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  1. #1
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    Default Huge life decision.. Please help!

    So I have this great job at a wonderful int'l charity. The only problem is Im on the fundraising side when I want to be on the programs/travel side. It took a TON of courage to ask to interview for a transfer to the program coordinator position but I finally did after 2 years of proving myself. I got support from a lot of my superiors who think I'm great. However, I didn't get the job because competition was stiff and they said I didnt' have enough int'l experience. I have more than most but I haven't lived in 3rd world countries and am not bilingual like most of the other applicants.

    Anyways, this new job required 3wks in country then 3wks out of country for all of the 2 year contract. It's the most amazing opportunity ever. You meet the most inspirational international volunteers and get to travel the world helping people. What could be better?

    So I was told I'd be a strong candidate if I were bilingual by the next hiring time a year from now. I have decided to move abroad to immerse myself and pick up Spanish as quickly as possible. However, this means I have to quit my current job as a fundraiser with the company which I like but don't love. There is no guarantee that I'd even get the job when I came back or my old job back.. Is it OK to just throw away all I've worked for and am content with now to pursue this tough but worthwhile position? There is no other int'l org like this one in my home so if I wanted to return here, I'd be stuck at some job I wasn't passionate about.

    Also, if I don't get the job, I have been thinking about getting my MPH in international health when I return as a back up plan. If I come back and get the job, I will still prob pursue my MPH after my contract is over as this field work would open up doors to much better schools. This work is what interests me most because I have a strong need to help the int'l community, travel, take the road less traveled and learn about the world. However, to be stationed in the US, most jobs in this field require a ton of work in the field first. I'd basically be moving all around the world before I could finally come back to one place in the US... I enjoy traveling and meeting new people, actually I LOVE it, but is it worth it..

    I'm scared that pursuing my dreams for this amazing career and helping people will only come back to haunt me because I will be lonely.. Never around family, difficult to make new friends in these rural environments and to maintain old friendships- as if this isn't hard enough for an ENFP, and hard to find a hubby that would be willing to do these things with me... I think the older you get the harder it is to find a good available guy that wants to have kids.. Also, what if my parents get sick or something I'd have to quit to be with them, I know it.

    So basically being closing with my family and starting my own is so important to me.. If I stayed and did fundraising I'd still be helping people and could start a family in the next few years and be a stable normal person. However, I'd probably always regret not going to travel and pursuing my dream. I'm just scared pursuing this dream will leave me empty handed in the deep relationships category which I need to be happy and jumping from place to place. But I also feel like this is my time to live and the world is here for me to explore and experiment while I still can, before family makes it more difficult..

    Sorry this is so long.. So should I stay with the stable job that still helps people and pretty rad or should I go run until I get what I dream about and wish for, even if it turns out to make me unhappy..
    What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

  2. #2
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Go! Go! Go!

    You are never too young or too old to follow your dreams or have an adventure. Being bilingual is a very useful and marketable skill so even if you don't get this job more doors will be open to you.

    Also, is it necessary that you move abroad to learn Spanish? I have also lived abroad to learn Spanish in an intensive crash-course way. While it was helpful (after 1 month of intensive 5 hour courses 5 days a week in Spain I got roughly to the same level as 1 year of schooling in a traditional environment) it might not necessary to take a full year off. You might be able to take just a month or two off from work or maybe working on a contract basis while you stay in-state.

    It seems like moving abroad to study Spanish is more in line with your passion, interests, and overall life goals. If that's the case, I would go for it but not look at it so much as a means to getting a job that you aren't sure if you'll get. Look at it as the start of a great adventure and living the life that you want.

    As for the family concerns - your parents would not want you to hold yourself back because of them. And all parents get old, and so do we - it's a fact of life. In general I don't think that universal truth should or does cripple your career or life choices. Cross that bridge when it comes to it. And maybe talk to your family beforehand and let them know your reservations, I think their response will relieve you of any guilt.

    Because frankly, if you want a career in development, diplomacy, or international work in general you will be far removed from your family for large chunks of time. It's better that you accept this now than let misgivings trip you up later after you have already invested much of your time and energy into a career track that you can't support.

    As for starting your own family, your career will make it harder to meet men in a traditional way, but living in DC I know lots of folks who travel abroad frequently for work. Some consider 'meeting a local' (crudely put) an option, particularly if they learn the native language. Or starting something with a coworker. Working abroad in your particular career field is not a death sentence to getting married or procreation, not at all. I also know couples who do international work but just not for the same employer who live separately during certain assignments (particularly if one is assigned to certain middle eastern countries, I know a classmate who went to school in Switzerland as her American parents did work somewhere in the middle east and the highest grade at the international school with 8th).

    If family and being together is your biggest concern, I would just do more research and talk to others in this lifestyle to see if it's something you want to do. Ultimately, you may just need a partner who is fully supportive of your lifestyle and perhaps has no problem following you around the world. Then again, you say you eventually want to work in HQ in the states, and by that time it'll be a moot issue.

    Otherwise, I see no reason why not to go for it. As a fellow ENFP and travel lover and someone who is familiar with the kind of work you want to do - you need to go for it. It is a career and life for people who are truly passionate and you feel so alive and activated and *right* following your dream. Frankly, fundraising jobs and general non-profit work is so prevalent and blah IMHO. So if you have the opportunity to follow your dream, why in the world wouldn't you?

    It is *so* hard to get into international work and be placed in the field, it's a wonderful and rare opportunity and it seems like you have already done the work to qualify as a candidate.

    I would just go for it.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  3. #3
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Why do you want to help people?

  4. #4
    Junior Member brandie187's Avatar
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    I think you should go and follow your dreams. I believe God gave you this opportunity to try this. This could be life changing for the better. Everything that is suppose to happen will happen. Not only do I think God has given you this very special opportunity, but it will also be a great learning experience. As an ENFP, I think you can never just "settle" because I know I couldnt. Yes I want to be with my family all the time and find a hubby, but I moved to Florida (im from ohio) because I felt that God was calling me to live there and I have learned sooo much! I didnt think that I would meet anyone as a potential husband, but I did. Being away from family is really hard, but I am finally doing what I want to do and I am starting my own life in the way I want to live.

    I think you should go and if it doesnt work out, don't worry. You are an ENFP, you will always be able to figure out something and be happy.

  5. #5
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    Couldn't you find a Spanish program (or a native-speaker tutor you could work with intensively) while staying here for the next year? Just a thought. Good luck to you!

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    1. You would never be "throwing everything away". If you left and came back, you still have your past experience and would start at a position of similar (or higher) pay/authority than when you left.

    2. Why can't you learn Spanish while continuing to work for your current organization? That would really knock their socks off. Take a couple 1 or 2 week international trips during the next year to add that into the mix. Show them that you're determined (but don't fake it; only do these things if you really have the passion for it).
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  7. #7
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    Thank you so much for your advice!! I am definitely going to go.. and not for a better chance for the job I didn't get but for life experience and to become bilingual for other opportunities like Cze Cze pointed out. And if I do decide to return, it's not like I will have lost all my experience. Thanks INTPness If the timing is right, I will reapply when I come back but if not, I will go onto bigger better things, like my MPH or working somewhere in DC where there are more opportunities for the way I want to grow with an organization. This isn't more than a few hours away from home so I could still be kind of close to family and also be around more like minded individuals. I'm pretty sure that's where I'll end up one day.

    Also, I talked with my org and I may be able to work abroad part time for one of the foundations. Just because I am not quite the right fit for the coordinator in state job doesn't mean I wouldn't be an asset in another country full time. I should find out this week if they have something available. I feel like not getting the job is a blessing in disguise because I would have been going to various language speaking countries, not just ones speaking Spanish and I'd also be home every other month speaking English. It is more conducive to my goals, dreams and desires to go live abroad. Honestly, I have wanted to for a while anyways but I couldn't find the courage to leave the normalcy of here, although for the last few years I have been desping the boringness of my own hometown.

    So thanks so much for helping. I also talked with a few friends this weekend and I feel confident in my decision to go. I am leaving an amazing organization but a mediocre job. I need it all! But I first need to get the skills. Can't wait to travel around the world I am selling my car this month and borrowing one of the parents and then waiting til my lease is over then I'm out Sept 1. I feel so happy and liberated
    What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

  8. #8
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Good luck; it sounds like it will be an incredible adventure for you.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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