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  1. #1
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Default ISTP Careers? HELP!

    Hoping some of you ISTP's, or people that personally know ISTP's can help me out here. My SO types ISTP, very border INTP.. and he is having a career crises. He is not one to bitch and moan, so when he says he HATES something, I take him seriously. As an ENFP, I can't bare seeing him so unhappy! He has a degree in printing, and works on these big press machines printing newspapers and magazines. He's done it for a few years and loved it.. till about a year ago. He told me he feels very stagnant and wants OUT entirely. I've racked my brain trying to help him pinpoint a good career. Tried to help analyze his needs, qualities, etc. I will give him different ideas, and how to get into it.. but he just. can't. decide.

    What jobs have you ISTPs done that you really enjoyed and are able to stick with?

    He really wants to go into forestry, but where we live its very competitive and you have to have a degree AND know the right people to even get an entry level pos.
    I've read that ISTP's make natural leaders, and must say that he does not like leading, at all. He Hates telling others what to do. He likes guns, survivialist stuff, ammo, hunting, and music. He plays in a local band with some of his buddies. He is not that big into motorcycles, or crazy physical sports like they say istps are. This might be just him, or because he borders s/n and p/j so closely.. i dunno.

    I personally think he would do great in the fire department, but he doesn't seem very enthused. I've told him many times he would be a great cop.. but he despises govt. and the justice system, so he wont even consider.

    Help! What are your experiences? Is it normal for ISTP's to still be this directionless at 29? Are there things I can do to better help him figure it out? I'm at a loss....
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Auto mechanic. All day long. Can't go wrong. I literally know 4 ISTP mechanics. They get to use their hands, take things apart and put them back together again, troubleshoot, improvise, spend a lot of time on their own working independently, etc. I also know an ISTP that, like some INTP's, just can't decide. Switches careers about once a year. That's where passion comes in. You have to be passionate about it. And, ideally, there should be some variance inherent in the job he takes. If it's 8-to-5 every single day - exact same routine every single day, always doing the same exact type of work every single day, it gets way old for P's. As an ENFP, you probably understand this quite well.

    Writers can avoid this by writing on a subject for a year or two, and then switching gears and going in a little bit different direction/starting a new, fresh project.

    I know a professor who moves from university to university every 3 years or so. He gets burned out teaching the same exact classes, same exact location, same exact co-workers, same exact view out his office window, same exact commute every single morning, etc. So, when he starts feeling that "stress" building up that he needs to do something different, he starts applying elsewhere (different city and even different state) - and he has even taken 6 months off in between to get refreshed.

    A lot of the singer/actor types will work on an album for a year or two, then work on a movie for a year. Then, back to music. Keeps things fresh.

    There are innovative ways to do this. Job hopping is one way, although it isn't always a good long-term solution, it does keep you constantly in a new environment where things are fresh. That's where P's thrive. When things become routine and "blah", the P personality tends to "check out" mentally.
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    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Thanks INTPness. Some good ideas there. Originally I looked up ISTP careers and mechanic was top of the list. I've proposed this idea to him a few times, and again he doesn't dig on it. One might even be questioning if he is an ISTP, I have too for a while. I'm serious when I say he is like, right at the border of S/N. The job he does now involves a tremendous amount of mechanical knowledge, parts, troubleshooting, improvisation, and it seems to be the reason he hates it!

    To be honest, I do not find him exceptionally mechanically inclined in a *general way*. He has to study all the details about something, master it through a combination of manuels and experiment, and then he "gets it." And when he does, he is like the best god dam fix it guy around. But until he does.. he's hopeless.

    He really loves nature, the outdoors, biology, and is very chemistry oriented. He sits around reading my old college chem books for fun! (Sicko). He has thought about going into pharmacy work.. but I am really nervous about him doing this. Lets just say he has a love of chemicals in not always the most professional way. He had a problem a few years back before we met.. so I am fairly opposed to this type of work from a temptation standpoint.

    He doubts his abilities in math and science, even though I can see a great passion there. He can spend hours researching weapons, survivalist guides, & geography. I've proposed he open his own gun/survivalist store.. but he doesn't seem to keen on the obligation it would entail. "P".

    Any other ideas?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  4. #4
    Junior Member Bev's Avatar
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    Don't get so stuck on what an ideal job for an istp is. Everyone is different and its just a guide. Just figure out his likes and look for things that have elements of them. He could just work in a gun/survivalist shop for a while to get some understanding of how to run it and stuff.

  5. #5
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Hoping some of you ISTP's, or people that personally know ISTP's can help me out here. My SO types ISTP, very border INTP.. and he is having a career crises. He is not one to bitch and moan, so when he says he HATES something, I take him seriously. As an ENFP, I can't bare seeing him so unhappy! He has a degree in printing, and works on these big press machines printing newspapers and magazines. He's done it for a few years and loved it.. till about a year ago. He told me he feels very stagnant and wants OUT entirely. I've racked my brain trying to help him pinpoint a good career. Tried to help analyze his needs, qualities, etc. I will give him different ideas, and how to get into it.. but he just. can't. decide.

    What jobs have you ISTPs done that you really enjoyed and are able to stick with?
    I'm going into scientific research (working on getting my phd now) and I really like it, but I wouldn't recommend it as a "see if you like it" kind of thing since it requires a LOT of education so you'd best be pretty sure you want to do it. I can definitely see how science (biology and engineering in particular) might appeal to istps, though.

    He really wants to go into forestry, but where we live its very competitive and you have to have a degree AND know the right people to even get an entry level pos.
    That sounds like an awesome job, if he really wants to why not? I find that ISTPs rarely "really want" things so I pay attention when we do. How long is the degree? How hard is it to network to meet "the right people"? That honestly sounds like the process to get most any skilled job, it doesn't sound unreasonable. There's also the possibility of moving to an area with more jobs.

    I've read that ISTP's make natural leaders, and must say that he does not like leading, at all. He Hates telling others what to do.
    Not sure where you've read this as it's not my experience with myself or with other istps. I'll lead if I have to (if shit isn't getting done otherwise) but I'm bad at it and don't enjoy it.
    He likes guns, survivialist stuff, ammo, hunting, and music. He plays in a local band with some of his buddies. He is not that big into motorcycles, or crazy physical sports like they say istps are. This might be just him, or because he borders s/n and p/j so closely.. i dunno.
    "they say" a lot of things. You're mistaking "istps are more likely than other types to be involved in X" with "istps are X". This goes for all types btw.
    I personally think he would do great in the fire department, but he doesn't seem very enthused. I've told him many times he would be a great cop.. but he despises govt. and the justice system, so he wont even consider.
    I would really, really hate those jobs. Don't push him towards it because "he's istp and that's what they must like!!!"
    Help! What are your experiences? Is it normal for ISTP's to still be this directionless at 29? Are there things I can do to better help him figure it out? I'm at a loss....
    I'll let you know when I get there, but I hope not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Thanks INTPness. Some good ideas there. Originally I looked up ISTP careers and mechanic was top of the list. I've proposed this idea to him a few times, and again he doesn't dig on it. One might even be questioning if he is an ISTP, I have too for a while. I'm serious when I say he is like, right at the border of S/N.
    Again, "istps are more likely to like X than other types" doesn't mean "istps like X". Very very important. I could never be a mechanic, and plenty of other istps here and elsewhere would hate it, too. It doesn't mean he's not istp, that's ridiculous.

    To be honest, I do not find him exceptionally mechanically inclined in a *general way*. He has to study all the details about something, master it through a combination of manuels and experiment, and then he "gets it." And when he does, he is like the best god dam fix it guy around. But until he does.. he's hopeless.

    He really loves nature, the outdoors, biology, and is very chemistry oriented. He sits around reading my old college chem books for fun! (Sicko).
    This is all consistent with istp, if you're wondering. Not deciding factors, but consistent, sure.

    He has thought about going into pharmacy work.. but I am really nervous about him doing this. Lets just say he has a love of chemicals in not always the most professional way. He had a problem a few years back before we met.. so I am fairly opposed to this type of work from a temptation standpoint.
    Perhaps a pharmacist can weigh in on this, but I've gotten the impression that any "interesting" drugs are highly regulated, rather than there being a big tub of them in the back room for pharmacists to dip into. I suppose it would be a lot easier for him to steal them, but then he's risking his career. I can't tell if this is a reasonable concern or ridiculous paranoia without knowing the situation, though. Junkies are completely different from guys who" experimented" a bit in college or something.

    He doubts his abilities in math and science, even though I can see a great passion there. He can spend hours researching weapons, survivalist guides, & geography. I've proposed he open his own gun/survivalist store.. but he doesn't seem to keen on the obligation it would entail. "P".

    Any other ideas?
    He likes math and science and nature, so you point him towards shopkeeping, being a mechanic, or being a firefighter/cop?? He says he really likes the idea of forestry or pharmacy and you discourage those ideas? I'm not sure what your reasoning is here....

    You need to stop reading online type descriptions and start listening to him. If you pretend he's an ENFJ for a minute, would you still be suggesting he become a mechanic since he loves math and science and nature? No? Then stop doing it.
    -end of thread-

  6. #6
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Yeah, personally I would fucking hate being a cop/firefighter/mechanic/shopkeeper.

    Also, I'm wondering, to what degree does he express interest in your input or help? I know that when I'm in that kind of dilemma, I really don't want to hear other people's suggestions. At all. Not one little bit. In general I find it infantilizing and intrusive, and I don't like the idea of not being the sole decision maker when it comes to the direction of my career.

    I don't know what it's like for your SO, but I do know that when I have to make a big decision like that, I've usually narrowed down the desirable possibilities within a very short period of time (and considered most of the drawbacks and potential difficulties), and the rest is just getting other people's approval (if necessary) and working out the details of what I need to do next. I rarely sit in indecision for very long, and there's rarely anything that anyone can say about my choices that I haven't already taken into consideration.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Ace_'s Avatar
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    This could be helpful: ISTP careers

    But with careers, what's more important than MBTI type are your specific skills. People usually like stuff they're good at.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    What is it that he dislikes about his current job? That's might be a good starting point: what types of work can be ruled out?

    Already said but worth repeating: remember - MBTI will only get you so far in insights into who someone is.

    FWIW: I enjoy nature, working with chainsaws, mechanical work, and I'm considering getting my EMT-B and looking at fire/rescue. I enjoy that type of work. I think what ISTPs tend to have in common is a way of processing information - a sort of 'tactical analysis' - rather than any sort of specific job description, descriptions such as "The Mechanic" be damned.


    Also, I'll just throw this one out there because it sounds like it might fit: surveyor. I'm assuming you're in a rural area? It's outdoors, possibly in the woods, then. You use your head and your tools. You plan things out and create a map - you mentioned geography. You work by yourself or with a small team. You could possibly get a job with or contract out to a forestry company. Might be of interest.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

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  10. #10
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Yeah, personally I would fucking hate being a cop/firefighter/mechanic/shopkeeper.
    Aaaaargh, me either. It's boring.

    Personally, I'd avise to your SO to not think in term of "career", long term planning is not the most natural area for SPs. The most important thing is to live an independant, not regulated and carefree lifestyle and follow our impulses. ISTP is one of the smartest and more capable of all types and we can be good at everithing we want or almost just advise her to follow her impulses and positive reslults will naturally happen, wathever the area is. It is usually advised to avoid the careers who are too much involved in theory, but I think we are actually barely less fond of ideas and theories than NTs, but just more pragmatic and desirious to produce an impact on the world and to be practical, but INTJs and ENTPs have the same problem after all. Personally, the area I feel the most at ease is the realm of performing arts but I'm also very involved in political science, philosophy, law, psychology, and economy and I'm wondering if I won't resume my law studies, integrate a buisness school for a mid-working/mid-learning contract with a company or puruse my humanities studies. But I'm just one example of course. Not more significant than another.
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