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Old 3rd-January-2017, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Overeducated unemployed

I have 2 master's degrees (philosophy and public policy) and no-one cares. I'm 30 now and jobless. I spent my 20's in school and travelling. Finally, I've emerged from my millennial maturation chamber and have found that there is no job waiting for me. It's a very sobering experience.

I'll admit, part of me resents the thought of having to work at a job that doesn't cater to my interests, but practicality beckons.

From what I understand, INTPs are predisposed to this sort of predicament. Also melancholy and depression.

This situation is unacceptable to me.

Does anyone have any insights/advice/counsel/anecdotes to offer? I would rather not have to bare this shame.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 01:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

I don't know. Grow weed and sell on the dark web?

What's your major in? If it's law, maybe you could become a politician. Philosophy and public policy would probably work well towards that.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 01:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

You must have recognised that there wasn't a job waiting for you for philosophy? I don't know much about public policy but the one friend I've got who did it (and did well in it) ended up doing legwork for his chosen party.

If I were you I'd stop thinking in terms of shame etc., throw away your expectations, and build them up again from the ground up.

What skills do you have, and who do you know?
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 02:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

It took me quite a while to find employment in my field after getting my Master's (in Psych). In fact, a month after earning the degree, I was a cashier at Whataburger (I wasn't high enough on the totem pole to actually be flipping burgers. I was only qualified for "do you want fries with that?")

I took the job because I needed a job. Everywhere else I applied said I was either "overqualified" or "inexperienced". After about a month of orange polos, and a shocking amount of sweat, I got a job writing $20 medical articles for a WebMD wannabe. Then, I got a job at a prison teaching middle school-level material for the men who couldn't keep up in the GED class.

My point is, it's going to keep sucking for a while.

Teaching is probably our best bet for a semi-stable job while you look for something better. Keep in mind that if you're in the US, you won't get hired until literally a couple of days before or after school starts because the schools are going to hold out until the last second for someone more qualified. (frankly, the job market is oversaturated with social studies teachers).

Maybe tutoring in the meantime? Wyzant can get you a few bucks. And article-writing, of course. Uber if you have a car. Fiverr.com is good if you have any technical skills. Or a creative way to sell something (do you have an accent? you could do voice clips for gamers). It's not a career, but it could get a little money coming in while you look for an actual job.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 06:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

I think job placements are more about who you know and attitude than actual educational attainment. Heck, my current job is more law and business than actual scientific research. You can build a network while studying or spending time in an organization.

I suggest that you tidy up your networks on an Excel sheet and see if you can contact them for job leads. You might be able to ask a friend of a friend about available jobs.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 07:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Is this a parody?
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 07:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Social Networking, look for people in your field that can help you like old teachers and such.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 03:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

The way you wrote your opening post, seems like you expected a job to be there waiting for you. This is rarely the case. I'm sure you know this, but we humans often need reminding. Welcome to the real world...

You probably won't find where you belong right away, but if you milk everything for what it's worth while simultaneously analysing your situation and scouring for opportunity, you'll probably discover where you belong, possibly where you least expect it.

Sounds like you risk to lose everything, which at the moment is nothing (after all, you're a jobless graduate). Don't be afraid to diverge from the widely perceived norm - fuck expectations.

I say do something unexpected or unorthodox, with or without your skill set. Or whatever. It's your story, just do what will make you most happy, and don't delude yourself into doing what makes you miserable just to follow some misguided idea of an end goal of happiness.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 05:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Maybe you know a few things, but you don't know how to get a properly paying job, so that's something to work on in the near future.

You could be a god in your profession and, unless you sell yourself well, nobody will care or pay for your knowledge/expertise.

Stop dreaming. Start trying.
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 05:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Quote:
Originally Posted by human View Post
I have 2 master's degrees (philosophy and public policy) and no-one cares. I'm 30 now and jobless. I spent my 20's in school and travelling. Finally, I've emerged from my millennial maturation chamber and have found that there is no job waiting for me. It's a very sobering experience.

I'll admit, part of me resents the thought of having to work at a job that doesn't cater to my interests, but practicality beckons.

From what I understand, INTPs are predisposed to this sort of predicament. Also melancholy and depression.

This situation is unacceptable to me.

Does anyone have any insights/advice/counsel/anecdotes to offer? I would rather not have to bare this shame.
i understand.

my biggest regret is figuring out the deepening despair as it relates to what you describe only after entering a marriage (since failed thank the gods) and 3 kids.

the only advice i can conjure: if you haven't already started a family: put that option on hold until you figure out your life purpose/ passion in the workplace.

i have remarried to my ideal match and have a decent day job.

every moment my mind naturally bends toawrds thinking about the horizon thiugh and how to get myself in a situatiin with work my INTP self is in love with.

i'm chipping away on three specific ideas simultaneously...at 40 its frustratingly difficult.

would've been so much better to have become aware of my intp self in high school...
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Old 3rd-January-2017, 10:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

On top of what others have said, don't be afraid to support yourself with any job you can find for a short time while you consider the options available to you.

I spent two years after graduating from university flirting between unemployment, gardening and cleaning houses while I thought over every possible route. In hindsight, I wish I'd set myself to a time limit as I think too much inaction leads to lethargy, which worsens the depression and creates a vicious circle. It's a trap you can only get out of by taking risks and committing to a course of action.
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Old 7th-January-2017, 07:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Go back to school yet again for IT, computer science, nursing, or clinical lab science
Try to find a position teaching community college even if it's in the middle of nowhere
Get qualified to teach high school
Work as a freelance tutor
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Old 8th-January-2017, 04:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Thank you for your replies. I especially enjoy hearing the personal anecdotes; they are really encouraging.

It's difficult to justify going back to school when I have never really done anything other than school. Initially, it was my plan to do a PhD, but then I abandoned that plan because of the horror stories PhD grads told me about their prospects (humanities/social sciences) and ended up doing a second master's in a more applied field. I've already spent 8 years in university, so I feel the opportunity cost that comes along with retooling is too high. I should be able to find something, they say. In terms of a survival job, I'm open to taking whatever comes my way, if only for the experience. I think there would be something about the absurdity of the situation that would tickle.

The greater issue for me is that I'm unconvinced any career will quell the restlessness in me. I mostly like to make observations about the world, find and make connections, and reflect. I crave intellectual stimulation. Most would describe me as very withdrawn and impractical.

I am also prone to despair and struggle with nihilism. I'm quite certain someone else with my skillset and experience, perhaps another MBTI type, would be able to make something of themselves, while I am here stuck trying to determine if participating in this project is even worth it.

Re-reading what I have written, it disgusts me how cliche it is, and yet.


Is this common among INTPs ?
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Old 8th-January-2017, 10:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

OP, you should talk to Philosophyking87 from this forum. I believe he also has a degree in philosophy and has started up his own site talking about the basics. IDK that you could join him or not, but he might be able to give you some ideas?
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Old 9th-January-2017, 01:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Quote:
Originally Posted by human View Post
Thank you for your replies. I especially enjoy hearing the personal anecdotes; they are really encouraging.

It's difficult to justify going back to school when I have never really done anything other than school. Initially, it was my plan to do a PhD, but then I abandoned that plan because of the horror stories PhD grads told me about their prospects (humanities/social sciences) and ended up doing a second master's in a more applied field. I've already spent 8 years in university, so I feel the opportunity cost that comes along with retooling is too high. I should be able to find something, they say. In terms of a survival job, I'm open to taking whatever comes my way, if only for the experience. I think there would be something about the absurdity of the situation that would tickle.

The greater issue for me is that I'm unconvinced any career will quell the restlessness in me. I mostly like to make observations about the world, find and make connections, and reflect. I crave intellectual stimulation. Most would describe me as very withdrawn and impractical.

I am also prone to despair and struggle with nihilism. I'm quite certain someone else with my skillset and experience, perhaps another MBTI type, would be able to make something of themselves, while I am here stuck trying to determine if participating in this project is even worth it.

Re-reading what I have written, it disgusts me how cliche it is, and yet.


Is this common among INTPs ?
Yeah, it's common. You might want to read the articles on the http://www.intpexperience.com/ website. It has been a good help to me to understand how INTP's tick.
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Old 9th-January-2017, 03:26 PM   #16
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Unfortunately it's all about networking, at which INTPs usually suck.

Just a tip: If you want one of the many service jobs out there just to get some money coming in, leave most of your college credentials off the application. You could change the name of your thread to "overeducated means unemployable" for those jobs.

In terms of potential, perhaps a job as a host in a restaurant serving the business district of your community might be a good idea. Networking is about turning acquaintances into contacts. You'll meet a lot of people.
o
In terms of interim occupation, same idea, perhaps seek a position as a researcher or general factotum on an elected official's staff. In that case you definitely DO list both master degrees. And you stress your dispassionate demeanor, someone who can research any topic and come up with useful information without spin or salad dressing to make it taste good. Politicians at a higher level need such people. And such a position, talking to sources for info not available in print or online, will produce an abundance of contacts.

If you've been in the academic shell, you really don't know what you want or can do. Nobody is hiring philosophers for much these days, but the skill set you needed to get the degrees may make you qualified for a variety of positions you never dreamed of. Just find a spot where you can observe the real world and pick something as it catches your attention.

And don't fret, nobody ever got hired fretting. :-)
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Old 9th-January-2017, 03:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

Additionally, and this is for everyone, sometimes the traditional fill-out-the-application-and-hope process is just never going to work, especially for political or public employee jobs.

There's an alternative. The basics:

1. Write letters to as many community leaders as you can identify and announce that you are seeking ADVICE and COUNSEL about a career, and you picked them as a success story and community leader whose accomplishments you admire or respect. Ask if it would be possible to meet with them at their convenience just to talk. You want the people at the top of an organization, executive directors or board members, not the people lower on the chain.

2. Have a nontraditional resume ready. It can include your degrees and whatnot, but should be heavily based on your traits. Lift it right from the INTP profile if you must. It should be conversational, not a boring list of bullshit.

3. If you get an appointment with someone, send them that resume, with a thank you note for their time.

4. Take additional material with you to the appointment, along with additional copies of both your nontraditional resume and your boring traditional one. Your new friend might want to share it.

5. At the interview, stress you're taking your time to find a job that's a good fit for your personality and skills. Stress also that you're not looking to him or her for a job literally, you're looking for guidance. That opens the door to a profitable, focused discussion.

This works. It works because a great many people are pleased to indulge their own beliefs that they have a great deal of good advice and counsel to offer others. It works because you are exposed in a one-on-one way to decision-makers you'd never get to see following the traditional human resources interview path. It works because while the person you're talking with may not have a job, he or she may have a friend or associate in another company who has a need you can fill, and so he gets to be useful twice in one conversation by helping you and helping his friend. It works because the person may not have anything for you immediately but, when a position comes up where a good brain, good work ethic, and no-bullshit mentality are required, the human resources path gets chucked and word goes out that "Screw all that, I want that Jones guy that was in here last month."

I've done this. It's not INTP easy, except that if you strip your own emotions out of it, it's just a process: Identify leaders, write letters, create a different kind of resume, send the letters, go to the appointments, and follow up any leads that come. A referral from anyone like this to someone else automatically increases your chances for hiring at the next, arranged interview.

Make sense?
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Old 24th-January-2017, 01:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

My perfect job would bring me closer to incredible knowledge without the pressure of expectations to box it all up into a product. My perfect job would have me exposed to people with amazing ideas and imagination beyond my own. Maybe having a low level job that is somewhere near your interests could be a gateway into finding that place you really want to be. Your degrees may not help you in the beginning but may prove incredibly useful when you make your choice. My contract on my current job is about to expire. Now the options open to me and the freedom of not having a commitment for a while make me happy and afraid. What can you live without? What do you absolutely need? What small things in life keep you going?
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Old 7th-April-2017, 07:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

During the dot.com bust I embarked upon the strange profession of Signature Gathering, as a matter of survival, because I had to. It was a waste of my brain cells, but it was probably the best "low end" job I was going to undertake, since I didn't have a boss and could make my own hours. The part of the job I was best at, was standing up to store managers and police who wanted me off someone's property, despite the law giving me the right to be there. Unfortunately that capacity for "confrontation", was not synonymous with making lots of money. It's more of a sales job. I did it for 4 years before it got too old to stomach anymore.

My desire to do computer programming "on my own terms" didn't die during that time, so I did manage to get this 1 high paying gig with Mozilla once. That turned out to be a total career dead end / something I hated, but I did get paid. I rode the money from that job for a few years, then ran out of dough.

I started living out of my car. That cut down on expenses a lot. I started out camping in National Forests for free. Then I learned how to "urban camp", by getting rid of stuff in my car and making it sleepable. As money dwindled away, I eventually got food stamps. I also taught myself auto repair during this time. I'm going on 8 years of this sort of thing now; it is sustainable. I'm still working on "computer programming on my own terms". Will let you know when I'm successful, famous, and important. :-)
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Old 10th-April-2017, 06:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

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During the dot.com bust I embarked upon the strange profession of Signature Gathering, as a matter of survival, because I had to. It was a waste of my brain cells, but it was probably the best "low end" job I was going to undertake, since I didn't have a boss and could make my own hours. The part of the job I was best at, was standing up to store managers and police who wanted me off someone's property, despite the law giving me the right to be there. Unfortunately that capacity for "confrontation", was not synonymous with making lots of money. It's more of a sales job. I did it for 4 years before it got too old to stomach anymore.

My desire to do computer programming "on my own terms" didn't die during that time, so I did manage to get this 1 high paying gig with Mozilla once. That turned out to be a total career dead end / something I hated, but I did get paid. I rode the money from that job for a few years, then ran out of dough.

I started living out of my car. That cut down on expenses a lot. I started out camping in National Forests for free. Then I learned how to "urban camp", by getting rid of stuff in my car and making it sleepable. As money dwindled away, I eventually got food stamps. I also taught myself auto repair during this time. I'm going on 8 years of this sort of thing now; it is sustainable. I'm still working on "computer programming on my own terms". Will let you know when I'm successful, famous, and important. :-)
Is this lifestyle truly on your own terms though? I would presume that given the choice, you would live in a comfortable house of your own design, rather than a cozy car. You would have people who respect you and create a space for you in their physical and emotional universe, rather than jousting with civic authorities and social norms.

It seems to me as if you may be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Your rejection of frustrating and difficult social contracts has resulted in a life diameter reduced beyond what I would personally consider adequate.

Of course we INTPs struggle with social adjustment more than most types. But everyone, regardless of type, must find ways of giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, so they can earn the space to plot their life course in a manner to their liking.
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Old 11th-April-2017, 01:03 AM   #21
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Default Re: Overeducated unemployed

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Is this lifestyle truly on your own terms though? I would presume that given the choice, you would live in a comfortable house of your own design, rather than a cozy car.
That requires lots of money. Money has to be made somehow. I'm definitely not interested in sacrificing my life in order to be a slave to the building of a house. Rather, I'll do things as I want to do on my own terms, and if that results in enough money for a house someday, so be it. Most of us can't just snap fingers and create the wealth for a house. It's a serious life choice, and there are tradeoffs of rmaking that choice. Same as getting pregnant, having a family, etc.

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It seems to me as if you may be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
If you value the life effort necessary to have a house, then you can go do it. I have different priorities.

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Of course we INTPs struggle with social adjustment more than most types. But everyone, regardless of type, must find ways of giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,
I own my car. Even if you have a house, you probably don't own it yet. The bank does.
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