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Successful INTP's, what career has made you happy?

Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
1
#1
What career has made you happy and why? I'm currently struggling to choose one, which you can read about below.

I'm an INTP, sometimes bordering in J. I consider myself to be very intelligent, inquisitive, and creative. I earned an associates degree and got a scholarship to a top university...but didn't go because I was sick of school. I had straight A's and interned at the NIH....I was just sick of it all. The meaningless memorization of facts and sucking everyone's D to get letters of recommendation wore me down. I was going to be a doctor, then switched to medical research.

Now I'm 27, unemployed, and relatively skilless. I'm looking for a career that I will enjoy, and also make decent money. I'm confident that I can excel in almost any field, though the greatest challenges would be management (and maybe drawing).

I've had a ton of hobbies and interests over the years but never stuck to anything. I get bored after a few months once I understand the general concept and start seeing repetitive patterns. I have a very low tolerance for boredom and tendency for nihilistic thoughts. I've gotten a little better lately after realizing the world is mostly a circlejerk of people trying to get rich. Once my delusions of a society of humans working hand in hand for the greater good wore off, I've freed myself to focus on my own survival and prosperity. This is primarily so I don't end up living in a barrel pondering the meaning of life, homeless.

I'm considering teaching myself computers, maybe starting with web design and going from there, onto perhaps software engineering or AI. I've researched it over the past few weeks and everything checks out...level of challenge, capacity for creativity, constant learning, self teach-ability, great pay, future job growth, entrepreneurial and freelance potential.

My main concern is that I may end up hating it, like just about everything else I've done after a few months or years. That the repetition will begin to wear me down. So, are there are any computer INTPs out there who can share their experiences? I've noticed while lurking that I can relate a lot to many of you (I'm a bit more arrogant and pessimistic perhaps), so think this thread could generate some valuable information for me and hopefully others.

Thanks!

TL;DR: What career has made you happy? As an INTP will I like computer programming/web design? Any careers you can recommend me?
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
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6,692
#2
It's not so much the career but how you go about it primarily, and secondarily it's something in STEM. Say you like physics, well you could be a solid state experimenter, which you'd probably not enjoy (all the SS experimental guys I knew were ISTX's - literally every one). Or you could go into theory, which yes many INTP's show up in. With computers you could be IT support (bad), or computer scientists or software engineer (good).

Given that yes, IT (broadly) is a field INTP's show up most frequently in, about 2.5 times the frequency they show up in the general population. But the only trick is finding a specific niche you like.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
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Messages
6,692
#4
What do you mean by that?
The examples weren't clear enough? Seriously ...

Pick any white collar career - lawyer, doctor, dentist for example, you can find a way of doing that that an INTP would probably like. As a lawyer you could work as a professor, tech law (you have to understand tech), or on the Supreme Court say (I suspect former SCOTUS David Souter is an INTP). As a Dr or dentist you can work in research, consulting, bio tech development, and so on.

The only difference is that some careers are more easily conducive to be enjoyed by an INTP, so there are more easy opportunities. As a dentist an INTP would have to work harder to find a good niche, but it doesn't mean he couldn't be a dentist.
 

Trueman

Redshirt
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5
#5
I thought you were mostly foucssing on your second point and left your first point unanswered. I guess you're saying that within any field, it's all about finding the right job type or niche.

Clear now :)
 

EditorOne

Prolific Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
2,700
Location
Northeastern Pennsylvania
#6
Additionally:

A field which is constantly changing due to new technology, new opportunities, new challenges, is never going to get too terribly repetitive. It could be anything. I changed jobs (rather, roles) WITHIN journalism about every two to three years and that kept me happy for quite a long time, perhaps 28-30 years. By the time I got to serious management level, the industry itself had changed and I had to learn stuff like code to put news up on the newspaper Web site, learn how to change how it was presented and what would work and what wouldn't, work to change the entire paradigm of a newspaper operation from once every 24 hours to every moment of every 24 hours, etc.

INTX seem to have less problem with change, so long as we are allowed to fashion our own responses to it. I would suggest that involves knowing a field of endeavor so well that you can skate through changes in function and technology at the "do the work" level for a number of years, developing the insights to rise to a leadership role when you are ready to supervise others for a bit and then take all of it and plot a successful new vision within your field.

Management need not be daunting if you keep in mind the progression for a career is "do the work, supervise the work, decide what work ought to be done." If you pay attention and realize you are at an emotional deficit for decisionmaking in every phase, you should be able to pick up an understanding of how others use emotion and not get in too terribly much trouble.

I'd suggest you grit your teeth and get some kind of degree. I did it all without one, and wish I'd gritted my teeth for just one more semester to get the bachelor's. In a world where sensor bureaucrats are the gatekeepers to employment, the ability to put a check in the little box marked "college degree" is a frustratingly large hurdle to clear.
 

Redfire

and Blood
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
413
#7
Invest 6 months of your life learning how to code. Two things may happen:

1- You won't like it enough to make a career out of it. Still useful, regardless of what you do next.
2- You'll love it. You'll keep learning, get a job, maybe a degree too; you'll be a programmer. Age won't matter, as long as you are skilled enough you'll get a job (not true of many other areas).

And if you are INTP, you WILL love it.

Problem solved.
 

gilliatt

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
286
Location
usa
#8
I speculate in markets. I keep up with a number of companies, chart their price movements, trends etc. I have learned to interpret/analysis these charts, these insider traders(Composite Man) that control the markets. I am a graduate from Stock Market Institute & have an understanding of the Wyckoff principles. You judge the market by its own action, Law of Supply & Demand, price & volume. You can determine turning points, important points, comparisons, everything. But it is all perfectly logical, not magical. It has cause & effect, effort & result. Somewhat like physics, always this battle back & forth between bulls & bears.
I believe any INTP can do this. They see trends, the big picture(the trend of the whole market) & intuition, perceivers, foresight etc. Know a few INTP playing markets. They make a lot of money. The really important thing with INTP's & markets, they are not emotional people which is important, need to stay calm & think clearly.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
6,692
#9
A field which is constantly changing due to new technology, new opportunities, new challenges, is never going to get too terribly repetitive.
Yes. Technology fields are best here, surprisingly core science fields like Physics are not so much. I got bored in particle physics, decided Higgs wasn't worth waiting for. Also you might not expect it, but a field you'd expect to be stable but isn't so much is law. At least I've read from people in the field that there's always something new as law has to grapple with a changing society and new circumstances.
Management need not be daunting if you keep in mind the progression for a career is "do the work, supervise the work, decide what work ought to be done."
Yes, of course you have to be fully cognizant going into management that you are more than likely to lose all the skills you had been building up. Your problems become managing people (usually one or two that give you all the trouble) instead of what you had been managing.

I'd suggest you grit your teeth and get some kind of degree. I did it all without one, and wish I'd gritted my teeth for just one more semester to get the bachelor's. In a world where sensor bureaucrats are the gatekeepers to employment, the ability to put a check in the little box marked "college degree" is a frustratingly large hurdle to clear.[
True. OTOH there are simply a lot of people who can do X (whatever X is). I've been interviewing new hires my entire career and frankly I'm not honestly interested in somebody who didn't get the degree. Why should I? Too many really good candidates who did get the degree. It's an easy way to weed out the hundreds of resumes you're looking at.

Invest 6 months of your life learning how to code. Two things may happen:

1- You won't like it enough to make a career out of it. Still useful, regardless of what you do next.
2- You'll love it. You'll keep learning, get a job, maybe a degree too; you'll be a programmer. Age won't matter, as long as you are skilled enough you'll get a job (not true of many other areas).

And if you are INTP, you WILL love it.

Problem solved.
In my estimation Software Engineering is, all else being equal, the optimum career for an INTP. The one caveat is that I'm not convinced that (again all else being equal) every INTP is capable of it. Don Knuth has said many times that it takes a certain kind of person to be able to program. In a MBTI study of engineers it was found that ISTJ's were most common, ISTP's next with INTP's and INTJ's somewhere around 25% (IIRC) but significantly at twice the likelyhood you'd find them in the general population. So clearly, INTP's/INTJ's like programming, but does it require something in addition to the personality type to be able to program successfully? That is, is personality type necessary but not sufficient? I'm not certain.
 

Jennywocky

guud languager
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Charn
#10
Invest 6 months of your life learning how to code. Two things may happen:

1- You won't like it enough to make a career out of it. Still useful, regardless of what you do next.
2- You'll love it. You'll keep learning, get a job, maybe a degree too; you'll be a programmer. Age won't matter, as long as you are skilled enough you'll get a job (not true of many other areas).

And if you are INTP, you WILL love it.

Problem solved.
I started in coding back at college, and have done it on and off over the years. There are some great things about it (building your own code, being able to focus on something intently) and things I hated (like bug searching -- no greater feeling than figuring out why something isn't working, no worse feeling that not being able to find it in a time crunch or realizing it's because some numbnuts changed a variable somewhere else in the app without telling anyone and you just wasted two weeks). Also, the detail work -- I have to have every jot and tittle in the code exactly write or it won't run. That annoys me.

In that field, I found I enjoy systems analysis and requirement writing more and/or get frustrated less -- I can still use my troubleshooting skills, but can focus on the big-picture and pass off the details of coding the apps to people who enjoy it more. And since I understand code / structure, I can still tell what the apps do and recognize what's going on and maybe the limitations of a particular approach, etc. It's more a high-level focus than an in-the-trench focus.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
6,692
#11
I started in coding back at college, and have done it on and off over the years. ...
Good thoughts.

I found that a balance between these factors works best. I do like detail work - just not 100%. Having Si teritary would explain this. Likewise I like high level work, but I find it unbalancing if there is too much. Using MBTI I've crafted a career approach for me, where I break my work into functional partitions.

For example, most of the time I do work and take tasks that are Ti oriented. Such as analyzing an existing system, troubleshooting, architecting, designing. Maybe 60% of the time I try to do this.

I carve out another 20% of my time for Ne type work. Blue sky - coming up with new ideas, tearing stuff down to try another approach, reading, learning, studying ...

The Si - this is the detail work maybe 15%. Just working some algorithm, banging out code that requires little thought, etc. I listen to music usually during this which works great.

Finally something like 5% of my time I spend thinking about what I'm doing from the user persective. Am I making their lives easier? Is this GUI designed well?

All my work is managed in a system as usual for engineering, two different ones for day job and my personal lab. In both I actually label tasks, bugs etc with the typological function to help me balance. There are different ways to do this. At work, I can simply not do something - invariably one of the ISTJ's in my group will take it up. In personal work, if I have too much Si work say, I often find that it can be turned into Ti work. Like say I need to write a bunch of code - too much for my taste, I'll spend time analyzing the problem to find the minimum set of code which needs to be written. Often this results in a redesign or rearchitecture, both which are Ti work.
 

Turnevies

Active Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
249
#12
Yes. Technology fields are best here, surprisingly core science fields like Physics are not so much. I got bored in particle physics, decided Higgs wasn't worth waiting for. Also you might not expect it, but a field you'd expect to be stable but isn't so much is law. At least I've read from people in the field that there's always something new as law has to grapple with a changing society and new circumstances.
I am surprised of you getting bored by particle physics. I agree, the initial phenomenology can be somewhat annoying. But if you access the deeper principles of quantum mechanics/quantum field theory thoroughly, there is an never ending ocean of deep fundamental knowledge full of connections. So, in itself, those fundamentals are not moving so fast as more applied technology does, but because there are so much layers of them, you will never get the whole picture during your lifespan (partly because the 'whole picture' is not know to man yet, but the related knowledge which is known to man is also immense and tough).

I am doing research in theoretical physics myself (solid state/quantum optics) and do so with delight. That is not to say every part is equally interesting; apart from the inspiration there always remains a big chunk of transpiration, such as plotting neat graphs and looking at them. But actually, in any research, the forefront moves forward quickly almost by definition, but it is far easier to see this movement from within than from the outside.
 

bvanevery

Redshirt who doesn't die
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
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#13
I'm a disgruntled INTP computer programmer, living out of my car with my dog for exactly that reason. It wasn't always so. I would say that for the first 5 years of my pre-industry and industry time, every single "grungy" bit of computerdom was interesting to me. Like, how to run a Linux machine, compile software, write system shell scripts, etc. I taught myself 3d computer graphics programming by hanging out in the research stack of a math / science library. My 1st year in industry writing 3d device drivers was pretty cool, mostly 64-bit assembly code on a DEC Alpha processor. After that though, I seriously started having problems with being entertained because I knew pretty much what there was to know about ASM.

I quit to follow my own star as some kind of game developer, and I've been struggling for 19 years since then pretty much. Never have shipped anything. I'm currently designing a programming language because of all the things I hate about the computer industry. It is close in sentiment to ASM, which I was always strongest at, but it endeavors to be more abstract while simultaneously being a low level language.

The main thing I regret, looking back, is that for those first 3 years when I was literally entertained by everything I was digging into, I didn't get a part-time job doing it. I could have learned all that stuff AND made money at the same time. Instead I did it all on my own nickel. So after 3 years, I was bored AND I ran out of money. Bleh.

So my advice to you, is learn some kind of computer programming. Make sure there's a paycheck attached to it, even if it's something silly like debugging, Quality Assurance, Unix sysadmin, not very "high flying" stuff in the scheme of things. Once it no longer entertains you, you will at least have some money. Then you can move on to the next phase of the challenge, "What about computer programming actually makes me happy, or miserable?" Maybe you will have found it by then and you'll just revel in making any amount of money you want. Maybe you won't, and you'll learn auto repair as you live out of a car and tilt at industry windmills. Those are pretty much the extreme cases.

I didn't list quitting as one of the cases, because I believe it is inevitable that I will succeed as a game developer someday. Nothing can really stop me from programming until the day I die. I don't think even Alzheimer's can stop me, because I'm taking proactive steps in my life at an earlier age to prevent that from happening. Mainly, learning how to control sugar intake. There's a school of thought that Alzheimer's is diabetes of the brain. Anyways, point is I've been keeping myself healthy and I seriously doubt my mind is going to waste away. I keep my body up too, mostly by walking my dog, although I do also have a martial arts background that I could be doing more of. I'm in it for the long haul.

"Success" means yes, within my lifetime, I'm going to be relatively rich and famous as a game developer. It might be nice to have it happen sooner rather than later, but it isn't critical. I have 1 life to live, and this is going to get done within my life. Material accolade isn't really the most important thing either. There's a degree to which I'm building my mausoleum for eternity, by writing some "great game", although lately I've questioned whether even that is so important. The most important thing is, this is something I know I'm capable of, so as an act of will, it's going to happen. I'm not going to die regretting that I didn't do it, long as I die of natural causes and don't get hit by a truck. To wit, I look both ways before crossing the street....

Oh, how do you get that first job for money? I taught myself MSDOS batch file programming in 2 days; I already had a fair amount of programming experience from school. Went to a department on campus that didn't typically get computer science oriented applicants. Impressed their department manager with all the stuff I rattled off about network programming, definitely established that I knew more than he did. Managed their network as a part time job for about a year. Basically, learn some crap fast and stick your foot in the door.
 

baccheion

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
163
#14
Software Engineering, though I'm not sure which career would make an INTP happy. That is, I enjoy programming, but once at work, it was just more of the same tedious, pointless, endless, Dilbert-level BS.
 

bvanevery

Redshirt who doesn't die
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#15
IMO you have to go work for software companies that "know what they're doing". If you are not proactive about being the best programmer, and working for the best companies, where "best" means the intellect and practices they deploy not how much money or accolade they're getting... well you're going to be miserable. The software industry is mostly about someone on top of an API pyramid shitting down your throat, to everyone consuming underneath. You can either climb to the top of that pyramid, so that others have to eat your shit, or find some way to work around it.

I'm guessing that smart programmers find a lab full of dummies to be rather disgusting. That's just how I feel about though; maybe others come up with different ways of regarding a relatively talentless Dilbert pool. Sometimes it's not even the people who are dumb, it's the process, and individuals are too meek to change it.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
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Shallow grave
#16
Architectural design.

That is, if wealth is unimportant to 'success'. (And if it even counts seeing that I'm ENTP)
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
6,692
#17
I am surprised of you getting bored by particle physics. I agree, the initial phenomenology can be somewhat annoying. But if you access the deeper principles of quantum mechanics/quantum field theory thoroughly, there is an never ending ocean of deep fundamental knowledge full of connections..
I got bored of QM, GR/SR, E&M ...

Note I'm not bashing Physics - our poster child Albert Einstein was one, as was my undergraduate adviser. But the hard sciences are a bounded field as they are purely about what is with little regard for us in the mix - that's the job of the Humanities. I've come to think that INTP's are the one type that best straddles the boundary between Science and Art /Humanities, which is why you see so many in both fields. So, if true, my supposition is that the best fields for INTP's are those that are approximately equal parts STEM and Humanities, more tilted toward STEM.

The INTJ's are the true scientists and indeed my graduate school was mostly them. INTP's need more expression in my opinion, not just Te hard laws of science (Ti prefers the partially subjective and note Einstein's subjective Deism). This is one reason I recommend CS, which approximately split between STEM (gotta have a engineering/STEM degree to be really successful) and Art/Humanties (UI, Games, etc ... )

Typologically software very well approximates our stack too - primarily Ti problem solving, with Ne ideation, Si recall and attention to detail, and finally with the distant goal of writing something that people will like (Fe). And of course there are plenty of shitty software jobs like in any other field, if you're smart you'll find the good ones.
 

bvanevery

Redshirt who doesn't die
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#18
What he said. Except, make sure you don't get stuck in a lecture hall of boring nerds wonking about the intricacies of .NET. Sit at the back where you can escape. That wasn't a class, that was a group of people meeting at Microsoft after hours on their free time!
 

baccheion

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
163
#19
I got bored of QM, GR/SR, E&M ...

Note I'm not bashing Physics - our poster child Albert Einstein was one, as was my undergraduate adviser. But the hard sciences are a bounded field as they are purely about what is with little regard for us in the mix - that's the job of the Humanities. I've come to think that INTP's are the one type that best straddles the boundary between Science and Art /Humanities, which is why you see so many in both fields. So, if true, my supposition is that the best fields for INTP's are those that are approximately equal parts STEM and Humanities, more tilted toward STEM.

The INTJ's are the true scientists and indeed my graduate school was mostly them. INTP's need more expression in my opinion, not just Te hard laws of science (Ti prefers the partially subjective and note Einstein's subjective Deism). This is one reason I recommend CS, which approximately split between STEM (gotta have a engineering/STEM degree to be really successful) and Art/Humanties (UI, Games, etc ... )

Typologically software very well approximates our stack too - primarily Ti problem solving, with Ne ideation, Si recall and attention to detail, and finally with the distant goal of writing something that people will like (Fe). And of course there are plenty of shitty software jobs like in any other field, if you're smart you'll find the good ones.
Computer Engineering is probably better than Computer Science for INTPs, as it's more general.
 

bvanevery

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#20
Computer Engineering is probably better than Computer Science for INTPs, as it's more general.
I dunno, that probably depends on what your specific inventory of talents are. For instance I have artistic and creative talents. I've met a lot of guys in Melbourne, Florida who seem to do Computer Engineering, they know lots of stuff about circuits, board prototyping, etc. For the most part I don't think they know diddly doo about art or game design. So if I wanted to switch gears and do a highly technical project, maybe I could find partners in that community. If I'm sticking to my original life mission of writing a game, seems like the wrong crowd.

I do agree that Computer Engineering would probably have been interesting to me, back when I was in college, if I had even known that was a thing. As it is, I'm a rank novice punter with a soldering iron. But I did succeed in putting a new power jack on the back of my neighbor's laptop, that their boys had abused. Ugly but got the job done, with a $10 iron. I'd get better equipment if I was ever going to do a lot more work than that, but I've had no reason to since.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
15
#21
I got bored of QM, GR/SR, E&M ...

Note I'm not bashing Physics - our poster child Albert Einstein was one, as was my undergraduate adviser. But the hard sciences are a bounded field as they are purely about what is with little regard for us in the mix - that's the job of the Humanities. I've come to think that INTP's are the one type that best straddles the boundary between Science and Art /Humanities, which is why you see so many in both fields. So, if true, my supposition is that the best fields for INTP's are those that are approximately equal parts STEM and Humanities, more tilted toward STEM.

The INTJ's are the true scientists and indeed my graduate school was mostly them. INTP's need more expression in my opinion, not just Te hard laws of science (Ti prefers the partially subjective and note Einstein's subjective Deism). This is one reason I recommend CS, which approximately split between STEM (gotta have a engineering/STEM degree to be really successful) and Art/Humanties (UI, Games, etc ... )

Typologically software very well approximates our stack too - primarily Ti problem solving, with Ne ideation, Si recall and attention to detail, and finally with the distant goal of writing something that people will like (Fe). And of course there are plenty of shitty software jobs like in any other field, if you're smart you'll find the good ones.
So, INTP's as economists? A joint Physics & Econ/Business degree a la Elon Musk? Front end software guy?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
70
#23
So, INTP's as economists? A joint Physics & Econ/Business degree a la Elon Musk? Front end software guy?
I am an Economics major. Used to be interested in it, currently bored and depressed. I think that reflects more on me than economics, though.

As a side note, a career as warehouse laborer is as unfulfilling as it sounds.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
16
#24
I tried college, but I ended up hating it. Very boring way to learn and thought it was redundant. Joined the military, became a Firefighter. I am now a Firefighter in the civilian world. This job can be great, things are always changing, but wow can it be a challenge to stay busy when we are not running calls. Aside from that, I have had challenges with social interaction. Being a female makes it even more complicated. I have really considered the possibility that my job will never make me happy, nor will any job, but the great thing about this job is that it places me into highly stressful situations which I feel I thrive in. I can be quite stoic and it feels odd, like looking in on a horrible tragic situation with no emotion, no empathy. Everyone aroind me trying not to break down and here I am feeling like a bad person because i'm not" feeling". Another blessing that this job brings is the schedule. I work 24hrs on and 48 off which gives me plenty of time to pursue my many hobbies and projects. If you can deal with the social aspect, its worth considering. ;)
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
20
#25
Cubicle life: excellent pay in a nice office at a winning company with easy duties and plenty of time for messing around online.

Best job I've ever had, no question about it.
 

Adamastor

Active Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
145
Location
Brazil, São Paulo
#27
TL;DR: What career has made you happy? As an INTP will I like computer programming/web design? Any careers you can recommend me?
I choose computer programming instead of medicine, so I could be free (got money fast enough to leave comfortably by myself). Dropped out of college tho, courses were mostly interesting but not really my thing going to class and working at the same time.

Been working professionally for about 6 years, my focus being (VC or self-funded) startups, easy money IMHO (enough to live comfortably and invest every month), not really stable, and lots of job opportunity in my city.
I had worked previously in bigger companies (like Banks) but they were too bureaucratic/rigid/slow and had way too many grunt work for my taste. A degree will help you a lot, if you want to leave the country (visa issues) or work for something like Google/Facebook/Microsoft, unless you are truly exceptional.

So I am Quite happy with my decision so far.
 

Serac

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Jun 7, 2017
Messages
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Stockholm
#28
I speculate in markets. I keep up with a number of companies, chart their price movements, trends etc. I have learned to interpret/analysis these charts, these insider traders(Composite Man) that control the markets. I am a graduate from Stock Market Institute & have an understanding of the Wyckoff principles. You judge the market by its own action, Law of Supply & Demand, price & volume. You can determine turning points, important points, comparisons, everything. But it is all perfectly logical, not magical. It has cause & effect, effort & result. Somewhat like physics, always this battle back & forth between bulls & bears.
I believe any INTP can do this. They see trends, the big picture(the trend of the whole market) & intuition, perceivers, foresight etc. Know a few INTP playing markets. They make a lot of money. The really important thing with INTP's & markets, they are not emotional people which is important, need to stay calm & think clearly.
Sounds like a big scam if you ask me. If you're looking at charts, I can guarantee you that you will not make money in the long run

@OP I guess I'm reasonably happy, or at least not too repulsed by being a finance quant. The market is always changing and there is always new stuff happening, and the work varies a lot between math, programming, research, trading, etc. It also gives you skills that are applicable in a wide range of fields, especially now that data analysis, machine learning etc is becoming so widespread. That being said, there are two problems: in the end, I feel that at some point the intellectual challenge of it is exhausted, and 2) as long as I have to show up at some office every day, I will not feel free, and I value freedom more than anything.
 

Marvel

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#29
"That being said, there are two problems: in the end, I feel that at some point the intellectual challenge of it is exhausted, and 2) as long as I have to show up at some office every day, I will not feel free, and I value freedom more than anything."

I hear that, brother.
 

cheese

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3,180
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internet/pubs
#30
@Serac
How long have you been doing this particular job? I recall you saying elsewhere that it's like crack to you (perhaps misremembering). There seems to be a honeymoon period with certain types of challenging work where you initially love it, but realise within a year or two that the challenge is very one-dimensional (perhaps because it's problem-solving for the same goal repeatedly).

Regarding freedom - would you feel fine working from home then? Is it showing up to a specific place at a specific time that bothers you, or is it working to someone else's specs at all?
 

Serac

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#31
@cheese yeah I've been working for about two years now, so I guess that's pretty well in line with your theory. The first year definitely felt different because there was a steep learning curve and no time to brood over the deeper issues of employment. But I dunno, parts of it definitely keep me inspired, and I enjoy working with the people I'm working with. My time schedule is very liberal (I usually show up at noon), so that's not too big of an issue.

The thing that keeps bugging me is that I have to answer to people. And that will always be true in business. Even a CEO has to answer to people, namely the shareholders. You always have to cater to people's needs and expectations, making compromises, all that stuff.

Being confined to one location is definitely another nuisance. Freedom, to me, implies having the option to, at any time, say: I'm leaving for Spain for a year to chill out and read books - see ya later. None of that scheduled 1-week vacation nonsense like you are some domesticated dog being taken out for a walk.

Have you had the same sort of experience?
 

cheese

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#32
@Serac
Yeah, somewhat similar. Initial enthusiasm over intellectual challenge giving way to stagnation and finally discomfort over employment in general. I chafe under anyone else's structure and time constraints as well.

Will be interesting to see where you're up to in a year or two. More settled in? Or more unhappy? Or perhaps somewhere new entirely? We'll see.
 
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#33
What career has made you happy and why? I'm currently struggling to choose one, which you can read about below.

I'm an INTP, sometimes bordering in J. I consider myself to be very intelligent, inquisitive, and creative. I earned an associates degree and got a scholarship to a top university...but didn't go because I was sick of school. I had straight A's and interned at the NIH....I was just sick of it all. The meaningless memorization of facts and sucking everyone's D to get letters of recommendation wore me down. I was going to be a doctor, then switched to medical research.

Now I'm 27, unemployed, and relatively skilless. I'm looking for a career that I will enjoy, and also make decent money. I'm confident that I can excel in almost any field, though the greatest challenges would be management (and maybe drawing).

I've had a ton of hobbies and interests over the years but never stuck to anything. I get bored after a few months once I understand the general concept and start seeing repetitive patterns. I have a very low tolerance for boredom and tendency for nihilistic thoughts. I've gotten a little better lately after realizing the world is mostly a circlejerk of people trying to get rich. Once my delusions of a society of humans working hand in hand for the greater good wore off, I've freed myself to focus on my own survival and prosperity. This is primarily so I don't end up living in a barrel pondering the meaning of life, homeless.

I'm considering teaching myself computers, maybe starting with web design and going from there, onto perhaps software engineering or AI. I've researched it over the past few weeks and everything checks out...level of challenge, capacity for creativity, constant learning, self teach-ability, great pay, future job growth, entrepreneurial and freelance potential.

My main concern is that I may end up hating it, like just about everything else I've done after a few months or years. That the repetition will begin to wear me down. So, are there are any computer INTPs out there who can share their experiences? I've noticed while lurking that I can relate a lot to many of you (I'm a bit more arrogant and pessimistic perhaps), so think this thread could generate some valuable information for me and hopefully others.

Thanks!

TL;DR: What career has made you happy? As an INTP will I like computer programming/web design? Any careers you can recommend me?
Hello,

I am 29 and I am in the same boat as you but I am really into science and business. I love and I can spend the rest of my life never getting enough of it. You have to figure out your passion. What do you like and can't get enough of it. Out of all your interest. You'll find something you like.

Now once you have done that you can focus on that. Figure out what you have at hand what you optimize out of what you already have. As far as skills try to find an entry level position in computers. There is this website Khan Academy and you can start gaining skills and I believe employers find it to reputable.

If you can get through that and still love what your doing than keep doing it.

Best of wishes to you!