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  1. #11
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    Alchemiss: thanks for the guidance. By the way, what line of work you in? I don't know if I would have left my job as an engineer to pursue something else. You get good pay and good job security and a good social standing too. I tried to go that route but was overwhelmed by all the math. I do okay with a few courses but no way in hell I could take six courses per semester. Ultimately however, it's about temperament and personality, what satisfies you and makes you feel good about yourself, helps you live by your principles, etc. So I'm not criticizing your choice by any means but simply saying that you had some good options on the table whereas in my case, a bachelor degree in psych is crap.
    And as far as bodywork, I really don't know if I want to do that. As a shy guy, I don't think I'd be comfortable working so intimately with strangers.

    Thessaly: Yeah I'm starting to really doubt going down the human resources route now. What do you do now instead?

  2. #12
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conscius View Post
    Alchemiss: thanks for the guidance. By the way, what line of work you in? I don't know if I would have left my job as an engineer to pursue something else. You get good pay and good job security and a good social standing too. I tried to go that route but was overwhelmed by all the math. I do okay with a few courses but no way in hell I could take six courses per semester. Ultimately however, it's about temperament and personality, what satisfies you and makes you feel good about yourself, helps you live by your principles, etc. So I'm not criticizing your choice by any means but simply saying that you had some good options on the table whereas in my case, a bachelor degree in psych is crap.
    And as far as bodywork, I really don't know if I want to do that. As a shy guy, I don't think I'd be comfortable working so intimately with strangers.

    Thessaly: Yeah I'm starting to really doubt going down the human resources route now. What do you do now instead?

    I've come realize that no single route is going to satisfy my multifaceted and idealistic persona so I've decided on pursuing two routes at once. One creative and the other advising and personal.
    With dreamers, pure and simple, the imagination remains a vaguely sketched inner affair. It is not embodied in any aesthetic or practical invention. Reverie is the equivalent of weak desires. Dreamers are the aboulics of the creative imagination.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conscius View Post
    Alchemiss: thanks for the guidance. By the way, what line of work you in? I don't know if I would have left my job as an engineer to pursue something else. You get good pay and good job security and a good social standing too. I tried to go that route but was overwhelmed by all the math. I do okay with a few courses but no way in hell I could take six courses per semester. Ultimately however, it's about temperament and personality, what satisfies you and makes you feel good about yourself, helps you live by your principles, etc. So I'm not criticizing your choice by any means but simply saying that you had some good options on the table whereas in my case, a bachelor degree in psych is crap.
    And as far as bodywork, I really don't know if I want to do that. As a shy guy, I don't think I'd be comfortable working so intimately with strangers.

    I'm a Jin Shin Jyutsu (Japanese form of acupressure) practitioner. I have a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and left a six figure income at a large corporation to pursue what I'm doing now. That may sound crazy but there are some extenuating circumstances. First, I've worked for this company since I got my doctorate in 1990 so I've had years to save money (our mortgage is paid off, for example), and secondly, my husband, who also has his engineering doctorate, still works there so I can use his medical benefits and we still have his salary.

    I believe anyone can become skilled in math. I once dated a guy who was flunking calculus and after I tutored him he got an A. Math thinking requires training your brain in a particular way and, if need be, dropping false belief systems about how you can't do it. Engineering thinking, on the other hand, I don't think is accessible to all since there are some intuitive insights needed I don't think you can "teach."

    I have received bodywork for a decade and a half; part of my pursuit of my true self. It has made me comfortable with my own body and that of others. I'd rather silently touch people (and while it's basically intimate, it's also clinical for me) than hear of their suffering verbally for an hour. Now that I write that, though, I realize I don't take on people's stuff like I used to. It isn't my job to "fix it," I'm just there to facilitate whatever healing I can.

    I think it's challenging for an INFP to find a solid fit within the default path of university to corporate job but when I was at that point in my life, I didn't have self-awareness and I didn't know I had options. So I'm writing this as someone who has lived a life that just doesn't fit any more and maybe never did. Good luck to you and do yourself a favor and forget social status. Social status is a false substitute for feeling good about yourself on the inside.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    Don't discount your degree, either. You were passionate enough to complete it, you learned things about how you work/how people work/how the world works, and you can use it as the foundation for what's next. There are many options for graduate degrees should you decide one is right for you.

  5. #15
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    Alchemiss: Man, you're my hero! I am quite impressed by your courage to change directions after having obtained a PhD in chemical engineering. And, well, reading your guidance--and appreciating your encouragement by the way--I really think you should have become a psychologist.

    Yeah, I know, listening to people's sufferings can be brutal. And doing bodywork is better, in the sense that you are able to see the result of your work immediately--and in the flesh.

    I think having received bodywork yourself is the major difference as I have NEVER received massage--yeah believe it. I know that the stereotype is usually women being uncomfortable/insecure about their bodies but as a guy who has had weight issues for years (mostly correlating with periods of depression/severe stress) and having been raised in a culture and family environment that used "shaming" excessively to control/shape behavior, I have avoided massage and such. When I went to my doctor, he made a strong recommendation for it. He noted that I did not have a serious mental health issue but being quite a sensitive person and anxious too, and having been subject to quite a few traumatic incidents, my breathing pattern is terribly out of whack, which explains why I go into a total fight-or-flight mode (panting, sweating, etc) at the slightest comment that can be seen as a "threat" or perceived as "shaming". He recommended yoga, massage, etc, but I have not listened to his recommendations.

    Okay, enough over-share. As far as math I do believe that you are right. Well, it is harder than you make it seem but I agree with the gist of what you say. In fact, I hated math and felt I had no talent for it until grade six when I came across a fantastic teacher in Mr. E. For starters, he saw some potential in me. He asked me and a few others to tutor the rest of the students. I agreed to help him. He made me feel useful and valuable. He would sometimes pose questions that could not be solved by the methods available. He would at times bring grade 8 or 9 problems to the class after having spent time figuring out a way that we could, with the knowledge we had and some creativity, solve them. Long story short, though I was never a "bad" student in math, I moved from a B average to an A average, and what's more important, I fell in love with math. I would take advanced math problems to parties, to solve in my free time. A couple of my classmates from my math class became my best friends. Though I was unable to do well in my grade 9 geometry class, and I had serious difficulty with my chemistry and physics classes in later years (getting a few C's), I continued to do very well in math, getting all As, and get 97% in my grade 12 math, which was the highest in school. Unfortunately, when I went to university I was overwhelmed by so many things that I struggled in math and did not take more than two courses before changed direction and went into psychology. I got an A- in both math courses but it was a struggle.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    Psychotherapy is something I considered (and the list of things I considered is very, very long), actually. I decided against it because while it did change my life dramatically, other body and spirit approaches have changed it more.

    Jin Shin Jyutsu doesn't always give instant gratification since it's working on levels beyond the physical as well. Sometimes I just have to trust that what's supposed to be happening is happening.

    I only received massage because I was in intense pain following a car accident. I came from a family where touching was forbidden; no hugging, no spanking, no pats on the back. It took me a long time to understand how important touch is for me. Perhaps if you aren't ready to try massage or yoga, you could try meditation and begin to address the breathing issues.

    I'm not saying math is easy. I'm saying there are ways around blocks, especially if you find an instructor who teaches in a way you can learn. It's excellent when you yourself have to teach because then you become even more solid in your understanding.

    I found university courses so much harder than high school even though I went to a very competitive high school. If you love math, and think engineering is a potential passion, maybe take a smaller course load and see what happens. There's no law saying you have to complete in four years. I also was a co-operative education student which allowed me to see what it was like to work in industry (alternating semesters between school and work). I highly recommend that also.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    I had another thought. I remembered what I figured out about high school versus university study; in high school I could learn all the content whereas in university courses I had to discern what the instructor considered important because I couldn't learn it all. I had trouble with this at first and had a few so-so semesters while I tried various strategies. So much of learning is figuring out how to manage the system and the volume of information!

    I also learn intuitively. I look like a dolt sometimes because my understanding comes in intuitive bursts - I learn things in chunks, not linearly.

  8. #18
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    It's funny you mention that because I am the same. It's such a wonderful feeling when so much info suddenly makes sense. As for your other point: I remember one day, too late really, I came to the conclusion that doing well in a course had to do with more than just learning the material. It was a third year psych course and I had one day to review a dozen chapters, ones I had never reviewed before. While sitting in the library it suddenly occurred to me that the questions in the last midterm came mostly from the class notes and not the book. Yes the prof had said it would come mostly from the book. I decided to risk it and read the notes only. I had gotten a B- the last midterm but this time got an A+, no kidding!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    ^ Ah, so you have developed "maze brightness" - that will help you anywhere!

    I've had jobs in process development, product development, tool development, materials development, process integration, computer programming, and materials characterization, among others. When I had my programming job, the part I like best was writing scripts that helped other people do their work more efficiently. What I didn't like was being endlessly tethered to my computer most of the time. The job I liked best, the one I just quit, involved both interfacing with internal "customers" to find out what data they needed and then collecting data/solving problems. Over time, more and more of our data were reported electronically and we got less and less feedback so it was hard to tell whether we were making a difference.

    Also, being part of a large corporation whose values deviated farther and farther from mine over time was highly problematic as was my local management who had more than their share of human foibles (to put it nicely).

    So what are your current thoughts on "what's next?"

  10. #20
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    Hard to say. The one thing that I know for sure is that I like to learn. I love that whole university environment. It's wonderful. Work seems to be the necessary evil, at this point. I love to find the kind of work where you look forward to it day in and day out. I am considering several very different options in industrial/organizational psychology, creative writing/poetry, and some sort of psych research career.

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