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  1. #1
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Default INFJs - Gifted But Aimless?

    I was just having a particularly interesting conversation with my SO about giftedness and ambition.

    He's an ESFP, has always had a gift for anything musical, and parlayed this into a master's degree and he's a music teacher. He himself says he feels like he's always sort of been on the fringes because while he had the education he never had many ideas about building a massive career out of it. He's done a lot of traveling in programs that bring music education to impoverished nations, but he's never liked traditional teaching employment (he hates teaching in public schools). His friends have 401k plans and tons of savings while he's just scraping by. Still, he has a pursuit, he owns his own business and wants to expand it, he wants to make progressive music teaching more popular. He networks, he gets himself out there, etc.

    Now, I on the other hand have always had these peculiar talents and abilities since I can remember. They were born out of coping as a necessity, I have a knack for doing voices because I used to entertain myself with them and form security for myself in a volatile childhood home. I've been a writer most all of my life, for a lot of the same reasons. I'm good at counseling people, I have a wide range of abilities in the creative arts. I never considered myself gifted and still sort of cringe at the label, but a therapist I had wouldn't let it rest until she made me accept that I was exceptional.

    Thing is, I dropped out of school in 8th grade (I got the GED when I was just sixteen at the special arrangement of an administrator who argued for me) and I've only had about four traditional paying jobs (the rest has been pro-bono film and creative work). I constantly create, in all sorts of areas (puppetry, video making, writing, photography, crafts, voice over skits, etc) and I'm my happiest when I create. I'm just bad at thinking I can contend with the 'traditional' structure of ambition and success out there. I have no clue how to parlay my talents into a career.

    I'm not saying I'm some genius artist, in fact that's exactly what I'm not saying. I might be to some people I suppose, I think that stuff is all subjective. I do realize that I have SOMETHING that others don't have, but not in a boastful, proud way. I feel I can DO things, and I'm often frustrated that I can't figure out how to find a path for myself. I am NOT skilled at putting myself out there, I own that I am insecure about the atmosphere (meaning, I have no idea if what I can do will actually appeal to mainstream tastes even if I might be able to do entertaining stuff), and I am bad at 'selling' myself.

    I'm also admittedly VERY single-minded, stubborn, and I usually have a problem with authority (I don't expect or desire to be mollycoddled or praised every five seconds by a boss, but on the same token I don't expect to be treated like a sub-human drone). I am good in teams, but I work best in solitude for sure.

    I have that dream of being able to produce and create in solitude, and having a trusted manager/agent who 'sells' everything.

    My main point here, is that it seems very common among gifted children/adults to be extremely talented and have a ton of ability, but wind up being their own worst enemy in terms of finding a place for themselves. It seems a common trait to second-guess and downplay ourselves. In turn, it seems there are a lot of gifted folks among the INFJ type, and hence, the same difficulties apply (again, please realize I'm using 'gifted' as a clinical term for a set of traits, not as a superlative).

    I'm worried about my future to be quite honest. I've been looking for work for over two years now with little to recommend me in terms of a resume, and I've been so frustrated because I feel I have a lot to offer in a an un-traditional way without much idea of how to get this across (I often feel I'm just not being given a chance to even have a voice because I rarely get an interview, I'm up against people with Associate/Bachelor degrees applying for the same check-out clerk jobs I am).

    I'm obviously trying to just get something to pay bills and hopefully save enough to leave my mother's house, but when I think about long term goals for my future in a 'career', I just about shit myself because I don't know how the eff to find a path. The local community college doesn't have much of anything to offer (not that I'd never do it) and I've yet to investigate whether or not I even have options at a state college with better choices.

    Any of you guys have experience with this sort of stuff? Thoughts? Reflections? Stories? I'd love to hear.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  2. #2
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Are you applying in person? Physically walking around and talking to business owners? I bet, particularly in your case (I mean you're articulate), that could really advantage you if you don't stand out in a pile of resumes (GED vs. degrees). Also, what job search resources are you using? Please describe your job search strategy, and that will give us something to work with on here!

  3. #3
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    I think I've hit up just about every joint in town in person. I followed job tips that suggested I should arrive wearing business attire no matter what I'm applying for, but when I walked into "Gyro-Mania" wearing dress slacks and pressed shirt, I think they thought I was nuts. Being articulate around here doesn't seem to be all that important, in fact it can be seen as a failing. I live in a rural area, and I'm not trying to sound judgmental but I've lived here for over 20 years and people who are articulate are often regarded as snobs, trying to be above their station, etc. I dumb myself down.....a lot.

    Currently I'm using Monster.com, EmployFlorida, TBO.com (local job opps), I just started poking around on the job-search app on Facebook, and I'm posting rather frequently on a specialty web site for local creative people in graphic design/film/photography. I check the paper every day and apply for everything I qualify for, from receptionist to meat packing. I cold-apply at all the retail outlets, I make a note of when I apply and re-apply once they dump their applications every 90 days.

    Right now, I'm just looking for any old local job to pay the bills. I've literally been actively looking for two years, I get forlorn about it but I think I've spent more than enough time tweaking my resume, reading up on how to handle interviews, reading tips on just about everything. I have a small friend circle, every so often they have a lead for me but it's rare and I am not good at establishing a bigger network. Last year I spent a lot of time and money going into the city for meet-ups and social gatherings in an effort to widen my circle but I just don't get how to network (my ESFP has this amazing knack for it, people remember him and contact him for stuff all the time. I don't get that kind of reaction, I am not sure if it's because I'm lacking something in the socializing arena or if it comes down to that physical attractiveness factor or what). My area is so economically depressed and we have a high concentration of the 'unskilled labor' demographic. I'm considered 'unskilled labor' by my local career center, and one woman told me a lot of places around here are hiring internally simply because they cannot handle the influx of applications they get.

    I don't FEEL like 'unskilled labor' though!

    When it comes to long term career ideas, I feel rather aimless and insecure (especially being told I'm considered 'unskilled labor' as far as corporate America would be concerned). I do get complacent and worry myself to bits about it sometimes, because I feel like I have no idea where I'm going to end up. I was married before and let my ex support me for four years, and I can't tell you how much I regret that choice. He up and left me dry, and I had to realize that I had a huge role to play in the fact I was totally screwed. That's why I'm not currently living with my SO, it's important to me to find my own path so that I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that I can support my own ass.

    My next plan is to get an appointment with an admissions counselor at our local university (our community college is very limited). I hope I can just go in there and tell them all the stuff I'm good at and interested in and get some dialogue going about my realistic options. One thing I know for sure is that I want to get out of Florida. My SO is looking to eventually leave too, so that's good. He didn't realize how bad the education system is here, and how little culture there is, when he moved here. We both want to go somewhere more progressive and diverse in its culture. I'm hoping to leave here with some 'skills on paper' that will hopefully help me.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  4. #4
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Applying to several types of jobs may help you cast a wider net, but I don't think this is going to be effective if you are looking for a job that will be the best placement for your talents. Think about which jobs will suit your skills. Make a stop at the places you wish to apply at will help too, make your face known.

    If you feel aimless, write down a list of skills you are gifted in, and look for jobs that best suit your skills. People will hire you if your skills meet the job opening they have.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  5. #5
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    The cuteness and giftedness of INFJs just needs to be manipulated the right way and steered in the right way to give the way for the fight for the good cause !

    Here's a promotion video for the impact a young infj with a subverted mind can have on people:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aww8vhws1y4"][/YOUTUBE]
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  6. #6
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post

    Here's a promotion video for the impact a young infj with a subverted mind can have on people:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aww8vhws1y4"][/YOUTUBE]
    That kid is GOING PLACES. And so assertive!! I will be studying this for weeks to come.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  7. #7
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    I don't know about you, but for me, I tend to feel aimless when I worry excessively if I'm making the 'right' decision.

    It takes rather a looooong time for me to decide upon things, especially factoring the concequences of each possible route.

    I hate it.

  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i understand and empathize. i have many "gifts" but often lack longterm focus, and hesitate to dedicate myself to anything longterm and narrowing. i wish i had any thoughts for the longterm, but i'm in the same directionless place, i'm afraid. i do have some short term ideas though.

    - have you created a portfolio? a formal collection of your best work that shows your range of ability? that, i think, would be a good step, if you have not created one already.

    - i wonder if you couldn't transform at least part of your resume into a sort of "functional" format, in which you listed projects you have worked on, and what for. i imagine not all of your puppetry and art has been for yourself - have you created and donated, or created things for others to use? you could easily include those. it may not help much with more generic jobs, but it would give you some extra content, at least, and make the paper more interesting.

    - are there any art places around that you could look for work? in my city there is a big center downtown for arts, and they often hold classes both for adults and children. perhaps teaching a class could be a good stepping-stone job, if you have any interest in doing so.

    - on the internet, you could set up an etsy, and/or personal website to sell your work. that could be a step on the path towards becoming a freelance artist.

  9. #9
    Banned
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    I am the poster child for an underachiever.
    People still have hope in me and feel I can make something out of myself and do some good for the world.
    I have only just started to have belief in myself, so maybe it's possible.

    Someone said it (Entropie).. I need direction and someone with a lot of patience doing the directing at this point. I don't have a clue. My way does not work when I am doing it on my own. I just settle for a while and then rebel.

  10. #10
    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    This topic is important to me.

    Your situation is a tricky one because allocation isn't in society for those who fall between the gaps. As a highly creative person you might have found support and a living after higher education for those abilities. But as things stand your lack of degree will discourage recognition of your ability in others, and prevent a real match-up with your competition.

    Three paths:

    Find a way into higher education that will gain you qualifications. Hopefully these qualifications would give you the chance at a career that allows you to ride that creativity. Since it doesn't sound like you have other formal qualifications this might be hard for you. Going to a lesser college will likely leave you surrounded by those who care less about the subject than you do, as well as being frustratingly immature. My older sister is going through this process right now.

    Find a job to support yourself, and indulge your creative side in your free time. Find causes or public spaces that will gain you appreciation for your talents. I imagine it would be nice to feel that the different stuff you bring to life gives other's pleasure and has purpose.

    Continue to find a job to support yourself, and attempt to find a role for your creativity professionally. I'm not rightly sure how this is done. Perhaps by being very very good and very very lucky?

    Anywho, I certainly don't feel I know any more about this problem than you do. Those are just the paths my sister and I have to choose from.
    I hope I'm wrong, but I believe that he is a fraud, and I think despite all of his rhetoric about being a champion of the working class, it will turn out to be hollow -- Bernie Sanders on Trump

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