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  1. #1
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    Default INFP work issues

    Hi folks,

    I've been reading the boards here for a while but never posted. You all seem to be good at giving people advice so I thought I'd come on and see if you can offer me some words of wisdom.

    I'm starting to really struggle with my job. I started it two years ago and was really excited by it, it seemed like such a great opportunity working for a cause I really believed in and doing something I love. However the job is far from what it was supposed to be and I am really struggling with the working environment. I'm an INFP and working in a fairly large organisation, in an open-plan office with predominantly ESTJs and ENTPs (we all had MBTI tests last year as a development exercise). I find it really difficult to concentrate in an open-plan office full of extroverts and there are lots of things that I think is wrong with the project I work on but struggle to get my voice heard because they are all so loud and overbearing. Because I'm not happy I'm starting to perform badly which means they trust my opinion even less which means I'm becoming more unhappy. I feel so mentally unhealthy working there and the worst parts of my type are starting to come through because of the situation. I really want to just quit but obviously need to pay for the roof over my head and bills and finding new jobs is difficult.

    I'm just not sure what to do. My boss (ESTJ) has tried to understand my different working style since we had the MBTI session but her version of understanding is to tell me to ask HR for counselling to help me fit in with the company's working style. Basically she wants me to learn to become another type. I'm hired in a creative role, something my type is known for. I think it's massively inappropriate to use the best parts of my type for the benefit of the company but saying I need to be counselled out of the rest of it.

    The question is, do I just take a risk and hand in my notice? I'm not sure what else I want to do. I don't want to just go in to another company to have to go through this again. I'd love to be self-employed but it seems too risky to just do it with no client base. I'd have 3 months (my notice period) to work on this and the longer I stay in my job the more depressed I'm going to become. I really think that's the right solution for me but am scared of the risk involved.

    Anybody else been through this kind of thing? What did you do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Your plan seems fairly organized.

    When i started my professional career. After around 3.5 years on my first job, I just started drinking pretty heavily. Then I had sort of a nervous breakdown. I had different issues, for example I was technically an overseer on a large plantation. I kept whispering to the slaves, "I'll pretend to beat you if you pretend to scream." No, actually not, but they were racists. They literally enforced Jim Crow laws. There were other problems and things that weren't perfect.

    Then I was a gardener for five years. My frustration there was trying to make a $1 million garden on a $500 budget, and gardening is not really my career. I quit that job giving the required notice and everything.

    Now I have this job for about 5.5 years, and the cluster of different problems my idealism focuses on is different. There is always a difference between what I ideally want, and what is. There are really big problems with the economy, and this would effect both my job prospects and the difficulty of this job. I feel I'm always being asked to do more with less people, and at the same time, revenue is not increasing.

    I'd like to find something different. It's like I have a mad dog by the ears. I'm not exactly happy about work, but I'm afraid if i let go...and put myself out for the market...that things will get even worse.

    Looking back, I don't think I ever went a day without food. My credit and other things are a mess. Also, my apartment is provided by my job, so if I quit or lost this job I'd be basically homeless. But, it's probably I would survive. Maybe my pets would not. It's a sort of difficult situation, so I think I will hold on.

    My goal is to make preparations in case I loose my job. Indeed, maybe zombies will attack in the 2012 apocalypse as well. I have to prepare for things.

    But really, I don't believe I've ever really suffered much physically in terms of hunger or deprivation. Reflecting on this I've always worried and had forebodings of doom, so I'm doing lots of reflection as to why I think dismal stuff will happen without evidence. Of course, that is just one of many reflections.

    What would I do in your case? I don't think could work in an open-office plan. I think that would actually drive me insane. If they didn't let me wear ear plugs, then I think I would go insane.

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Do the counseling with the HR, but use it as an opportunity to promote your own work style. Talk about the benefits of how you work and how it is directly related to the skills & strengths they hired you for. Come prepared mentally (maybe even with some notes), so you don't get emotional or seem defensive, and have alternate suggestions prepared when they tell you to act like an ESTJ. Emphasize the connection between your more reserved style & your creative side, so they can appreciate that one cannot exist without the other, & so they'll become more willing to accommodate it. Explain how your work performance suffers when forced to be something you are not; put it in terms that makes it seem like it's mainly about their benefit as a company, not your personal comfort. Obviously, there will have to be a meeting in the middle, so do your part, give them a chance to do theirs, and if they don't, then re-evaluate your situation again & see if you want to stay. In the meantime, if possible, put some effort towards plan B, whether that's finding another job or starting your own business.

    As someone who got burned with the self-employed thing (left an unfulfilling job also, but the company was going under anyway), I will tell you that it takes a long time to build enough clientele to make a profit, and your personal savings lasts about half as long as you anticipate....
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    I recommend that you take some time to do some soul searching and really think about what you want to do with your life/career. Career does not equal life, but career is a big part of life in terms of hours spent on it, so there is some overlap. It could be owning your own business (I think this is a very attractive choice for NP's) or any number of things. Then, begin to transition into that thing (or those few things) you decide on.

    In other words, you can't just wake up tomorrow and be a business owner. You have to "plan your work, and work your plan":

    1. Brainstorm (what do you want to do? Really, really do. Forget traditional approaches and what society says is right. Just, "what do YOU want to do with your life). Take some good time to do this. A month, six months, whatever you need. Get some career books, jot down your strengths and what you enjoy doing, your inherent skill set, etc.

    2. Determine how to get to that place. Does it require education? Does it require talking to other successful entrepreneurs to get more knowledgeable? Does it require filing a business license? Are there fees involved? Will I need a website? How do I market myself? How can I make it unique and add my own personal flavor to it? How can I keep it fun and enjoyable? What do my customers really want?

    3. Begin working the plan. Go get the education. Go talk to the entrepreneurs. File the business license. Pay the fees. Sit on the phone on hold until the paperwork is complete.

    4. Things will begin to shift. Some small income may come from your business or you might get a different job opportunity because of the new education you are getting. Eventually, you'll be able to quit and move into the new thing.

    *It does require sacrifice. You have to put in the time, do the homework/investigating/learning. Real work, sweat equity, will be involved.
    *Every individual has a unique and inherent set of skills, talents, and natural abilities. Know what these things are. Often times, ironically, other people will be the key to finding this out. If you look back over your life, ask yourself, "Since I was very young, what have people always said that I was really good at? What thing, what skill, what ability have people always been really impressed with? And what do I enjoy doing best?" Usually, some combination of what others see in you and what you enjoy doing most will be the key to what you should be doing career-wise. View other people as your "customers". What other people say you are good at is what your "customers" are "demanding" from you. They are saying, "You're very good at X." So, if you can create the supply for that demand, you will do well. The demand has already been confirmed by people saying you are good at it. Now you just have to supply it for them. Whether it's writing, speaking, creating, computers, leading, counseling, teaching, whatever! Listen to the voice of other people throughout your life - and that shall be your key.
    *It is absolutely AMAZING what you can accomplish in 1 year's time if you really get busy making some things happen. You could literally own a business in 1 year and have a growing business.
    *1 year, 3 years, 5 years is going to pass by whether you work your plan or not. So, in 1 year, or 3, or 5, you can either be in a different place (because you worked your plan) or you can still be in the same open-office, frustrating setting, wondering, "Where did the last 3 years go? I'm still here." Nothing is going to change unless you work the plan.
    *It may seem risky or daring, but what the heck? You live once. Do what you want to do with your time and with your life. Exude the things you were meant to exude. Be the things you were meant to be. Plus, when you take a risk or three, you feel alive instead of just "letting life take you wherever it wants" - that's when life starts to feel tedious. Instead of just letting the waves take you wherever they want (e.g., to a place you don't want to be), paddle and cause yourself to go in a direction you WANT TO GO.
    *Even the perfect job/perfect career/your own business, will have some responsibilities you don't particularly enjoy. But, you'd obviously rather have more creative control than what you're doing now.
    *You can do it. Don't doubt yourself for a second. Dream it, be it, do 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

  5. #5
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Fuck that shit. If it's really making you unhappy, just hold on as long as you can while using all your spare time to find a new, & hopefully better job, & then quit that shit like a bad habit.

    & be self-employed someday! [/dreamz]

  6. #6
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    & I understand your fears about quitting & finding a new job only to go thru the same thing again, but think of it from the 'diversity-of-experience' angle-- being able to navigate the working world-- which is horrible, mundane, stupid, pointless, inane, asinine & many other negative adjectives-- is simply a necessary skill until you can find something you really like doing, so the better you get at it the closer you'll be to self-empowerment, just let every bad situation like this be a new learning experience.

    True, that won't make it not suck, but you'll at least be learning stuff.

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