INFPs Can Find Fulfilling Jobs

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So, recently, I’ve been working at an age care centre, looking after the elderly people. So far, I’ve only made some beds, talked with the elderly, helped set up the lunch tables, and showered one lady, but I’ve found it rather fun and enjoyable. It certainly beats spending time at home, wasting away hours.

I would definitely recommend age care to INFPs. Of course, there are many who are averse to some of the tasks involved in age care, such as wiping bottoms and things like that, but you do wear gloves the entirety of the time you complete these tasks, and wash your hands afterwards. However, if you have a sensitive sense of smell, and can’t stand the smells of urine and number 2s, I definitely would not recommend you do this job.

Part of the reason why it is a good job is because it is not very fast-paced. First of all, the elderly are, well, old, and you have to be slow, patient and careful with them. What is more, there are no loud noises, you are usually one-one-one with a person, and a lot of elderly people are very sweet and kind, though you do get the irritable and cantankerous ones sometimes. All in all, after searching the globe (AKA the internet) for a suitable job, I think I might have finally found one.

I even considered doing childcare once, thinking I was good with children, and calm and patient; but it didn’t end up working out, because the job was far too high-energy for me. I couldn’t keep up with the energy of the kids! It exhausted me beyond belief, and now, the energy around elderly people is much more calmer, and there is far less stress, although I am in fear, when showering someone, that they will slip or fall. There is no job, is there, that doesn’t have any stress? Not even writing, which causes tremendous stress when it doesn’t go well, which is often.

It is a very fulfilling job. You really feel as though you are making a difference in someone’s life. I’m glad I found it, this early on in my life, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done with myself. It does have its downsides; it is rather physically demanding, and when things go wrong, they go very wrong i.e. a resident becomes non-compliant, or perhaps even lashes out. So far, however, everything has gone rather smoothly, and I hope to see myself in this job for years to come, writing part-time on the side. Thank you for being with me on this journey, and, if it so happens that I change careers, I’ll definitely keep you posted, my dear dreamers. I hope you are in relatively fulfilling careers yourself, and if not, I hope soon, in the future, you find one that is suitable.

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INFPs and Career Advice

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Well, a very long time ago (four years, to be exact), I wrote a post about INFPs and careers. Now, quite a few years later, my views have certainly changed a little. Just a little.

I no longer think you have to have your passion as your job. For me, my passion, my one and only true love, has and always will be writing. However, turning this into a career has been…well, let’s just say, a little hard. And now, to earn money, I have decided to keep writing as a part-time hobby, while the rest of my time, to earn money, and to indulge in another activity which I find meaningful, I look after the elderly, tending to their needs.

If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that the energy level of the workplace is very important for INFPs. If the place has “negative” energy, such as the business or the finance world, where there is lots of competitiveness, we tend to wilt instead of thrive.

Instead, try to go for more caring careers, like those involving children, the elderly, or disabled men, women and children. By working with vulnerable groups, you naturally tap into the Feeling part of the INFP personality.

A good idea would be also to pursue your writing—or drawing, or whatever INFPish passion you have—on a part-time basis professionally, perhaps becoming a technical writer, or a copywriter; or, if you are an artist, selling small pieces of your art work online or becoming an art therapist, most likely a part-time one. I would NOT recommend becoming a journalist, because that is a fast-paced, very competitive job, that requires lots and lots of high-energy interaction. In fact, becoming a primary school teacher is a better idea than working in childcare, because very young children have tons of energy, and can exhaust an INFP, who is naturally a low-energy person.

Your job has to be calming. Stress may be something that comes with every job, but for INFPs, it is very important that you find a job that has MINIMAL stress, or you’ll find yourself burning out sooner or later. It would, in addition, not be a bad idea to work permanently part-time; as an introvert, this gives you the time to recharge the other days of the week.

There are many other occupations which would work for INFPs, other than working with the elderly, children, or the disabled; you could work with animals, which INFPs tend to have a kinship for, as a vet or a zoologist, or you could consider becoming a a librarian, if your job mostly includes shelving books (nowadays, librarians are in much more of a customer service role, than anything else).

Then there are the usual introvert jobs, like bus drivers, electricians, factory worker, seamstress or many IT professions, but since these are usually left-brain dominant professions—except for perhaps seamstress—, and INFPs are predominantly right-brained, I would not recommend engaging in them unless you absolutely have the skills for it—some INFPs like computers and science! Rare, but true—and enjoy doing it.

In the end, no matter what job you end up doing, I hope you remember that balance is key—and I don’t mean a work-life balance, but a feeling of constant balance, or harmony inside of yourself. Imagine it as a set of scales, hovering inside of you the entire time; the scales should feel balanced at all times—meaning you are not overwhelmed or particularly stressed—not swinging wildly from side to side, about to collapse, as it will if you enter some professions. Imagine those scales inside of yourself no matter what you do—and you have found the key to a balanced life and career for INFPs.

A Short Eulogy For An INFP

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Ah. Ahem. Well. She was a fine young lady. Very bright. Very literary. Ahem. Loved her books, that one. Quite a fine, young woman, yes, very good.

Well…

She could be a bit scatterbrained at times, you know. Just a little bit. I mean, it’s nothing major, but she did once or twice forget my birthday. And always leave a mess behind in the kitchen. I was her roommate, you see. Yes. Well. I had to clean up after her quite a few times.

As for her romantic fantasies—don’t get me started on those. While she was not able to speak a word to a single man, she had an elaborate fantasy and daydream for imaginary men. Inside that little head of hers. And not even interesting, sexual ones: just ones where the man rides her off into the sunset, or reads a book she published and ends up falling in love with her.

Come to think of it, before she got published—and I am sure all of you enjoy her books very much—she used to always go on and on about getting published. Suicidal, that one. Really. I mean, she used to drink coffee endlessly when she was depressed, typing at her laptop and complaining that no publisher under the sun wanted her work. It was a real pain in the ass to see her misery. Shy, and insecure, and depressive. Kind of like Hemingway, you know? And he ended up shooting himself in the head.

As for her books, well, while they are quirky and imaginative enough, don’t you think there’s a little too much imagination in them? I mean, there is such a thing as too much imagination, right?’

And don’t even get me started on the cats.

Six cats. I ask you.

As for—what? Hey! Hey! Let go of me at once, I shall not be manhandled like this! Why are you dragging me off the stage?

The Kind Of Man An INFP Wants

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I am interested in him.

No, not him. Not the tall, straight-backed, dashing one, with women flocking to him left-right-and-centre, who never needs to lift a finger to do or get anything in life. Not them, in suits, born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

No, it’s not him. Why, do you even know me? A party animal, someone dashingly handsome, who loves to get drunk and paw at women’s’ bodies, with such an alluring smile it is impossible not to fall under his spell? No. Even the party animals have an expiration date.

And why, on earth, do you think it would be him? The popular, yet geeky one? Clever, and well-liked, with good mannerisms. The kind of man mothers and fathers would be proud to see their daughter bring home. No, not him.

Not the artist, either. Not the indie type, on the road, doing drugs and smoking cigarettes, getting high on ideas and substances, with little more than five dollars in his pocket.

Not the ordinary work-a-day guy, the 9-5 clocker, with pleasingly good looks, and a routine, interspersed by holidays, that runs like clockwork.

And, for the love of all that is good, why on Earth do you think I would like him? He’s just—well, he’s lovely, darling, but he’s just so ordinary. Ordinary thoughts, inside an ordinary brain. Just listen to him laugh and talk. He makes me fall asleep.

No: what I am looking for, in a man, is a daydreamer.

Someone who is quiet and unassuming. Someone no-one else notices, except me.

Someone who writes. Someone who dreams. Someone who sketches. Someone who sings.

A man that sits by himself on a bench, lonely and lost, with a sketchpad in hand, smelling the flowers and glorying in the beauty of nature, secretly and alone.

A man who yearns for someone who is quirky and strange, who sees fairies wherever flowers are, and dreams of tasting stardust.

A man who wakes up in the middle of the night, lonely, lost and afraid, the future stretching before him like a great, big fathomless nothing, which, hopefully, I can bring a little light to.

A man who reads books, and watches films—but only the strange kinds, like Miyazaki’s movies, or Amelie, or Roald Dahl’s books. Surrealist fiction, surrealist art.

A man, really, who isn’t very romantic, strange, or special at all. He is special, and beautiful, and wondrous, because he feels so very out of place, all the time. He is not an ideal man, not at all; he doesn’t walk upon Parisian rooftops before dawn, to watch the pigeons fly off into the sunrise, or spend his days playing music on the streets and earning pennies. No, nothing so romantic as that.

He might be unemployed. He might be very depressed. He might very well be unconventionally good-looking, if you know what I mean: soft features, or strange ones, not ones people would quite call handsome.

But there is something special inside of him.

Something only I can see.

And that is the man I want.