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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Question ISTPs... I have a question.

    I have an ISTP son who doesn't know what he wants to do when he gets out of high school -
    besides become a pro-skateboarder, I mean.

    We're trying to direct him to a career choice that he will enjoy,
    and where he will also make good money -
    because that boy can burn through money!

    He has some electrical experience in helping his father.
    One night he came home, dirty and exhausted,
    and with a great big enthusiastic smile he declared,
    "Hey Mom! Guess what?! I almost got electrocuted 3 times!!
    I think there's enough danger and adventure in electricity where he could enjoy it.

    He hates reading and writing,
    so we're not sending him to a 4-year college.
    He's a kinesthetic (hands-on) learner.

    Anybody have any input?

  2. #2
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Sounds like a few of the trades would be good for him. God knows, there are enough of them retiring that he'd be a welcome asset.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

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  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Sounds like electrician is a possible career path then? Not sure how long of a course that is...fairly sure that's a college course. A lot of courses in college are only 2-3 years, though I imagine the most complex (and higher-paid) jobs would be longer courses. I don't know much about college though, since me and most of my friends are in university.

    I don't think there are many opportunities for jobs without going to college or university, unless you happen to be extraordinarily gifted in some area. I would say that college would be the best bet if he wants to do hands-on work for a career.

    Has he talked to a career counsellor yet? There should be something like that at his high school, and they can sometimes be very helpful--though a lot of them over-emphasize university education. Someone like that could tell him about some possible career options that he and your family might not know about.

    EDIT: wait, in the US university is called college and college is called something else like trade schools or technical schools or something, right? When I said college above, I meant "one of those places where you're taught a trade through mostly hands-on learning".

  4. #4
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    My sister is an ISTP also and she's having the same issues your son is having about the direction of her life. Our family is basically learning not to pressure her and let her make her own decisions about what she eventually wants to do. It is a bit difficult though because she tends to float from job to job and we're worried about her having security and skills that can eventually stabilize her.

    The idea that she expresses most frequently about her career is that she doesn't want to have a boss hanging over her head. The job she's been most content with so far is field representative for two different companies. All she had to do is provide her own transportation. I think that position required her two greatest assets: troubleshooting with customers and freedom to make her own schedule. These type of jobs exist and they actually pay quite well. The downside is they're very high turnover/stress.

    Maybe your son can figure out what his best qualities are and find jobs (yes plural, he may not want to just do one thing) that align with what he naturally does best. My sis has a lot of different interests that she manages to capitalize on. She is cameraperson on the side and does amateur work for people's weddings and parties. It's quick and easy and she enjoys it. She also has an online store where she sells wholesale car audio equipment. I think she's very quick to seize on opportunities for herself and follow them up.

    You can also check out the Occupational Handbook to see what careers are available that he would enjoy and are not going to dead-end soon.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    My sister is an ISTP also and she's having the same issues your son is having about the direction of her life. Our family is basically learning not to pressure her and let her make her own decisions about what she eventually wants to do. It is a bit difficult though because she tends to float from job to job and we're worried about her having security and skills that can eventually stabilize her.
    I think that is good advice.

    I think it is difficult as a parent to not impose our own ideas of "success" upon our children. Having an ESFP child, I have had to come to terms with the idea that the level of security and reward I might need in an occupation is not the same as what he might be perfectly happy with.

    (It even translates over to simply his living conditions; as an adult, he might be perfectly capable of functioning and enjoying life, regardless of whether his house looks like a tornado passed through it and he cannot find his shoes right away in the morning... I'd hate that, I need a BIT of structure... but he doesn't seem to care in the least.)

    In any case, success is what ideally our children can feel content and good about their lives and have opportunities to use their unique skills to the fullest. It will differ from person to person.

    But it's still hard being a parent -- wanting to give the flex, yet also wanting to make sure that our children have not been shortchanged just because we did not intervene or guide them as we might have.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of an exception here, I think... but I can offer some generic advice.

    First, remember that type is a rather large bag - don't push him towards something based just upon type. In particular, the Ss span a gigantic range of interests and it could backlash if you push towards "what he is suited for" based upon that.

    In any case, I've noticed that ISTPs tend to prefer localized problem solving - trades is a good option. After that, it seems to break down into if they like working with their hands, how they feel when they finish something and how people orientated they are (ie: How S, how P and how IT). The ISTPs I know tend to like like building something, anything, just for the sake of building it. It could be a car, it could be a house... it could be a spreadsheet. A couple I know like doing helpdesk support (weaker T, I presume) simply because it lets them work a variety of problems in their field.

    The best advice is to get him into a whole lot of things. It's true that ISTPs are flighty, but at the same time they tend to find passions and really work on it. Offering a variety of options and letting them try them are good. I've found that an ISTP will take up engineering if it will let them skateboard better; but they won't do anything unless it is a means to an end... their end. Jobs are similar.

    Also remember that his reactions now are probably "teenagerish" - lack of boss, etc will probably tone down as the rebellion part ends. The trick is getting an hook into him - something that he can really associate with.

  7. #7
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Our family is basically learning not to pressure her and let her make her own decisions about what she eventually wants to do.
    This is a good point. From my perspective what would be ideal is having many different types of careers introduced, in a very no-pressure sort of way, while having lots of information available to look up on my own, and then being trusted to be capable of choosing my career path totally on my own.

    I'm grateful that my family pretty much ignored the topic of careers until I'd chosen a vague area (actually they still pretty much ignore it), which they seem to be reasonably happy with anyway.

  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    This is a good point. From my perspective what would be ideal is having many different types of careers introduced, in a very no-pressure sort of way, while having lots of information available to look up on my own, and then being trusted to be capable of choosing my career path totally on my own.

    I'm grateful that my family pretty much ignored the topic of careers until I'd chosen a vague area (actually they still pretty much ignore it), which they seem to be reasonably happy with anyway.
    My sister's life choices are basically the most talked about subject in my immediate family. It's almost a running gag. :rolli:

    What I did for her is printed out some stuff I thought she would be interested in and she looked it over. She liked the camerawoman idea and she went with it.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think my dad is an ISTP. He is pushing sixty and he never decided what he wanted to do when he grew up. When his GI Bill was about to run out he just went for a default degree in electronics technology because that's what the Marines trained him to do.

    It's hardly his greatest passion, but it was easy for him. He was good at it. Go with the flow, you know?

    It did pretty well for him most of his life. Health problems, age discrimination, and US manufacturing tanking has hurt him in recent years, but I don't think there's really any avoiding that kind of thing.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Well, not sure how the trades work in the US, but in Canada you actually work under a journeyman as an apprentice for a certain amount of hours with times for courses plugged in every year. Apprenticeships tend to last between 3-5 years depending on the trade. Basically most of your training is done doing the thing wrather than someone preaching to you about it.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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