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  1. #1
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Default SJs and stereotypically "boring"/routine jobs

    I was recently musing the idea that there seems to be quite a bit of overlap between jobs/careers that are stereotypically considered "mundane", "boring", "dull" and "soul-crushing" and the sorts of jobs usually considered appealng to SJs due to their structured, methodical and steady nature, which makes them, at least theoretically, well-suited for said tasks.

    However, these jobs are also pretty much considered synonymous with disillusionment and drudgery and giving up on your dreams, like in this comic by Chris Guillebeau.

    My questions, then, are, for the SJs: do you find fulfillment on those jobs, or do you simply feel a duty to "keep on trucking"? Does it depend on particular aspects of the job? Do you feel those jobs are represented unfairly in media such as Guillebeau's comic? Do you, indeed, thrive in those environments? Are they close to what you consider your "dream job"?

    Thank you in advance.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  2. #2
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Um, do you think the comic represents SJ behavior or SJ thinking? Or is that how you see SJ's in the world? Just curious.
    "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

  3. #3
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    That comic is idiotic frustrating to me. I respect the idea behind it, but it also completely overlooks the fact that those "average" people are lucky enough to go to school, go to college, have loving parents, have an office job where you get to sit and even get downtime, have enough money to travel, be buying something significant enough to need a mortgage, and so on - first world problems.

    I'm not sure I'm clear on the difference between "structured, methodical, and steady" jobs, and "mundane, boring, dull and soul-crushing" jobs. I think especially as a 6 I aspire to have a steady and stable job someday, and I feel some degree of aggravation when people rail against steady jobs. A job can be steady without being soul-crushing. Preferably it will be steady and constructive, creative, inspiring. A job can be detail-oriented without being mundane. And a job can be fast-paced and dull. It can be innovative and outside the box and destructive to the planet and the community. It can be cutting-edge and sophisticated and still personally unappealing. I'm less worried about living a "boring" life or a "conformist" life and more worried about living a immoral life or a dissatisfying life. And the SJs I know, love, and respect (as well as a couple that are less endearing) don't seem to be much different than anyone else in seeking a meaningful and hopeful life.

    What jobs, exactly, are you referring to? What environments? A 40-hour workweek? An office job? ESFJ mom might be good with details but she sure seems to hate paperwork after hours just as much as the rest of us.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Um, do you think the comic represents SJ behavior or SJ thinking? Or is that how you see SJ's in the world? Just curious.
    It doesn't necessarily represent how I view things. I am, after all, just a babe in the woods.

    In theory, it's about how those kinds of jobs are associated with drudgery and stuff.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  5. #5
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Funny, I was talking to a colleage today (ENTJ) who was telling me that in his new role, management promotes the idea that firedrills and mad dashes are exciting and will get you noticed. How you gonna stand out if EVERYBODY hustling like that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    That comic is idiotic frustrating to me. I respect the idea behind it, but it also completely overlooks the fact that those "average" people are lucky enough to go to school, go to college, have loving parents, have an office job where you get to sit and even get downtime, have enough money to travel, be buying something significant enough to need a mortgage, and so on - first world problems.

    I'm not sure I'm clear on the difference between "structured, methodical, and steady" jobs, and "mundane, boring, dull and soul-crushing" jobs. I think especially as a 6 I aspire to have a steady and stable job someday, and I feel some degree of aggravation when people rail against steady jobs. A job can be steady without being soul-crushing. Preferably it will be steady and constructive, creative, inspiring. A job can be detail-oriented without being mundane. And a job can be fast-paced and dull. It can be innovative and outside the box and destructive to the planet and the community. It can be cutting-edge and sophisticated and still personally unappealing. I'm less worried about living a "boring" life or a "conformist" life and more worried about living a immoral life or a dissatisfying life. And the SJs I know, love, and respect (as well as a couple that are less endearing) don't seem to be much different than anyone else in seeking a meaningful and hopeful life.

    What jobs, exactly, are you referring to? What environments? A 40-hour workweek? An office job? ESFJ mom might be good with details but she sure seems to hate paperwork after hours just as much as the rest of us.
    Out of interest, have you ever worked in an average office job in some menial position, thinking that would be your career for life?

    At the end of the day, I don't have the right to judge anyone, if they like that job. But nobody has the right to judge me if I say I genuinely found it soul-destroying and worthless. It's all subjective. Rich people can be bored/depressed too, and have a right to express it. No-one is asking for charity.

    You sound INFJ to me btw, I can just imagine my brother writing what you said.

    which brings me to another point, I think J's in general can handle those kinds of jobs better than a P.

    FWIW I changed careers and am now very happy in a fast-paced flexible job. Not "moral". But then I don't need it to be. Some people do. Each to their own.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Aw geez, I guess I failed at making those questions as open-ended as possible...

    I'm not a career expert, which is why I used someone else's idea as a starting point and decided to see how it went from there.

    And where are all the SJs? I wanna hear their 2¢...
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    And where are all the SJs?
    At work.

  9. #9
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    I was recently musing the idea that there seems to be quite a bit of overlap between jobs/careers that are stereotypically considered "mundane", "boring", "dull" and "soul-crushing" and the sorts of jobs usually considered appealng to SJs due to their structured, methodical and steady nature, which makes them, at least theoretically, well-suited for said tasks.

    However, these jobs are also pretty much considered synonymous with disillusionment and drudgery and giving up on your dreams, like in this comic by Chris Guillebeau.

    My questions, then, are, for the SJs: do you find fulfillment on those jobs, or do you simply feel a duty to "keep on trucking"? Does it depend on particular aspects of the job? Do you feel those jobs are represented unfairly in media such as Guillebeau's comic? Do you, indeed, thrive in those environments? Are they close to what you consider your "dream job"?

    Thank you in advance.
    Firstly, I don't think the comic is all that related to the jobs you're talking about. It's a generalization of what it's like, in general, to live a life that's too safe. Only walking the path that's been laid out for you, making no real decisions of your own. Sure, some SJs live lives like this, but others don't. The whole comic is a call for bold action and critical thinking, and SJs are just as capable of that as anyone else.

    Implying that the comic represents SJs also suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an SJ. I almost want to go through the comic, panel by panel, to refute it, but that would be too time-consuming.

    Secondly, the stereotype of SJs being the ones that do mundane/boring jobs comes from the fact that we're very methodical, linear thinkers, very task-/goal-/detail-oriented, and satisfied with our jobs when we know that we're part of something greater. This means that SJs are a natural fit for methodical, linear, detail-oriented jobs within large, impersonal companies/organizations, because even if we get bored by those jobs -- which we often do! -- we're good at them, we can find entertainment elsewhere (e.g. talking to coworkers), and we're motivated by The Greater Good. Whereas, NJs might have a harder time staying in constant contact with that source of motivation (and would instead get intensely bored), and Perceivers would have a hard time focusing on such J-ish jobs.

    It's important to note here that everyone needs job satisfaction -- that's not something that some types are excluded from. SJs aren't so self-sacrificing that they'd all work jobs they hate for their entire lives, for no greater cause. They'd need a reason to work there, some kind of deeper appreciation for the work they do. For SJs, the type of satisfaction that they'll want from a job would probably be one or more of these:

    - The feeling of being part of something greater than yourself
    - Being part of a like-minded community
    - Being appreciated (and paid!) for the work that you're good at
    - Fixing imperfections in the system, or maintaining the current working order of the system
    - "Making the world a better place"
    And, most importantly...
    - Doing what you love.

    Everything else -- job security, predictable work schedule, etc -- comes from being a J and seeing chaos and unpredictability as your enemy. Other Js want these same things, but other factors can get in the way.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    @EJCC: Ah, thank you very much! I was hoping an SJ would help me break down the idea a little.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

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