Is Childcare A Good Career for INFPs?

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The answer to this is maybe. Maybe. It really depends on the kind of INFP you are. While childcare is a rewarding and challenging profession, it may be suited to INFPs on a certain level. Since I have recently started a childcare traineeship, I would like to offer some of my advice, for those INFPs out there who might be looking into childcare as a career option.

It’s not just about looking after kids. I would say, as an assistant in a daycare centre, especially if you are placed in the babies room, most of your time will be taken up by tasks such as getting the food ready, cleaning up after the kids after they have eaten, disinfecting surfaces and taking out the trash. In other words, a lot of menial tasks, which a lot of people might not think of when the word “childcare” and its entailing tasks pops into their head. Having said that, the rest of the 25% of your time is spent with the kids, and you get to play and interact with the cute, little darlings. That part, in my opinion, is the best part of the job—giving them hugs, cuddling them, and touching their chubby, little baby faces.

This job is very practical, and hands-on. You will be changing nappies, and dealing with faeces and urine, although the smell isn’t too bad (I can’t say too much on this, as I haven’t been allowed to change nappies yet). Most of your time is spent in a flurry of physical activities, and yes, while these activities use a certain part of your brain, and require a certain kind of practical intelligence, other parts of your brain, that are used for studying, reading and writing, which are parts that I often use, or like to use, remain, well, unused. In other words, don’t go into this job thinking you’re going to be quoting Shakespeare anytime soon: you’re going to be changing nappies, and wiping noses, and cleaning, and preparing. It’s very physical, very hands-on, and for me, as someone who is a little bit on the intellectual side (not much), this came as a bit of a shock to the system, if you will, and I’m still not entirely over it. After work, I have to immerse myself in reading and writing in order to feel like my old self again.

That being said, considering there are so many jobs out there for which INFPs are unsuited for, childcare is a good option. There is little room for anxiety, because you’ll generally just be interacting with co-workers and children, and, unless you are actually a daycare leader, which I’m not, you’ll not be speaking much to parents. As a daycare assistant, the most I’ve ever said to a parent is a simple “Hello.” The noise from all the crying is something you just get used to—I found it wasn’t a problem for me, because the sound of children crying, while it is distressing because it means something is wrong and I feel the need to help the child, isn’t something which provokes anxiety or I find to be irritating.

Once again, even though I’ve already repeated myself several times, childcare is a very hands-on job, and for the cerebral, and oftentimes daydreamy INFP, this can be quite difficult, and hard to get used to at first. I don’t think I’ve completely accustomed to it yet. But as a way to survive, and make money, and support yourself, it’s not too shabby. INFPs are naturally gentle and nurturing, so we oftentimes warm to the kids very easily, and vice versa, and there’s nothing better than seeing a lovely little smile on a cute, little face. If you’re OK with a hands-on, very practical job, aren’t afraid of a bit of faeces and urine, menial tasks, and love children for who they are, enough to help put on their socks and shoes and change their nappies, then this is the career for you.

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An INFP’s New Career

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I’ll be starting my childcare traineeship soon, and words cannot describe how nervous I am about it. It’s not the prospect of dealing with co-workers that worries me—it’s that of dealing with children.

I’ve never been much of a children’s person myself, and yet, here I am, entering the career, and I am terrified of little babies crying in my arms and tiny children hating me. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s just because I am paranoid or neurotic, but I feel terribly hurt when I am rejected by children; it’s as if I’ve failed in this fundamental, human way. Once, I smiled at a baby, but my mouth might as well have twisted itself into a rictus, because the baby promptly started crying, and wailing for its mother. It’s incidences like this that make me feel less than optimistic about my future childcare career. But, anything must be better than age care, right?

Anyway. I will definitely keep you posted on how this new career goes; and perhaps, just maybe, I’ll find myself actually liking the job, and this can be invaluable for other INFPs, who are wondering what path to take in terms of their career direction. As an INFP, I can test-drive the situation for you, and report back whether or not I believe this or that career is suitable for other INFPs, since I am, and always have been, a very “strong” (by which I mean, I score very highly on Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving) INFP. Just a thought.

Nothing much else has been happening in my life, apart from a good afternoon yesterday spent eating pizza and shopping with some of my friends. It was a nice afternoon. Some part of me, however, no matter what I do, feels somewhat unfulfilled. I always thought I would be published by now. I know it’s the same old spiel, but no matter how content or happy I feel, some part of me, deep inside, feels lost and afraid, and quite, frankly, bored with life, simply because this one, deepest, brightest dream of mine has never come true. I feel as though someone has punched a hole through my chest. Now, there’s just this emptiness, in the middle of my chest, a perfect circle, through which you can see to the other side of my body, the other side of the room, and nothing and no-one can put me right again, just like it was with Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty-dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Dumpty back together again. As a child—and those of you who live in and grew up in Australia will know this—I watched a lot of ABC children’s shows, from Bing and Bong, to Playschool, a show where they constantly sang, read stories and talked to stuffed toys. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work on Playschool, to be this grown-up adult, singing and dancing, pretending, exactly as if they were a child. Do they ever get tired of it? As a childcare trainee, I will only be in charge of peripheral activities, I think, like changing nappies, supervising children, cutting up fruit, that sort of thing—I won’t actually be a “teacher” in the classroom, directing the students according to lesson plans, and that sort of thing.

Oh, I don’t know. How can I possibly describe my nerves? I don’t have any experience working with very young children. The youngest child I have ever worked with was 5 years old, and now, I will be working with 1-4 year olds, for the very first time. Have you noticed that babies, and very young children, have a sort of scent? A milky kind of scent? It’s not unpleasant, but I don’t find it particularly appealing either. All in all, I have no idea what I’m getting into, and just the thought of working in a childcare centre is enough to make my heart beat faster, and anxiety to start blossoming up inside of me like some kind of underwater monster.

The manager there is nice. Unfortunately, the other workers seemed a little more brusque, and perhaps stressed. I’m a bit worried about actually working with them. I’m very sensitive to negative emotions, and whenever I feel them wafting from someone, I just want to curl up into a ball, and hide. Either way, I guess I won’t know until I try it.

A Musing On This Dreamer’s Life

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Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially decided what I want to study next. I will be a completing a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, which means I will be working in a childcare centre. Yesterday, because of an interview, I was able to visit a childcare centre, and I quite enjoyed the experience, so I have decided to make this my next career path. Fingers crossed it goes well.

I do enjoy the thought of working with babies, and children. The only thing I am really afraid of is not being able to be the “dependable” type of person a childcare educator should be. I am not exactly the most reliable person on the block—I can be a little scatterbrained. What’s more, I am also afraid of not being able to properly communicate with children and get them to do things; children can be rather scatterbrained themselves, and it can sometimes be hard to make communication pathways flow properly. Either way, I have my doubts, but anything must be better than age care, which was quite a disaster for me, mentally and physically.

I was brave enough to go to three interviews in the last month or so. It was quite an achievement, because I’m quite shy, and interviews are one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of one’s life, if not the most frightening. Just the thought of interviews makes me tremble in my boots. But I’m getting better at it. It helps if I remind myself the job isn’t the be all and end all; that there are other opportunities for me in the future. As for childcare, I will have to just make sure I have eyes on the back of my head, as I am supervising the children.

What else is new? My mood is still pretty low. I mean, I wake up in the morning, and feel so depressed sometimes I feel as though I might throw up. Today, I woke up, and literally felt as if a low, grey cloud was hanging over my head, dispelling gloom no matter where I went, and occasionally sending out fizzles of lightning. I feel better though, now that I am well into the day, and actually doing something productive, even if it just writing for my blog while I am at the job agency. Doing things makes me a happier person overall. Even though all I did these past few weeks is go to interviews, I think employment will be something that is very good for my mood, because I will be doing things, being productive, and I am glad I am going into work and study. Keeping busy is the best way to keep depression at bay; it’s the best way to keep yourself from slipping into any dark holes of negativity.

To be honest with you, I still feel as though I’m not suited to any particular job, except for writing, but in this life, unless you are lucky to have a great inheritance or some fantastically great skill or talent that translates into a life of wealth and talent, then you have to work, and childcare, so far, is the best option for me. I’m not the best person suited for the job, but it is the best job that is suited to me at the moment. My other option is business administration, and while that is a job I can certainly consider, there is a little too much telephone talking and customer interfacing for me to truly like the idea of the job. As far as I’m concerned, unless I get some work experience soon in the field of childcare, I am jumping into another pool with my eyes closed, not checking whether it’s the deep end or not.

As for relationships—I have a boyfriend! Just joking. Sorry. The chances of that happening are extremely low, as far as I’m concerned, just as low as the chance of me winning the lottery. I don’t know why, but relationships have never been something I’ve particularly felt any “kinship” towards. In other words, while I have felt drawn towards writing, and felt as though writing was a part of my life, relationships, while they are everywhere in popular culture, has always felt like some distant but lovely thing that only exists in the future for me, never the present. Let’s not even talk about children; while I would love to be a stay-at-home mum, that probably won’t happen, not for many years. It would be nice, though, to have someone nearby, to cuddle and kiss, to keep yourself warm at night. Nice, but not possible. Uh-uh; it’s not going to happen.

Overall, since there are only 2 months left before time expires and I know I will not be published, and no publishers have contacted me yet, my dreams of becoming a published writer are floating further and further away. I don’t think I’ll ever be published. There. I said it. I don’t think it will happen. What will happen? I’ll study for 2 years, become a Childcare Educator, live my life, work, play with children, spend my days happily involved in my job, go online and start dating, find a husband, have children, buy a house and settle down? Without ever getting published? The thought makes me heart constrict, but, in the end, I do believe I can be happy without getting published, if all the other accoutrements of life are gained, like a job and permanent housing. It will be the same, old life as everyone else’s, but as someone who feels as though the same, old life is very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, it would be quite good.