selective about my job. I knew I wanted a music-related job, but not one that was a 'practical' sort, which meant no performing or teaching. I ended up interviewing for a music business sort of administrator, but I've turned out to be curating music content (since they realized I was more suited for that), which means listening to a whole lot of original music and marking their genres and creating playlists for clients like retail stores and hotels.

    So yeah, a normal admin job would bore me, but with a music element, it's bearable. Even enjoyable. You don't neglect your gifting, but you take that much-needed break to cure that burn out (which I got from university). And I still play in church every Sunday and take outside vocal lessons. 8-5 job, 5-day work week, and get to exercise my practical music skills in limited doses.
     
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