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  1. #1
    brainheart
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    Default Self Pres 5w4 Potential Career Freakout

    So I just started going back to school with my eyes on becoming a transpersonal psychologist with a concentration in art therapy. From an interest point of view, I think it seems pretty cool. I like the idea of using art to help people work through/solve their issues. I find the mind, the soul, fascinating, and I love art. I like the idea of empowering people to deal with their problems, vs them relying on me for advice.

    My problem... people drain the hell out of me. I am currently taking one art class that meets twice a week and even though I barely talk to anyone, I am wiped for the remainder of the day. Otherwise, I pretty much hide out in my house doing my thing, go for walks solo, spend brief moments with friends, and spend time with my husband and kids.

    Since college, I've had a handful of jobs, never careers, none of them using my talents. Otherwise, I've stayed home with my kids (who are now in school). I've never understood how most people have the boundless amounts of energy they seem to have. Conversely, I'm sure they've never understood how I can sit and read for hours, and how I seem to completely relish time alone.

    I need to find a career. I need to do something that matters to me, that I'm good at. I hate relying on my husband for money. I hate that I'm not doing something real, tangible, that I can look at and be proud about. I thought I found something but now I'm frightened I won't be able to cut it, that it will suck the life out of me. That I will have nothing left to give my husband and kids.

    I worked on a novel for a year, which was cool. The issue with that is that I found myself researching more than writing and I could never finish it because of that. Also, it caused major marital strain because I was so hyperfocused on my book/deep in my head I forgot how to interact with other humans.

    This may sound like a blog entry; for that I am sorry. But I'm looking for solutions here. Any input, advice?

  2. #2
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    My problem... people drain the hell out of me. I am currently taking one art class that meets twice a week and even though I barely talk to anyone, I am wiped for the remainder of the day. Otherwise, I pretty much hide out in my house doing my thing, go for walks solo, spend brief moments with friends, and spend time with my husband and kids.
    I can totally relate to getting drained far too easily (also 5w4, sp/sx). Something that really surprised me though- when I got a job in an alzheimer’s assisted living facility several years ago- is that situations in which I was genuinely helpful to people generally weren’t taxing. I actually came home at night feeling better because I’d spent my day making people feel better about themselves. It was an opportunity to use my own specific brand of insight, and it improved the quality of life for several people on a daily basis who otherwise would have felt like completely useless human beings. I was really surprised, actually, at how great it felt for my own insight to make a significant difference- I would have guessed it would be more taxing than not. The only really taxing part was having co-workers wanting to socialize with me, and higher-ups to whom I had to constantly justify spending the kind of one-on-one time with the residents which made the job seem worthwhile to me.

    The reason I took the job in the first place is because I needed something to provide health insurance while I went back to school myself. I originally went to college for photography, and had mostly worked in private custom labs- where I’d spend my entire day in a darkroom by myself, and was really content doing so. But with the onset of digital photograpy, most private custom labs shut down. Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have the energy to be people-focused for very long, but ended up staying there close to five years. I actually felt better after a productive day with residents than I did after being alone in a darkroom- which I would never have guessed would be my experience, since people usually exhaust me.

    My point is: it might really surprise you now much the actual work of making a significant difference in others’ lives isn’t as taxing as you would suspect. The schooling required might be a bit exhausting- even if you love the subject- but the actual work of using your own insight to improve the quality of others’ lives can be surprisingly energizing. The only caveat I would add to this is that it’s still exhausting dealing with employers stepping in to ‘direct’ your work (the only way to avoid that is working for yourself, and networking reciprocally also takes energy). I’m in the same pickle myself currently- trying to decide whether I should go to grad school for some licensed counseling degree. I’ve got a couple friends who work as licensed counselors- both too introverted to be very successful at networking, and both very frustrated with every employer they’ve had- which gives me pause.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  3. #3
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    Hi Brainheart,

    Pretty interested to find out how it went with the career? We sound so similar it is freaky. It says you are a 4w5 with your profile on the side, yet your thread says 5w4 career freakout - which one are you. I am a 5w4. (By the way, don't take notice of my MBTI - I don't know what I am on that!)

    Kal

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I can totally relate to getting drained far too easily (also 5w4, sp/sx). Something that really surprised me though- when I got a job in an alzheimer’s assisted living facility several years ago- is that situations in which I was genuinely helpful to people generally weren’t taxing. I actually came home at night feeling better because I’d spent my day making people feel better about themselves. It was an opportunity to use my own specific brand of insight, and it improved the quality of life for several people on a daily basis who otherwise would have felt like completely useless human beings.
    I've had precisely the same effect from helping others.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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