Honest suggestions / advise on career options | INFJ Forum

Honest suggestions / advise on career options

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by chobo, Apr 20, 2013.

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  1. chobo

    chobo Newbie

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    Hi!

    I have been on a crazy spiritual / self discovery journey this past year and a half and now my current career has come into question (again). I hold a degree in Computer Science and I've always seemed to like Web Development and programming, but I just have a hard (very hard) time working a Mon-Fri 9-5 position where I feel like I am just wasting my time. I was happy to have been laid-off four months ago and have done a lot of research into what makes me tick as well as career exploration.

    Some things I have discovered:
    • I don't like being a follower
    • I like to work alone and do things my way
    • Work life balance is essential for me (need ability to set hours / vacation)
    • I need to feel like an expert / professional. Web Development has such low barriers to entry.
    • I need lots of time to think things through very carefully (look at problems from all angles).
    • I hate routine, mundane tasks
    • Some tasks bring out the "Perfectionist" in me (bad thing) because I either spend way too much time on them, procrastinate, or don't even start knowing I won't be able to finish.
    • I need to feel like what I am doing is worthwhile, otherwise I lose motivation
    • I'm obsessed with self-help / improvement and the mind (became a Christian a year and half ago (very happy), read tons of books on psychology, addictions, personality, etc...

    I know I am facing an uphill battle in the IT world... I was fired from my first job after a couple of months (took a few years off to recover from that) and my second job I was laid-off after a couple of years. My impression of the IT industry is that everyone is out for themselves and the is a very cold place. My gut feeling is that the cycle is just going to repeat itself until I drop dead.

    I've taken a gazillion personality and career assessments, read tons of books (Do what you are, The pathfinder, 9-5 cure, What color is your parachute 2013, etc...) and counseling seems to be at the top of the list. I am looking at two options, one is a 1-year diploma program that is very practical based which I have heard a lot of good things, even from students who went in with a Masters Degree. The other option is going for a Masters Degree in Counseling psychology. The second option will take a lot more time and money and at this moment I'm not sure if counseling is for me. I don't want to commit and then realize that this is not for me. If I go with the 1-year program finding jobs will be a real challenge as most places require a minimum of a Masters Degree. I am looking into volunteer work and trying to talk to as many people as I can, but I'm not at the level where I can say "I commit" and for me that is essential for succeeding.

    Maybe if I could somehow find part-time work in IT while going to school. I think if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I can suck it up and persevere while I am transitioning careers. It's just kind of hard to find jobs that are Part Time. For the 1-year program I would like to do it in class and not distance learning since it is very practical. For the Master's option I think I could handle distance education.

    I guess as a last ditch effort, do any INFJ's work in the IT field that have found some sort of satisfaction working there? I have tried Web Developer, Programming, and Tech Support. I just haven't found any satisfaction working those positions for others. Are there any INFJ counselors out there that could weigh in on counseling positions (pro's and con's)? Better yet, are there any who have successfully transitioned out of IT into something else? Is there some space in the IT field that would be more suitable for me? I'm in my early 30's so in my mind I need to get it right this time, it just seems like this career thing has dragged on and it is so hard to find my place.


    Thanks!
     
  2. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    Get your Masters Degree in Social Work ... from there you can obtain your LCSW and provide counseling. This is the route to go if you do not plan on obtaining a PhD. At the same time, there are so many different facets to counseling. Do you have any specific areas of interest or demographics with whom to work?
     
  3. ThisIsWhoIAm

    ThisIsWhoIAm is best pony

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    How exactly does one "learn" counselling? Academics baffle me sometimes.
     
  4. guernica132

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    Congratulations to you for having the courage to embrace change, a lot of people struggle with that. As far as studying something like Psychology, it is based on an antiquated and outdated system. Most of the foundation of the DSM is actually not objective (which most people don't realize), and at the time it was created, was based just as much upon opinion (if not more so) than it was based on scientific observations, studies, and facts. While later DSM updates certainly are based on studies, the foundational premises used for most of those studies is based upon faulty information that was conceived in the 1950s! There's an entire debate about this of course; however, if you want to help people, the fact that you could potentially mislabel and treat someone inefficiently might cause an internal moral dilemma for you. It did for me.

    Sriracha had a good suggestion. Getting a masters in Social Work opens up several avenues - all in which you could be helpful to other people. Perhaps, before you invest time and money on such a paradigm shift though, you could work (even part time) as an IT person in a mental health clinic, or governmental/civic organization that deals with counseling or social work. That way you're still helping people, while also gaining insights and helping yourself learn which path to take.
     
  5. paisley1

    paisley1 Newbie

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    Well first and foremost, Chobo, as you are a young believer in Christ, I'd like to encourage you with Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." I would suggest your gut is right in thinking this whole cycle of self discovery will repeat itself, because, existentially, you, as an INFJ are in a constant state of personal self discovery forever, so get used to it. In the long run, you are going to be far more fulfilled in life pursuing your ideals in an introverted way, now, and then modifying them later, as opposed to never pursuing your natural gifts, and just being indecisive and miserable. Your idealism will always be number one, so I encourage you to really define yourself in your faith; earnestly pray about what you're going through and seek the counsel of those closest to you. (As you disregard my post completely, lol) I encourage you to go on a missions trip, take a Bible school class in an area of Christianity you're drawn to, or seek after God for a year even, and jump head first into the greater meaning you've found in Him to really solidify the truths of your faith, because that will forever be a highly important aspect of your idealism as an INFJ.

    IT work, if it doesn't have an intuitive feeler slant, ie, teaching it to others in an encouraging workplace atmosphere where you can express yourself intuitively, will just become more and more frustrating as the years progress, and right now in the meantime, I'd encourage you to find outlets to recharge. If you haven't already, write about it, along with all the difficulties you are having and don't hold back. Writing is often an untapped energy source for INFJ's, and can really boost your creativity after a draining day of IT work, as well, playing music and connecting on a deep level with someone you trust, are some ways that might give you the recharge you'll need in the meantime, to cope with the monotony of IT work.

    As for my story, I was a director of a therapeutic group home for "at risk" youth; counseling difficult kids. It completely suited my idealism, as much as it completely drained my energy, and left me with too tight a concern for the kids, holding my profession with too tight a grip when I should've held it with an open hand...that's always the trick. Funnily enough, I'm in the exact same boat as you right now in my life, as I am a 3D draftsman, who was recently let go and re-hired by a new company, and totally don't belong in a detail oriented, pragmatic, and existentially meaningless profession meant for sense thinkers who don't understand intuitive feelers at all; major wall there, but I digress. I may not work in IT, but in a fairly similar profession with all the same problems you've listed, and I've found at least in the type of drafting I'm currently in, there are opportunities for me to at least come up with new ideas directly for the customer, and then design them, which everyone else at the company tends to struggle with. Using your Introverted Intuition, if not in it's first order function with counseling which completes your extroverted feeling, (which I'm currently considering switching to as well, if and when I have the money), at least in some practical function so you can feel useful and good about yourself, and in the process, suppress that inner drive to change the world for a while. In whatever job you end up doing, finding a way to love the person next to you and be a catalyst for their personal growth and change will always energize you more than the work at hand, so I encourage you, to encourage others, to help yourself......also, give yourself a freaking break, you're probably amazing at IT. (see what I did there.....)
     
  6. Sequel

    Sequel Newbie

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    My advice to you without carefully reading your long post, admittedly, is to form a relationship with someone who has similar values as you have who can provide space and compassion as an intimate most like can provide for your needs at the moment. You sound to me like a work a holic who wants something to keep their mind engaged and you have not left time for the relationship aspect.
     
  7. Gul Dukat

    Gul Dukat Community Member

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    Go where the jobs are, suck it up and make a lot of money.
    Most jobs aren't set up so that people can enjoy them.
     
  8. hk427f3

    hk427f3 Community Member

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    I don't know anything about counselling and stuff, but my advice is to give freelancing a try. It seems to me that it would be fairly easy to start doing freelance IT stuff, and it's certainly possible for freelance work to satisfy most items on your list.
     
  9. BellaLuna

    BellaLuna Newbie

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    [MENTION=569]chobo[/MENTION] I thought I was the only one who felt that way! :) as a fellow IT-ian (?) I totally understand where you are coming from. I've majored in Software Engineering and have been working as a Systems Engineer for a while..I've always been more artistic and initially majored in Media and Communications, but having been on the Dean's List, I was invited to my uni's invite-only major. Had a discussion with my parents and had been convinced by my mom that a job in IT would be a lot more guaranteed than media/comms.

    School was fine, but the real IT world is just dull and cold. I have no genuine interest any more but the harsh reality makes me stay. True, I'm dying for something different and more artistic where I can express myself, but with this market and economy, I have come to the realization that a stable job with a stable income is necessary. When you are faced with the reality of having to take care of yourself because there is no one out there who will watch your back, it makes this decision easier. The need to make sure that I have a decent stable life, without having to ask anyone for help, stops me from being miserable. Yes I'm not happy in IT, but I don't hate it. I see the options that the media/comm people I almost went to school with, and I feel thankful and blessed to be where I am.

    As an advice, I'd say find your passion, and do it after working hours (for now).. If you don't want to commit to a full time job, try to get a part-time contractor job till you decide what you really want. A career change is a good idea, but only when you are certain what it is that you want to do. You can have a job and still go to back to school for another degree. If you don't want to work while you decide, then I suggest you start on finding your true calling as soon as you can :)

    Something I picked on while reading your post, and I know it is a long shot, so please have an open mind and bare with me :) not being able to hold down an job, and being happy that you were laid off makes me wonder if you have ADHD/ADD .. do you feel comfortable looking into that?

    whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best, and I hope you find your passion :)
     
  10. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Go to the third world and work in IT there.
     
  11. #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

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    The things you discovered about yourself are almost prerequisites for entrepreneurship. This route can supply you with many of the items on your list. However, the amount of hours it takes to start and run a successful business is tremendous. When I first started working for myself someone said to me, "welcome to working for yourself, you get to pick your own hours, all 24 of them 7 days a week. They were right.

    No matter what you do its going to have pros and cons. Some professions will offer great personal satisfaction and fulfillment, others will offer financial security and possibly wealth, some will provide you with creative and expressive outlets, and still others can offer you freedom. Personally, I have never found one profession that can give me everything I want out of a career. I chose to do a combination of things for a living. This has its own set of pros and cons. Finding my niche has involved having several niches that all overlap to a degree.
     
  12. Petra87

    Petra87 Newbie

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    I feel a bit connected to this problem, but I come from a different field/branch (art/graphic design). I think doing something part time next to an IT job might be the best decision. Keep the money-job for the money, get something else in those other days :). (I don't know yet what to do myself though XD )
     
  13. JGirl

    JGirl no chocolate flavored gum? wow

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    have you thought about going to another part of the world to help teach a skill, or perhaps help build and strengthen communities there?
    you won't make a lot of money, i'm sure of that, but you will never be bored and you won't be on the western work clock either.
    maybe a career and a title will never give you what you want. they're just things afterall.
    giving of yourself and working to enrich the lives of others in a direct way is what makes a person rich.
     
  14. Eventhorizon

    Eventhorizon Permanently relocated
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    A question to you. What is important to you? To love your job or to make money? Often, the two do not go hand and hand. I have never loved what I do but have found things to like about each job I have had. The last one, I have to admit has been difficult but I am even making progress in this regard now.

    So if you do what you love, the rest wont matter. If you are only in it to make money, find the highest paying job you are capable of and then try to love it.
     
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  15. SoulPatcher

    SoulPatcher Regular Poster

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    One possibility to enjoy both worlds is to find a job which requires a particular combination of skills you have. I really can't think of a combination of IT and counselling, but maybe there is something? High-level technical support? It requires both analysis and knowing what people want. If it's sufficiently high-level, it pays really well.

    I am not sure whether it's possible to take consulting there.
     
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