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Career Fatigue

downsowf

Active Member
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Today, 07:15
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#1
This question goes out mostly to the older people in the forum because a satisfactory answer would likely only come from those with some life experience. I'm 27 years old and have never had a job i genuinely liked or that I did not become bored with after some time. I worked in Finance after college in New York, but the only reason I took the job was to move to New York. Not long after working in Finance, I started searching for another occupation. Somehow I ended up getting into event planning. It was fun and exciting at times, but there was absolutely nothing intellectually stimulating about doing the job. Eventually, I started to despise the job, and dealing with the kind of obnoxious people inherent in that industry was exhausting. Naturally, after getting my New York "fix," I moved back home and applied to law school. I'm in my third year and have been pretty successful academically. Law school was refreshing, stimulating, and became, or has become, my life. I'm working for a firm during days I don't have school and I have gotten to that dreadful point where I feel I do not know how much more law I can take. I'm already getting fatigue. In law school, you get to go over theories and hypotheticals; you get to be creative on interpretation of the law. In a firm, all you do is draft motions and it becomes pretty routine. I now have a feeling of impending doom and anxiety.

Question:

1. Has any other INTP out there enjoyed a long career or is it just in our nature to constantly want to take on new intellectual pursuits once we get bored?

2. Do I need to just grow up or is this a normal feeling that most people have?
 

lucky12

walking on air
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#2
I don't have the life experience you are looking for, so stop reading if you don't care.

Your searching through options, and you have seen much, there is still more to be seen. Keep your eyes open for something, you wont know what it is but when you see it you'll shit bricks.
 

downsowf

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#3
That's always the plan. The search will never stop. I'm reserved to the fact that I don't think I'll ever be content, but that's not a bad thing. There should always be more to explore in life. Thanks for the response.
 

lucky12

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#4
Will law school open doors to you right away? Say.. working within a company rather than a firm and playing company lawyer/advisor? That alley way is endless, so many companies so little time lol

I like your view, its realistic to me.
 
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3
#5
I'm not entirely sure I classify as an 'older member' (just turned 39), and gotta say that I registered specifically to respond to your question(s)...

All I can share is my experience thus far. I kinda half-assed through college, finally finished with an IT degree...and about 5 minors. Never intended to use the degree, since I planned on making my own way outside of the corporate 9-5 world.

Ended up spending about 4 years in a pretty decent IT job.

Got tired of the politics, being on-call, stupid people, etc. Quit the job and started flipping houses. That was pretty fun for about 3 years while while the market was heading up. Market got crowded with all the weekend wannabe's getting all excited from the TLC "Flip this House" type shows.

So I started a construction company with my cousin. I loved the project planning phase of things. We did 'custom' spec homes, so finding the right lot, and selecting the best plan, and getting the project started was exciting for me. Actually doing the work, scheduling sub-contractors, spending lots of time on the phone, etc. was less enjoyable.

After almost 3 years, moved to the Midwest for the wife's new job. I meddled in internet marketing, did some remodels and built a couple houses...

That lasted for about 3 years. (See a pattern developing here?) The real estate market was starting to slow down, and I was at a point where I needed to either get serious or get out. So I got out.

I bought a small computer shop in a small rural town, and really enjoyed helping people out with computer issues. My customer base was a good mix of local businesses and individuals, and the day-to-day activities were varied enough to keep from being routine. Hated answering phone calls all day though.

I'd probably still be doing that if the money was a bit better (my own fault really...didn't spend enough time/energy on the marketing side of things), but after a year and a half I got recruited by a college friend and his dad to help get a business started in Phoenix.

So here I am in blazing hot Phoenix... lured by the promise of a good paycheck and the challenge of starting up a new business. Been here for 2 years, and not sure how much longer I'm going to make it. I just don't like working for someone else... no matter how great of a 'boss' they are. And the paycheck isn't nearly as great as anticipated. I don't like being tied to my phone (wish I could throw it away most days) and knowing that I could be called on anytime day or night to respond to someone's house flood or fire or mold issue. I like writing the estimates for the projects, but don't like the demands of 'project management' like demanding customers, babysitting subcontractors, and did I mention the damn phone ringing all day long?

Here's a distillation of this unnecessarily long post: I have not been able to find a long-term career. I keep looking for the 'right' one. Three years seems to be my magic number. I always start out with enthusiasm and energy, then the magic wears off and I start losing interest and routine sets in.

Like most of us, I probably spend too much time trying to figure myself out. I'm trying to find patterns in my decisions and life experiences. I think for me, I've gotta just be OK with not finding the 'perfect' thing to do for the rest of my life. Maybe give myself permission to change directions every few years as interest grows and wanes. Overall, my main interests seem to be related to technology and construction.

Anyway, I don't blame anyone for seeing a wall of text and just not bothering to read it. Not sure if I wrote it for anyone but myself in any case. The original question simply stuck a sympathetic note that I've been exploring in my own life.
 

downsowf

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#6
It's honestly scary how much you sound like me. And it's doubly scary that I think I'll probably end up just like you. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. We really are the true entrepreneurs. Maybe we can go into business. That whole real estate thing I'm kind of scared of though. I've always had a love of property though. Or more the idea of property and what it represents. It's completely American. Your post really meant a lot to me and I'm glad you shared it. Deep down I know that I can never resign myself to stick with something once my heart is not in it. Just not in my nature. I'm hoping to stick this law thing out for as long as I can. Hopefully, I can find a place that will give me free reign to let me do what I do which is find creative ways to kick ass by interpreting the law my way. It's a lot to ask for, but a man can have hopes. Right? Anyway, i sincerely want to thank you for responding and affirming what I already knew: I live for the search and the search is the answer as opposed to the end point.
 
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#7
You're most welcome! Glad you could perhaps get some affirmation that what you're feeling/experiencing is not out of the ordinary... Always helps to know that someone else is having the same issues. And I totally resonate with your "living for the search" comment.

I do not regret any of my career choices/changes. At the time, each decision to make a change in direction seemed right. And each experience has resulted in personal growth, and has made me a better, more rounded person. To me that makes much more sense than to keep doing something that's not fulfilling or challenging, or is pure drudgery simply because 'you gotta stick it out'.

I'll probably never figure out what I want to do "when I grow up." And I'm OK with that.
 

digital angel

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554
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Tax World/In my Mind
#9
This question goes out mostly to the older people in the forum because a satisfactory answer would likely only come from those with some life experience. I'm 27 years old and have never had a job i genuinely liked or that I did not become bored with after some time. I worked in Finance after college in New York, but the only reason I took the job was to move to New York. Not long after working in Finance, I started searching for another occupation. Somehow I ended up getting into event planning. It was fun and exciting at times, but there was absolutely nothing intellectually stimulating about doing the job. Eventually, I started to despise the job, and dealing with the kind of obnoxious people inherent in that industry was exhausting. Naturally, after getting my New York "fix," I moved back home and applied to law school. I'm in my third year and have been pretty successful academically. Law school was refreshing, stimulating, and became, or has become, my life. I'm working for a firm during days I don't have school and I have gotten to that dreadful point where I feel I do not know how much more law I can take. I'm already getting fatigue. In law school, you get to go over theories and hypotheticals; you get to be creative on interpretation of the law. In a firm, all you do is draft motions and it becomes pretty routine. I now have a feeling of impending doom and anxiety.

Question:

1. Has any other INTP out there enjoyed a long career or is it just in our nature to constantly want to take on new intellectual pursuits once we get bored?

2. Do I need to just grow up or is this a normal feeling that most people have?
I'm a tax lawyer. Congratulations on being in your third year in law school. I wonder if you're just really tired. Is it possible to take a break? Or, is there a particular area of the law you find interesting? Perhaps litigation isn't your cup of tea. If there is a particular area of the law you find interesting, you should do some research on it.

Also, it sounds like you enjoy the academic experience. Have you considered teaching?

Keep your options open. By the way, it's probably our nature to find and want interesting, challenging things.
 

downsowf

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#10
I think you're probably right. I'm just getting burnt out since I'm working and going to school at the same time. I'm glad to see another lawyer respond to me. That gives me some hope. The truth is that I genuinely enjoy learning the law, and I love the competitive aspect of it as far as having a battle of the wits. I don't necessarily expect to be a life-long lawyer given my proclivities for constant change, but I do intend to stick it out for a while. Basically, until I get fantastically bored with it or when some other business opportunity comes along that might be better.

As far as teaching goes: I could NEVER spend two hours in front of a bunch of snarling students. That sounds horrifying.

Thanks for the response
 

EditorOne

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#11
I'm 62 and semi-retired, so I think in terms of perspective, yeah, got it. I was fortunate to enter a field, newspaper journalism, where I could de facto change work functions about every three years and take on something new that required new knowledge, patterns and challenges: Reporter; bureau chief; editorial page editor; special heavyweight investigations into corruption, police brutality, environmenal rape; newsroom supervision; managing editor; editor; online editor; executive editor. In every case except online editor, I was bored or getting bored just about the time the next opportunity opened up. I didn't have enough time to get bored as online editor because my editor was let go and I had a choice to either let some asshole get the job and spend more time working for yet another asshole, or become the asshole myself. I'm now out of journalism and while it was fun to finally take more than a year completely off and just write a damn novel, I am again bored, and taking up a new career as a public insurance adjuster.
The common thread in every thing I've done seems to be one facet of the INTP personality: I find out what is really going on and tell people. Whether doing it myself or supervising 30 people doing it in a newsroom, it's the same essentially fulfilling core activity, just packaged in a variety of trappings and with a variety of accompanying skills. Had anyone told me I'd need to know HTML to put out a newspaper in 1972 when I started, I would of course have reacted in disbelief. It had, of course, not yet been invented, although the early computer language we did have to use started as early as 1976.
There are about four levels of new information and skills to get through this public insurance adjuster opportunity and with luck it will take at least 10 years. It should also provide a lot more money than journalism ever did.
So two points: Do the INTP thing and analyze what really satisfies you, then try to find a field where you can regularly find that. IN my case, journalism worked. Digital angel gets much the same result, mastery of a core body of information and then variety in applying it as cases requiring analysis come in the door. My field offered the bonus of needing to learn quickly about new things to first find out how things worked, then examine them for how people were cheating at it, then explaining that to others. That was heavenly. Public insurance adjusting -- ombudsmanship on behalf of homeowners -- means I find out how things work and then make insurance companies do the right thing and live up to their contracts. Also heavenly. There are drawbacks: I have to start cold with people I don't know in many cases. But, as in journalism, there are crutches that come with the job that help me get through that hurdle.
The second point is simply to mention that while an INTP craves new things insatiably, at some level, just to be happy, that attribute means you never leave behind the aforementioned childlike joy when something new opens up. When I was a kid, everyone 62 was either already retired or dead on the job and marking time. I'm 62 and starting new ventures. I think INTP is good that way.
If you find yourself in a 10-year rut at a job you can't escape, get relief with off-job activities. I've done that, also, with volunteer firefighting and building wooden boats. Not models, real boats. A whole world of information and skills to master and scare resources to muster.
Oversimplification: You need challenges, big ones and little ones, to feed you personality, and when the challenges aren't forthcoming, ennui, boredom and depression can bring out the darkness.
 

Sijov

Redshirt already dead
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#12
This thread has been interesting to read, and even though I'm only 21, I can very strongly relate to the idea of chopping and changing my career. I'm in my fourth and final year of my engineering degree, and quite frankly, I doubt that I could stay an engineer for long; I have already changed from expecting to become a structural engineer to despising the subject (it's nothing but directing forces to the ground. Sure they may be a snow load or an earthquake load, but it's still pointing it down to the ground). So next year I'll start a PhD (they take 3-4 years here - about the length of time I'll be able to tolerate, I think) in something that lets me specialise out of the engineering industry and go onto other things fairly naturally (risk management, or project management or something - management really caught my interest). That way, I'll always have a wide range of options available, and be able to change career regularly.

Do you guys think I'm on the right track?
 

digital angel

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#13
This thread has been interesting to read, and even though I'm only 21, I can very strongly relate to the idea of chopping and changing my career. I'm in my fourth and final year of my engineering degree, and quite frankly, I doubt that I could stay an engineer for long; I have already changed from expecting to become a structural engineer to despising the subject (it's nothing but directing forces to the ground. Sure they may be a snow load or an earthquake load, but it's still pointing it down to the ground). So next year I'll start a PhD (they take 3-4 years here - about the length of time I'll be able to tolerate, I think) in something that lets me specialise out of the engineering industry and go onto other things fairly naturally (risk management, or project management or something - management really caught my interest). That way, I'll always have a wide range of options available, and be able to change career regularly.

Do you guys think I'm on the right track?
Yes. Keep your options open. You'll do well.
 

EditorOne

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#14
Agreed. Self awareness and awareness of the likelihood that all your passions will be transient and start to fade as you master the competencies in each is great information to have at age 21. Had I had both at that age I suspect life would have been less stressful and more fun, with much less self destructive behavior. :)
 

downsowf

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#15
The second point is simply to mention that while an INTP craves new things insatiably, at some level, just to be happy, that attribute means you never leave behind the aforementioned childlike joy when something new opens up. When I was a kid, everyone 62 was either already retired or dead on the job and marking time. I'm 62 and starting new ventures. I think INTP is good that way.
If you find yourself in a 10-year rut at a job you can't escape, get relief with off-job activities. I've done that, also, with volunteer firefighting and building wooden boats. Not models, real boats. A whole world of information and skills to master and scare resources to muster.
Oversimplification: You need challenges, big ones and little ones, to feed you personality, and when the challenges aren't forthcoming, ennui, boredom and depression can bring out the darkness.
This is so true. I almost feel like a manic when I discover something that interests me. I become reinvigorated, motivated, and full of energy. That childlike joy is what really drives me. And like a manic, when the ball of energy dissipates, I do tend to withdraw into the darkness. It does not happen often, but when it does it's almost paralyzing. Finding extra-curriculars outside the job is probably a good idea too. There were times I did get obsessive about working out with weights and I probably need to get back into it. Though not a "typical" INTP activity, whatever that means, I was able to achieve some sort of peace of mind when I was regularly exercising.
 

downsowf

Active Member
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#16
This thread has been interesting to read, and even though I'm only 21, I can very strongly relate to the idea of chopping and changing my career. I'm in my fourth and final year of my engineering degree, and quite frankly, I doubt that I could stay an engineer for long; I have already changed from expecting to become a structural engineer to despising the subject (it's nothing but directing forces to the ground. Sure they may be a snow load or an earthquake load, but it's still pointing it down to the ground). So next year I'll start a PhD (they take 3-4 years here - about the length of time I'll be able to tolerate, I think) in something that lets me specialise out of the engineering industry and go onto other things fairly naturally (risk management, or project management or something - management really caught my interest). That way, I'll always have a wide range of options available, and be able to change career regularly.

Do you guys think I'm on the right track?
You are way ahead of the curve. As Editor One pointed out, having the self awareness that you might want to make frequent career changes is great knowledge, but the fact that you had the foresight on getting a phd which will allow you to do this shows incredible acumen.

I also really like your attitude of being able to use your knowledge in a variety of ways. I can sort of relate. There are a lot of options with my law degree (well maybe not nowadays but that's a different story for another day)as far as me being able to utilize the knowledge I've gained in a variety of ways. I've also noticed in my case that that there are a lot of NTs in law. When I was clerking for a judge this summer, the other interns were baffled when we were talking to the defense attorney who used to be a prosecutor. For me it made perfect sense to make such a switch. I'm not sure what the factor was in his case, but I like to believe that he mastered putting on that prosecutor's cap, got bored, and is now trying his hand as a defense attorney.
 
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#17
This is cool to hear other people with the exact same thought patterns and life experiences as me. Is registered on this forum so I could respond to this thread as well.

I'm a 46 yr old CPA and I'm a change a holic. :confused:

LazyinAZ is on the three year plan. That's probably pretty close to my average as well. My wife has actually used that EXACT same terminology and said I was on the two year plan!! no shit
She hasn't left me yet, but if I don't find a good job and stick with it pretty soon, I'm afraid she will. I feel like all I've done for most of my life is look for a job. I even thought about becoming a headhunter or recruiter because I have so much experience with it. In fact, I've been looking for a job right now for the last 6 months. The hardest part of looking is not knowing exactly what kind of job to look for. I know I don't want the same type of job as I had before, I was bored stiff with that. So...... I keep looking.

About 5 years ago, I read the book "Do What You Are" and learned about the personality types and that I was INTP. We also did a personality type exercise at a tax department team building retreat one time. All the other accountants that were the same type were gathered over in one corner of the room. There were some extraverts over in the other corner of the room. I was the only INTP in my own little group out of 70+ accountants. I knew I wasn't your typical accountant. I might like details, but only to make sure something is being done correctly. I definitely don't like details just for the fun of details. Like some accountants like to dig though piles and piles of reports with numbers on them and organize them into other little reports. boring. Back to my story,... There was one other girl that couldn't decide if she was really an INTP or not and she finally joined my group so I wasn't all alone. I remember the guy running the workshop telling a story about his son who was an INTP that sounded exactly like me. He said his son was in college learning to become an architect. He was working on a new project and brought the plans in and laid them out on the table to show his dad. When his dad started asking questions about it and why this was done that way etc, his son rolled up the plans, said "We're done here" and left the room. Or something close to that. Anyway, the point was that his son worked on that project until he had it exactly like he wanted it and was very pleased with how it turned out. He explained that all an INTP really wants to hear about their work from someone else's point of view, is how great it is. They don't really want anyones input and don't value it and don't seek anyone else's approval. They think their ideas are the best because they have been well thought out, are original, and no one else could do as good of a job at what they just completed. The first time I heard about INTPs I was like...yeah that's how I AM.

When I read this thread about INTPs wanting to change careers, I had to add my two cents. Right now, I'm seriously considering becoming a financial planner. I think this would allow me to use my financial background, make a really good income, and provide enough daily challenge and variety that I won't get bored with it. Let me know what you think.

Question:

1. Has any other INTP out there enjoyed a long career or is it just in our nature to constantly want to take on new intellectual pursuits once we get bored? No and Yes

2. Do I need to just grow up or is this a normal feeling that most people have? I think it's a normal feeling that most INTPs have, which is about 1% of the population or so I read somewhere on the internet. I wish I had learned this information about my personality type at a much earlier age like yourself, maybe it would have stopped me from making a few of the job changes I've made. I think you're on the right track with becoming a lawyer. I had thought about that as well.
 

downsowf

Active Member
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ATL, GA aka the dirty south
#18
This is cool to hear other people with the exact same thought patterns and life experiences as me. Is registered on this forum so I could respond to this thread as well.

I'm a 46 yr old CPA and I'm a change a holic. :confused:

LazyinAZ is on the three year plan. That's probably pretty close to my average as well. My wife has actually used that EXACT same terminology and said I was on the two year plan!! no shit
She hasn't left me yet, but if I don't find a good job and stick with it pretty soon, I'm afraid she will. I feel like all I've done for most of my life is look for a job. I even thought about becoming a headhunter or recruiter because I have so much experience with it. In fact, I've been looking for a job right now for the last 6 months. The hardest part of looking is not knowing exactly what kind of job to look for. I know I don't want the same type of job as I had before, I was bored stiff with that. So...... I keep looking.

About 5 years ago, I read the book "Do What You Are" and learned about the personality types and that I was INTP. We also did a personality type exercise at a tax department team building retreat one time. All the other accountants that were the same type were gathered over in one corner of the room. There were some extraverts over in the other corner of the room. I was the only INTP in my own little group out of 70+ accountants. I knew I wasn't your typical accountant. I might like details, but only to make sure something is being done correctly. I definitely don't like details just for the fun of details. Like some accountants like to dig though piles and piles of reports with numbers on them and organize them into other little reports. boring. Back to my story,... There was one other girl that couldn't decide if she was really an INTP or not and she finally joined my group so I wasn't all alone. I remember the guy running the workshop telling a story about his son who was an INTP that sounded exactly like me. He said his son was in college learning to become an architect. He was working on a new project and brought the plans in and laid them out on the table to show his dad. When his dad started asking questions about it and why this was done that way etc, his son rolled up the plans, said "We're done here" and left the room. Or something close to that. Anyway, the point was that his son worked on that project until he had it exactly like he wanted it and was very pleased with how it turned out. He explained that all an INTP really wants to hear about their work from someone else's point of view, is how great it is. They don't really want anyones input and don't value it and don't seek anyone else's approval. They think their ideas are the best because they have been well thought out, are original, and no one else could do as good of a job at what they just completed. The first time I heard about INTPs I was like...yeah that's how I AM.

When I read this thread about INTPs wanting to change careers, I had to add my two cents. Right now, I'm seriously considering becoming a financial planner. I think this would allow me to use my financial background, make a really good income, and provide enough daily challenge and variety that I won't get bored with it. Let me know what you think.

Question:

1. Has any other INTP out there enjoyed a long career or is it just in our nature to constantly want to take on new intellectual pursuits once we get bored? No and Yes

2. Do I need to just grow up or is this a normal feeling that most people have? I think it's a normal feeling that most INTPs have, which is about 1% of the population or so I read somewhere on the internet. I wish I had learned this information about my personality type at a much earlier age like yourself, maybe it would have stopped me from making a few of the job changes I've made. I think you're on the right track with becoming a lawyer. I had thought about that as well.

Thanks so much for the response and sharing your experience. I've definitely gained some perspective as a result of all of the responses. Mainly, that I'm not a total pariah or immature. Also, being conscientious of the reasons for some of my feelings will give me great insight in how to deal when a situation arises I think.

Concerning your experience at the work retreat: This sounds horrifying! After you were delegated into your own group did the other accountants poke you with sticks and throw calculators at you for being the only INTP?

I definitely relate to the boss's architect son, too. We know our work is good once it's done because we go over every little scenario, detail, or possibility. I have trouble giving my legal memorandums to the other lawyers in the firm to review. I, of course, have to listen to them, but if someone talks to me about sentence structure , I end up arguing with them until they see why the sentence was structured the way it was, why the sentence was put where it was, and how that supports the overall argument. I mainly want other people to review my work to catch grammatical errors I might have made. Even then I'm headstrong about my grammar.

Good Financial Planners will always be in need. My dad is a financial planner, and he's been doing it for 35 years. He's also the complete opposite of me, though. He's always on the phone and deals with people all day. He loves it but is a total extrovert. I don't want to scare you but that's the only example I have. There's definitely successful financial planners who don't use my dad's approach. Good luck with everything
 

digital angel

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#19
@harlyd- It's our nature to want new challenges and learn constantly. I'm a tax attorney and love it. Tax law changes.

I like to have interests other than law so that I feed my desire to learn completely new things. The interests could be little or big.
 

Reverse Transcriptase

"you're a poet whether you like it or not"
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The Maze in the Heart of the Castle
#20
About 5 years ago, I read the book "Do What You Are" and learned about the personality types and that I was INTP. We also did a personality type exercise at a tax department team building retreat one time. All the other accountants that were the same type were gathered over in one corner of the room. There were some extraverts over in the other corner of the room. I was the only INTP in my own little group out of 70+ accountants. I knew I wasn't your typical accountant. I might like details, but only to make sure something is being done correctly. I definitely don't like details just for the fun of details. Like some accountants like to dig though piles and piles of reports with numbers on them and organize them into other little reports. boring. Back to my story,... There was one other girl that couldn't decide if she was really an INTP or not and she finally joined my group so I wasn't all alone. I remember the guy running the workshop telling a story about his son who was an INTP that sounded exactly like me. He said his son was in college learning to become an architect. He was working on a new project and brought the plans in and laid them out on the table to show his dad. When his dad started asking questions about it and why this was done that way etc, his son rolled up the plans, said "We're done here" and left the room. Or something close to that. Anyway, the point was that his son worked on that project until he had it exactly like he wanted it and was very pleased with how it turned out. He explained that all an INTP really wants to hear about their work from someone else's point of view, is how great it is. They don't really want anyones input and don't value it and don't seek anyone else's approval. They think their ideas are the best because they have been well thought out, are original, and no one else could do as good of a job at what they just completed. The first time I heard about INTPs I was like...yeah that's how I AM.
Ouch!! That cut deep. Is that really how we are? I don't want it to be how we are.

I definitely want to be able to take criticism. But your MBTI-quack might've been right. There are interesting things to ask me about, and to criticism me about, but if you ask me about dumb fucking details I would probably react similarly.

With anyone, I try to take a teaching attitude towards things. I share knowledge, explain it to them. When they're asking questions about my work, it means an opportunity to show them things!

However... my project manager just started making code changes to our project. That scares me a lot.
 

Secretpilgrim

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#21
Don't know if I qualify as older, but I married and kids very young.... So my search for a career started early with the pressure of providing for a family. For the first ten years, I changed jobs - complete changes - about every two years. All that time I always had a knack for computers. The wife regulary told I should get a job in something focused on computers, but I always dismissed the idea.

Well, I ended up there anyway. Constantly changing technology, continuous improvement... It was actually able to keep my interest. I still changed jobs about every two years, getting bored with positions and companies. I've been it for 13 years now. I actually made to a postition running the department for an international company. I have DBA, developers, sys admins, network admins, helpdesk techs, etc. working for me. Over the first 8 years I worked my way through all of those skillsets, constantly learning, creating, etc...

Over the past year I hit the wall. Completely fed up with personalities, business decisions based on the bigggest ego in the room, people unwilling to make decisions without a "group", Parkinson's Law of Triviality.... You get the idea. Over time I learned to focus on a political chess board. Moving pieces around, manipulating people. As silly as it sounds, I did what I had to to not change jobs... Still hit the wall, just got an extra couple of years out of it.

I was given the gift of distraction by my boss. He decided to put me through a Leadership 360 survey and has hired an executive coach for me. There are mny rabbit holes I can chase down as far as motive, but for now.... My discontent is lessened....

I generaly bounce between the different skillsets, touching different projects to keep interested.

Outside of work.... My hobbies bounce all over the place. Right now, I'm in the middle of a complete rebuild of a late 80's Saab 900 Turbo.... I'll probably end up doing a car a year for while. Who knows what'll be next?
 

aracaris

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#22
Haven't you heard, 30 is the new 21 (maybe even the new 18)?
It seems to me that most people whom are still in their 20's are still just starting to "get out in the world" so to speak. A lot of them still live with their parents, and many, maybe even most whom aren't living with the 'rents are just barely clinging to some semblance of independence.

It's so common that that I'm very tempted to say it's the norm for 20 somethings not to be holding a job that they consider a serious long term career (or really hope won't be something they are stuck in long term). This is even becoming more common for people into their 30's. I'm sure the economy shares a big part of the blame for this, but a number of other things must factor into it, such as changes in lifespan, and globalization for example.

Beyond that even once someone does settle into a stable career, for a lot of people the reality is more like they get trapped in a career they really don't like but stick with out of fear and desperation.

So all that's likely to be playing into your situation along with your own personality playing into it.

I am quite happy with my current job, and really like that there's potential for it to continue to evolve. I can't stand jobs where there's very little room for growth. Fortunately so long as I keep learning new things and improving my skills there's always room for growth with my current job, in fact the more skills I pick up really the better.

I have however been in jobs where there is very little room for growth (especially for someone like me), and it becomes really frustrating if it ends up being anything other than a really short term job.
 

downsowf

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#23
Don't know if I qualify as older, but I married and kids very young.... So my search for a career started early with the pressure of providing for a family. For the first ten years, I changed jobs - complete changes - about every two years. All that time I always had a knack for computers. The wife regulary told I should get a job in something focused on computers, but I always dismissed the idea.

Well, I ended up there anyway. Constantly changing technology, continuous improvement... It was actually able to keep my interest. I still changed jobs about every two years, getting bored with positions and companies. I've been it for 13 years now. I actually made to a postition running the department for an international company. I have DBA, developers, sys admins, network admins, helpdesk techs, etc. working for me. Over the first 8 years I worked my way through all of those skillsets, constantly learning, creating, etc...

Over the past year I hit the wall. Completely fed up with personalities, business decisions based on the bigggest ego in the room, people unwilling to make decisions without a "group", Parkinson's Law of Triviality.... You get the idea. Over time I learned to focus on a political chess board. Moving pieces around, manipulating people. As silly as it sounds, I did what I had to to not change jobs... Still hit the wall, just got an extra couple of years out of it.

I was given the gift of distraction by my boss. He decided to put me through a Leadership 360 survey and has hired an executive coach for me. There are mny rabbit holes I can chase down as far as motive, but for now.... My discontent is lessened....

I generaly bounce between the different skillsets, touching different projects to keep interested.

Outside of work.... My hobbies bounce all over the place. Right now, I'm in the middle of a complete rebuild of a late 80's Saab 900 Turbo.... I'll probably end up doing a car a year for while. Who knows what'll be next?
Wow. Very interesting story. That's quite impressive you're able to micromanage all those people. I generally get discontented and fed up if I have to work with someone and explain my vision since only I can work out the details of it. What is reassuring, and hopefully I'll have the same quality given the situation, is that you're quite adaptable. Though you bounced around a few times, I'm hoping I can muster up the enthusiasm and will to keep my job tolerable as you have. My concern when I start a career is that I'll bump heads with authority figures. I just can't see myself maneuvering through corporate politics for a long time without becoming a cynical asshole.
 

Secretpilgrim

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#24
There's always something new waiting around the corner.

Studying people actually be really interesting. Take into account all the stuff that makes up you. Complicated, right? Now start thinking about everyone you work with.... It can definitely keep the boredom at bay. Clashing with the higher ups? Just be sure to get their respect beforehand. It's amazing what you can get away with once you have established yourself....

On many occasions I have walked into both my COO and CEO's offices and started the conversation with a one finger salute.... :D

The real problem lies in when you have a handle on all those people. Eventually, moving pieces on the chessboard gets monotinous as well....

You will become a cynical asshole at some point... I've been there many times. The question is what do you do about it? For me, sometimes it was a job change, other times it required someone else making a job change.... Don't stress about it. Just make sure that you do a really good job. When it is time to leave, make sure you leave them wanting more.

May the bridges I burn light the way.....
 

Weru

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#25
I'm 44 going on 65.
But to answer your question, I changed jobs every 2-3 years until I was recalled for Operation Iraqi Freedom back in 2004. I stayed on active duty since then and it is comfortable enough for me. I change jobs every 12-24 months, and physically move every 24-36 months. The moving is getting old as I hate having to clean up my junk for the packing (I do tend to save everything as I might need it for something). I find that I like the 18 month gigs, long enough to get really good at the job but not long enough to get bored with it.

The only thing that I dislike is that the Army is a little ridge in assignments. They assign you to a branch and then you work various jobs within that branch. The jobs within a branch do vary but are all on a theme. My branch is aviation so it is flying, airfields, air traffic control, operations, plans, and integrating aviation ops with ground ops. Sounds like a lot but it has become all pretty much the same to me. If they would let me jump over to Space Ops or Cyber Ops I would be in heaven (at least for 2-4 years), but apparently aviation officers aren't suppose to have degrees in computer science or certifications in space operations, alas I digress.

I guess my point is if you like changing jobs, the military is one way to do it for a long time. Granted you run into plenty of extrovert cheerleader types (ie running around yelling HOOORA at everything) and some very conventional thinkers but you learn to deal with them (just make your ideas into their idea and they buy it). Not many emotional types, they leave after one tour with their feelings hurt.

Best of luck to you.
:borg:
 
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#26
Will law school open doors to you right away? Say.. working within a company rather than a firm and playing company lawyer/advisor? That alley way is endless, so many companies so little time lol
I was going to say something along those lines.

I'm 30, and I've just started studying law part-time. (It seems like a good career fit for your typical smartarse INTP!) I'm only one term into a two-year course, but I've been thinking a lot about which direction to take it. It seems like private practice might have too much focus on the bottom line. But working in-house in a company would probably give you a lot more freedom.

Either way, it's such a vast subject area, but the legal skill/mind set seems the same across the board.
 
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#27
AMAZING. I am so much like most of you (downsouf, lazyinaz, harleyd, secretpilgrim) that, reading your posts, I almost felt as if I was reading something that I had written. I am 36 and I, too, have never found "the" job. I keep searching...to the point where I feel that searching for a job IS my job (I even considered headhunting!). I also find that I get very into weight training and other outside "projects" because my job never seems to fulfill me. I actually thought of becoming a personal trainer, but I am not sure that the constant interaction with people and the lack of mental stimulation would be a good fit.

Let's see, where to start...

My first "real" job was as a marketing director for a nightclub group, which sounds so wrong...until you realize that the only reason I landed that position was because I was a hot blonde who worked as a door girl at a nightclub/restaurant. The "door girl" position was honestly the best job ever because I just sat in the front entryway all day and read books. The owner liked me so he promoted me, but I ended up hating my new position in marketing, needless to say.

After that I got into weight training and went to college to study kinesiology. Like I said, the thought of being a personal trainer lost its luster, so I changed my major to philosophy, politics and economics. Super interesting but totally impractical for actually working for a living one day. I wish I would have done something more specific, like engineering or computer science.

So, then it was law school. Twice. Yup, I went and got two law degrees (UGH) because law school is not so bad--it is the practice of law that is HORRID for an INTP!!!! Looking back, I think I got the second law degree (an LLM) because I was putting off actually working for a law firm. I get annoyed when I read articles that suggest that being a lawyer is a good move for an INTP. Are we attracted to it? Yes, because law school seems to be such a good fit. I am an amazing writer and very logical, with a very finely honed analytical mind. Perfect for law school! Perfect for the actual practice of law? NOPE.

The ONLY area of law that I can imagine could possibly be tolerable would be appellate work. I pretty much knew that going in--that I would love appellate work, with the research, analysis and writing. But, guess what? Those jobs are almost impossible to find! Not to mention that appellate law means working for someone else, and I hate working for someone else.

I worked for a family law attorney and Oh. My. Gosh. WORST JOB EVER. Worst boss ever. Worst area of practice. Dealing with people's irrational emotions, billable hours, illogical rules, office politics, etc. was unbearable. So I opened up a family law and bankruptcy practice because I thought that perhaps it was just my boss I hated. Nope. I hated law. Everything about it. I learned to cope with the "phone problem" (I HATE THE PHONE) by requiring my clients to email. That worked for awhile but could only bandaid the problem for so long.

So now I have moved on to real estate. I got my license and am planning my next move. I know that I will hate the sales and the constant need for interacting with people. I will love the autonomy and the ability to work on one project at a time (although I am not sure if that will be financially lucrative). I will also love analyzing what a person's "perfect" house would be and helping them find it (via email, of course). The issue, of course, is that in my ideal world I would just work as a behind the scenes agent, helping clients to locate the house but not actually showing it to them or following up with all of the detailed paperwork. I will also dislike if a person gets too emotional and burdens me with their irrational drama, which I have heard can happen.

Thus, I am thinking of flipping houses and doing my own general contracting work, and that is actually how I found this post! I think that I would be great at finding a house and working on one challenging project at a time, and I love design so that part would keep my interest. Obviously there are many details that need to be taken care of, so I hope that I won't get overwhelmed. I will also need to rely on my ENTJ fiancee to help me handle the business side. However, I just HOPE that I can do it and that it will be a good fit.

If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would love to hear more!!!! Pro/Con--whatever. :)

Needless to say, I am a woman (which is very unusual for an INTP), and I really feel (ha) for the male INTPs because you guys have so much pressure to make a steady living (I know that sounds old fashioned, but it is still true). I am marrying a doctor who (so far) seems to be supportive of my apparent flakiness, and I have never been happier. That may sound horrid, but obviously I would never be able to flip houses without his help, and after so many years of TRYING SO HARD and not getting anywhere, I feel I can use help living in this non-INTP world.
 

downsowf

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#28
So, then it was law school. Twice. Yup, I went and got two law degrees (UGH) because law school is not so bad--it is the practice of law that is HORRID for an INTP!!!! Looking back, I think I got the second law degree (an LLM) because I was putting off actually working for a law firm. I get annoyed when I read articles that suggest that being a lawyer is a good move for an INTP. Are we attracted to it? Yes, because law school seems to be such a good fit. I am an amazing writer and very logical, with a very finely honed analytical mind. Perfect for law school! Perfect for the actual practice of law? NOPE.

The ONLY area of law that I can imagine could possibly be tolerable would be appellate work. I pretty much knew that going in--that I would love appellate work, with the research, analysis and writing. But, guess what? Those jobs are almost impossible to find! Not to mention that appellate law means working for someone else, and I hate working for someone else.

I worked for a family law attorney and Oh. My. Gosh. WORST JOB EVER. Worst boss ever. Worst area of practice. Dealing with people's irrational emotions, billable hours, illogical rules, office politics, etc. was unbearable. So I opened up a family law and bankruptcy practice because I thought that perhaps it was just my boss I hated. Nope. I hated law. Everything about it. I learned to cope with the "phone problem" (I HATE THE PHONE) by requiring my clients to email. That worked for awhile but could only bandaid the problem for so long.

.
I'm pretty sure you just scared the hell out of me. I was looking to get into appellate work. I even worked for a superior court judge as an intern. I asked what my chances are of landing a clerkship when I talked to her on the phone last week. She said that it's nearly impossible.

Like you did, I am thinking about getting an LLM, but I know this would be to just put off the inevitable reality of finding a job.

I have one more semester left and feel quite insecure about my future. I interned for a family law firm and had the same experience as you. Family law is more dealing with people. I'm sort of scared shitless now.

I was thinking about working for the gov't as a criminal defense attorney to start out. What's your opinion on this?
 
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#29
Oh, I'm sorry! I did not mean to scare the crap out of you, but I do wish someone would have scared me a bit before I spent so much time in pursuit of something I ultimately HATE. So, yes, if scaring the crap out of you stops you from wasting more time and money getting an LLM, I am glad to do it. ;) However, with that said, if you do like tax law and you think it could make you happy, you may want to get the LLM. I, personally, cannot imagine being a tax attorney. Yes, the law changes...but the law is so boring that I don't care if it changes. I have no interest to begin with!!!! Also, I think that is WAYYYYYYYY too detail oriented. Then again, I am not a huge fan of math. ZZZZ. Perhaps that is the female INTP in me, but I digress.

I think the biggest problem is that all of the areas of law that would suit my INTP personality have drawbacks that are completely at odds with my INTP personality! For instance, being an IP, tax, appellate or other non-litigating/transactional lawyer is okay because it suits my need for introversion. However, 1) I am not interested in the subject matter and, as we all know, that is deadly; 2) Even if I did something that could interest me (say criminal appellate law), those jobs all require you to work for a firm or, if they are in house or something more tolerable (city attorney or public admin), they are so competitive that you might as well forget about even trying. Working for a law firm is HELL for an INTP. Rules, deadlines, politics....HELL. PURE HELL.

With that said, since you are so far in and seem to be doing well academically, I would consider doing legal writing work for a publisher. I almost got a job with Thomson West because I won awards for my legal writing, but I just did not want to move to Rochester, NY. I think that job would have been tolerable, although Thomson West merged with Reuters and that could lead to the problem of MAJOR corporate BS!!! I knew a gal who left Thomson West for that reason, so be careful there. I think that criminal DUI law was *okay* but not for me because litigation requires public speaking which is way too "E" for me. The subject matter was decent, though. If you have REALLY good grades and credentials, I would try to get a job at a government entity (state, local, federal). I clerked at the Boulder County Attorney's office and hated my boss (of course), but the job would have been okay. Just very competitive to get into.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am copying and pasting this discussion from another site because I think it does shed light on the problem (below is NOT ME speaking and it is a response to another comment. I italicized the original comment and put the OP's response to that comment in bold).


Comment:

I work at a litigation firm. I went into the law thinking that I would enjoy problem-solving, working independently, and using my intellect. In reality, I am rarely involved with problem-solving or strategy. While I do work alone in my office, I have no control over the work that I do, and I'm at the constant beck and call of my superiors. I also have no intellectual interest in the subject matter of my cases (largely corporation/shareholder law, breach of contract, and contribution/indemnification issues).


Response:

Working at a medium to large law firm in which the primary focus is billable hours is hell. I wouldn't do it, especially with an INTP personality. If the constant pressure to bill every minute of every day to some client doesn't instill in you an urge to kill, intra-office politics and firm committee meetings and the never-ending client development will. Medium to large sized law firms are not happy places for the INTP.

Comment:

I could see myself happy as a lawyer, provided I was (a) interested in the subject matter of the cases (perhaps consumer protection plaintiffs' work or constitutional law); (b) not in a strictly hierarchical work environment; and (c) able to devote a lot of time to strategy, case planning, and brainstorming.


Response:

(a) is something you can do by changing to a firm or practice that does that sort of work, or by hanging out your shingle and starting your own practice;

(b) You can't get away from this in a firm structure. Starting your own firm or practice or working as in-house counsel to a business organization, non-profit group, or government agency is probably the best way to get yourself out of a strict hierarchy. At best, you will be of counsel to lots of varied clients and not really have a direct boss, but in-house counsel still answers to those who run the organization. It's just that you are more sideways on the organizational chart and not so much in the up and down flow of things. This is good;

(c) Sounds great. Where do I sign up? In my own litigation practice I've had to make time to devote to strategy and brainstorming, which I love, but I've also had to do the grunt work involving in drafting pleadings, motions, briefs, and (ugh) discovery responses. If I could get away with litigating without written discovery or document production, I would. I loathe the tedium associated with those tasks, but I've never had the luxury of a dedicated and smart paralegal to do that drudgery for me. Hell, even if I did, I would still need to pour over the documents to familiarize myself with the facts of the case so I can take or defend depositions well, argue motions without looking stupid, and try the case when I get to do that (it's why I became a trial lawyer -- not to argue motions). Unfortunately, those tasks are inherent in litigating. You'll probably have to accept them or find something else to do.




Comment:

I only did a Myers-Briggs analysis last week, which provided these further insights into why I might dislike my job (and these additional factors lead me to believe that I may never be happy practicing law):

(1) Excessive focus on details. Very little of my day has to do with strategy/assessing/big-picture planning.

(2) Constant urgent deadlines. There's always something. It's very difficult to "go with the flow," instead it feels more like being caught in the crash of a wave.

(3) Very little room for creativity.


I am open to advice from any INTP who loves his or her job, and can help me find something more appropriate. I'd especially love to hear from current or former lawyers who are happy.


Response:

(1) I share your dislike and disillusionment. Unfortunately, the actual practice of law involves having to do a lot of decidedly non-glamorous tasks in order to put food on your table and occasionally pay off with the more glamorous trying of cases you like and believe in. The strategic planning does get engaged in advising and counseling your clients, and in litigation management and trial strategy. It's just that it will never be the sole focus of your practice. It will get engaged plenty, but most of the time you will do more pedestrian and mundane things. I think the latter is probably true in most occupations and professions.

(2) Deadlines are the bane of a litigation practice. Unfortunately, you can't get around that if you litigate. I have certainly experienced a sensation similar to what you describe as being in the crash of a wave. Some of that sensation dissipates with experience, but much of it I think is related to how you personally deal with the stress of multiple, constant deadlines on many, many cases at once. If your reaction is to let it overwhelm you, it can and will seem overwhelming at times. If you can break it down into manageable pieces, however, then you can manage it with some good organizational habits, the right mind-set, and possibly with the assistance of a good, well-organized secretary (don't ever fall into the trap of blaming your secretary for things that don't get filed on time, of course, as you are always responsible for ensuring that it gets done in a timely fashion). Even the best, most organized lawyers get stressed out by deadlines, however, so don't fret too much over it. Take a breather, get a prescription from your doctor for some anti-anxiety meds, and/or go exercise and then return to it.

(3) I disagree. There are plenty of opportunities to write, and those always present opportunities for creativity. I've read many briefs and decisions in which it's clear the writer, be it a lawyer or an appellate judge or his or her law clerk, is having some fun and expressing himself creatively and even humorously. I find myself being creative in making and responding to objections, arguing motions, and in planning and delivering opening statements and closing arguments to juries, and even in jury selection. I would have to say I've had the most fun as a lawyer while being creative and thinking on my feet during exchanges on the record with great trial court judges, especially those in federal courts. It's fun seeing a reluctant judge being persuaded by your novel arguments and coming to see the case the way you are presenting it.

I've been practicing law for more than 20 years now. Am I happy? It depends on what day you ask me, or what I'm doing at the moment. Am I satisfied and fulfilled with the practice of law? Sometimes. Other times, not so much. In fact, personally, much of my introspective time has been spent pondering how the hell do I get out of law and into something else that will stimulate me intellectually, allow me the lifestyle to which I'm accustomed, and provide me with personal satisfaction and achievement in serving others. When I figure that out, I'll let you know.

Sorry. I wish I had an easy answer. Guess how I found this forum?

Yep. I Googled "lawyers changing careers." This forum had some threads that came up on the first or second page of the search results.

Anyway, feel free to ask me other questions about practicing law and/or finding fulfillment in it. I've got some ideas, thoughts, and experiences in that regard.
Will2009
 
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#30
Another idea is personal injury, but that will ONLY work if you are the rare INTP who can stand going to trial and speaking publicly. The positive aspects would be that you have autonomy and work on one project at a time, and the subject matter can be somewhat interesting....

Problems include bankrolling, marketing, and conflict/negotiations with insurance companies, and there is also the whole court deadline thing that is inherent in litigation, in general...

So, yes, if anyone has ideas about whether flipping houses is a good fit, do tell! ;)
 
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#31
My lack of attention just caused me to not even notice the question you asked. ;) Do you mean as a public defender?

If so, I'd have to say that it is a better fit. The problems are that it's pretty difficult to get a job (low paying but super competitive) and, as I've mentioned, many INTPs don't like public speaking and conflict. It is also a lot of cases and isn't a "one project at a time" sort of situation, and it has all of the negatives that are inherent in litigation. On the bright side, it is challenging and the subject matter is decent...

Have you tried clerking at the PD office?
 
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#32
Will law school open doors to you right away? Say.. working within a company rather than a firm and playing company lawyer/advisor? That alley way is endless, so many companies so little time lol

I like your view, its realistic to me.
This is EXACTLY the type of thinking that will get you into trouble. So FEW companies, so little time! How many companies can afford in house counsel? Not many. Then, guess what? You have to be at the very top of your very high ranked law school (think: top 2% Yale or Harvard. Period.)...

If you are an INTP, do not go to law school. It opens no doors and closes many (can you say overqualified?).
 

downsowf

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#33
My lack of attention just caused me to not even notice the question you asked. ;) Do you mean as a public defender?

If so, I'd have to say that it is a better fit. The problems are that it's pretty difficult to get a job (low paying but super competitive) and, as I've mentioned, many INTPs don't like public speaking and conflict. It is also a lot of cases and isn't a "one project at a time" sort of situation, and it has all of the negatives that are inherent in litigation. On the bright side, it is challenging and the subject matter is decent...

Have you tried clerking at the PD office?
Yeah, I meant working for the PD. I'm interviewing for a clerkship with the PD office next week and if I get the job, I'm going to take it. As much as public speaking is terrifying, I believe that this is a skill that can be learned, especially if you're prepared and ready to present any arguments. I like to think I can be persuasive. Having said this, I've never tried to convince a jury, so it's obviously a different ballgame.

But, yeah, I know a lot of the day to day work is mostly monotonous. I have no misconceptions. It's kind of sad, but I've already resigned myself to the fact that I probably will never be completely satisfied with any job I have. I see law as an ends to a means. I'll sacrifice myself being miserable for a little bit while I'm young so I can enjoy my later years, hopefully having saved a good bit of money in order to take a risk, open up my own business, and become an entrepreneur. We'll see what happens, though. If there has been one constant in my life, it is the unpredictability of the course my life has taken.

I appreciate the response. It was very informative and it's always beneficial when someone gives you a reality check. So there's nothing to be sorry about.
 
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Jan 2, 2012
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#34
I think the PD job will work well for you. I am a HORRID public speaker, but I've been able to fake it over the years and found it could be quite a thrill when I did a good job. Nothing wrong w/pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a bit. Also, DUI law was probably my least hated area, and defense attorneys tend to be a fun and more laid back bunch. Plus, a government job is more up our alley, as legal jobs go...and, perhaps most important, you have less one on one emotional interaction with people than in you do in family law... Good luck!
 

Architect

Professional INTP
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Today, 05:15
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Dec 25, 2010
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#35
Question:

1. Has any other INTP out there enjoyed a long career or is it just in our nature to constantly want to take on new intellectual pursuits once we get bored?
Few things are constant in life. I've had a coming up on 20 year career, and I both liked and disliked it for the first 15 - I'm a software engineer. In the past five years I've found a good group to work with and I'm in love with it.

For those 15 years I enjoyed what I did which was working with international teams and traveling to Asia and Europe. Yeah, why not? But I still was looking around for my 'true purpose', and saved my money so I could leave the software job to pursue my true love, whatever it was. After a long search I finally realized that what I wanted to do in life was exactly what I was already doing. It was right there in front of me and I rather took it for granted. I liken it to Borat, where he finally realized that the prostitute was his true love all along instead of Pamela Anderson who he had been pursuing. :)

I was able to come to this insight because I finally had the choice of doing something else, and so had to face up to the fact that anything else would be wasting my life.

2. Do I need to just grow up or is this a normal feeling that most people have?
You need to do the search, go on 'The Hero's Journey' as Joseph Campbell would call it. A mythological pattern which is derived from most peoples lives. Sure you're thinking there's something better, we all do. Until we die we're designed to look for something better. Over time you refine that, so its focused on (for example) "what project am I going to work on?" instead of "what career do I want?"

Also, you need to disambiguate the difference between having the career you want, the work you want, and the job you want. Those are different needs. I know I want to work in software, but the exact job I have is always being scrutinized.
 
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#36
So, yes, if anyone has ideas about whether flipping houses is a good fit, do tell! ;)
I flipped houses for a number of years. I really enjoyed it. Each project is a new challenge, and the research and planning phase is lots of fun. I found that I enjoyed building new houses even more, and it was getting harder to find the good deals as everyone and their in-laws started flipping houses (thanks TLC!) in the run-up to the real estate bubble crash.

Some of the pros (for me): You work on your own schedule. I did most of the rehab work myself, but you can definitely subcontract everything as well. You can concentrate on one project at a time, and most projects last a matter of months, not years. Some projects last just a few days if everything goes right! Can be very lucrative. Each project is a new and unique challenge!

Cons: A long time between paychecks. I struggled to finish projects, since I was already raring to jump into a new one before the old one was complete. Scheduling and managing subcontractors can be tedious and a headache. Finding the right ones is soooo important. And there's always something fairly major that unexpectedly pops up (usually just after you sign the papers.) And dealing with banks/mortgage/insurance, escrow/title companies, and all the required paperwork can be not so fun.

Overall, I'd recommend flipping houses, since from reading your posts you sound like an echo chamber of my own mind! Just keep in mind that you'll always spend more money and time on a project than you originally planned/budgeted. Finding and keeping good subcontractors is essential. There are a ton of great deals right now... if you can arrange financing. That's a little harder than it used to be.

Anyway, give it a shot! Especially if you're not relying on it as a main source of income for now.
 
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