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Enhancer Career Success Stories and Strategies

A request from Donna Dunning

Please Share Your Story or Strategy

Although I have studied personality type for over 20 years, I still find it most helpful to hear from the experts on the different types. That’s you. To help others learn and develop, please share your stories. How does your career suit who you are? What have you learned to do to be successful? Thanks for sharing.

To find a sample of type-preferred occupations go to the Enhancer occupations page.

Not sure of your type? Learn more on the What’s Your Type pages.

Share Your Story

If you want to share your career success story or strategy on our web site, please fill in the form below. *All fields are required. By submitting your story you are agreeing to let us publish it. We may edit your story for length and clarity. Thank you.


32 Responses to “Enhancer Career Success Stories and Strategies”

  1. Paul says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    I’ve been using computers since the early 1980s and one of my roles is the “techie” for our small business. I enjoy problem solving and often have to figure out complex sequences of actions to fix technical glitches. When I first started doing this I was happy to solve the puzzle and carry on. However, when I encountered a similar puzzle later on I would waste valuable time resolving the problem because I hadn’t bothered to write down the steps in the solution. For me, the challenge of figuring out a puzzle is more rewarding than documenting how I do it.

    Now I create instruction sheets with clear explanations, bulleted sequences, and even brief rationale to remind myself when I read this again that I knew what I was doing. It’s tedious to write down all these details, but it works! If I make any adjustments to the process I am careful to edit my instruction sheet right afterwards. I don’t think of it as being forgetful, I call it self-coaching.

  2. Kelly M says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    I’m an INFP who works in the healthcare field as an administrator. Formerly, I performed direct patient services including health education, outreach and Spanish interpretation. I really miss the human interaction that I used to have. I do feel like I am still doing good work that fits in with my values, but the lack of human interaction is definitely a negative for me.

  3. David McD says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    As an avid reader with many interests, phenomenal powers of observation and perception, and great creative talent, I truly struggled with the idea of choosing ONE career path over all others, which seemed to be the direction that my High School counselors and most of society wanted to push me in. How was I supposed to know at 17 what I wanted to do for the rest of my life?

    Almost 25 years later, I *still* don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I’m content with that. I took a year off before going to college because I wanted to work and get a better feel for what I wanted as a career. Already working as a professional photographer, I sold cameras and did custom darkroom work. Working in that environment gave me lots of opportunities to interact with the public, but I had large periods of time alone to recharge, so I never got overwhelmed. I also learned from working with the public and trying to run a business, that you just can’t please everyone and you have to stick to rules or people will try to cross the line. Your price is your price, and you have to stay with that. There will always be someone who wants it for less, even if you sell it to them at wholesale cost. There will always be people who want to come in the store early, or keep you open past closing. You can bend on certain things, but helping to run a small business allowed me to understand that you have to have a certain amount of order.

    I’ve worked as a professional writer, photographer, picture framer, book editor, law clerk, and then took the leap into veterinary medicine in private practice. I now work for one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world as a licensed veterinary technician with expert knowledge in anesthesia. This has allowed me to help new generations of doctors master their techniques, and helped the current leading physicians in various specialties (neurosurgery, cardiology, transplant teams) develop ground-breaking cures for diseases like Type 1 Diabetes through pancreatic transplants, laparoscopic partial lobe liver transplants, and developing cures for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

    Though I’ve strayed from my training in Film and English, I’m content with the idea that we sometimes end up in careers that are far different than what we set out to do. The common thread in all of my jobs is that I’ve been able to serve the greater good of mankind, serve the public, yet still have periods throughout the day where I was often completely alone to recharge my batteries. I tend to get frustrated when upper management nitpicks about rules and regulations and following everything to the “letter of the law”, when all of the rules ultimately contradict one another. I ultimately try to determine what the rules are designed for (patient safety, personal safety, keeping clients from overstepping boundaries, etc.), and act according to what seems the most reasonable course of action.

    I have generally left a job because it starts to conflict too much with one of my core values. I would literally rather collect trash and serve society, than to be forced to make decisions that are designed to turn a greater profit at the expense of the clients or patients or whomever I am supposed to be serving. However, I do not simply seek out a new job every six months; I’ve been in the veterinary/medical field for over 10 years.

  4. Marie says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Like David above who said it so eloquently, when I look back at my careers the ultimate goal and reward has always been service to others (and animals – for whom I have a special heart). Oddly when I went to college, despite always loving and performing in drama and music and doing Honors work in English, history and Creative Writing, I chose to major in Finance. Of course I realized too late that I was NOT cut out for that world. The people that inhabit the business world of profit for profit sake and I had as much in common as a bird and a fish.

    My first job out of school was as a Freight Forwarder. A few years later I became a Residential Property Manager – jobs I fell into rather than planned for. Both jobs allowed me to interact with and learn about different kinds of people, but my soul still felt empty. That’s when I took my first MBTI and Strong and realized it was time to go back for my M.A. I got it in counseling and now work as a career counselor.

    After 10 years in higher ed (in both career services and academic advising) and with numerous opportunities to move up the ladder, the thing that has stopped me from moving is what Kelly mentioned: I do not want to stop giving direct service. The administrative jobs pay much better (heaven knows I am not paid what a Masters person in the private sector makes!) but they do not let me serve and help others. The other side of my life is animals, and for the last 10+ years I have volunteered weekly as an adoption counselor at animal shelters. One of my core values is the protection and care of animals. My opinions are long and well formed and I will speak up on that topic anywhere at anytime to anyone.

    As I think about it now, the #1 thing that has caused me to leave jobs in the past has been unpleasant working relationships or ones that soured as old companions moved on and new ones came in, changing the temperament of the office. At times I’ve wondered if I am really a “T” as I tend to love collecting facts and being seen as an expert, but I find that ultimately I can overlook stupidity in leadership as long as I have support from my direct supervisor and colleagues which is far more “F.” I am definitely more a forest than trees person and like David also go a bit batty (but seldom speak up to say so) when people spend an entire meeting debating little nitpicky issues rather than looking at the grand scheme and thinking long term.

  5. D. C., Ph.D. says:

    Personality Type: INFP/J

    I always felt a bit on the outside. Never quite like the others: a bit always looking “in” to what was really going on around me. Timid. Shy. Adapted an outgoing personality to make my “Mommy” and “Daddy” happy at a young age. Always seemed to “see” things and “know” things that went unnoticed by others around me. Didn’t really speak up about any of this. Just wondered why others didn’t notice things that I did, or have an interest in things that I did. During the Sixties (60’s), during college, when others were rocking out, I was reading Sonnets of the Portuguese, listening to Broadway musicals on record players, enjoying Johnny Mathis and Moody Blues and other similar music. Drama was fun. Oral interpretation fun. Wanted to major in History for a while (and still find the History Channel or History Channel International my favorite channels on TV), until I got a History teacher my Junior year that nitpicked the meaningless minutia of History to the point, I felt even then, of losing the joy of the study of the big picture–the whys of History and the hows. The factual what’s and where’s bored me. I liked to connect the dots between events–understand history’s impact on the people born during those eras. I am the same today.

    Once I had my family, I loved staying home to raise my kids. I read a lot during that time to stay intellectually stimulated. About the time I went back to get my M.A. in Counseling (1985) my husband, the love of my life, left after 21 years for my best friend, followed on its heels by the deaths of my mother, and a year later the death of my father (1989-1992), followed by a second failed marriage… all of the rejection and loss almost destroyed me. It took many many years of personal growth to find myself again.

    It was during this period that I began to study the MBTI… the first time I typed out right on the middle of the ESTJ (very very slightly toward the ESTJ side). Did NOT sound like me. Now I know that I was most likely operating out of “the grip” in survival mode.

    As my life progressed slowly forward attempting to survive alone in the world without the support system of my parents and my husband, I began to type out as an INTP/J. I had strong analytical skills so this seemed “logical” to me.

    Now, twenty two (22) years later, I am in a marriage with a wonderful man with whom I feel safe and loved and secure in his love and unconditional acceptance of me. Only now, seven (7) years into our relationship and four (4) years into our marriage, have I come to feel “safe” enough to allow myself to realize that I am a dominant F… not a dominant T. The shock of believing for almost a decade that I was a dominant NT (and even counseled it and taught seminars on it) and coming now only to realize that I am a dominant NF has been a growth-developing and breathtaking experience for me–and a bit scary in the mix.

    I realize only now, looking back, that I must have, at the time my husband left me, my mother and father died, and I remarried to a second husband … on my own, alone, “cut off” my “F’ side — the tender side of me, to make the tough “T” decisions I had to make for myself in order to survive.

    Only now, when I can relax and really allow myself to “feel” again—to allow my emotions to “thaw” again… has God gotten my attention that I am truly an INFP/J, rather than an INTP/J…

    It has been scary to realize how I lost myself during this period of my life, and in that process, how many mistakes I made in my decision making processes by cutting off my dominant function and operating through my weakest function.

    I read the testimony of these here, and realize that I am truly an INFP with a strong INFJ secondary.

  6. CT says:

    Personality Type: INTP

    As I expected, only INFPs share here and ISFPs live their life elsewhere and not writing here. 🙂
    In fact, I think ISFP is very different from INFP, too different to be grouped as one category.
    ISFP is down to earth, live now and will not spend time writing and pondering about “career” much. While INFP live their head in the cloud, keep pondering alternatives of career moves.
    To ISFP, the important thing is works that they enjoy now (and not seeing from perspective of continuation of works, called career) and be present to the people around. To INFP, the career must be meaningful, they always talk about their value and alternatives and never ending pondering of options.
    To ISFP, Fi Se means deep care (Fi) of people in actual day to day interaction (Se).
    To INFP, Fi Ne means deep care (Fi) of ideas/ concept relating to mainkind or people in general (Ne) which can be called as VALUE, (ISFPs don’t use “value” this word. It is inaccurate to use the word “value” in their descriptions.

  7. Donna Dunning says:

    CT. You offer some excellent points and obviously know type theory well. For readers who are not familiar with the ideas of Fi, Se, and Ne, the small letters after the personality type code letters show if that preference is typically used privately (i: in the inner world; or introverted) or expressed outwardly (e: in the outer world; or extraverted). This is a part of personality type theory called type dynamics that is very important when understanding how people with different combinations of preferences express themselves. As CT explains, both ISFPs and INFPs typically use their Feeling function in their inner world to evaluate information and guide their choices. ISFPs use their Sensing in the world around them (Se) to focus on practical matters while INFPs use iNtuition in the outer world (Ne) to explore and play with ideas. As CT notes, personality type dynamics are different for ISFPs and INFPs. This sounds complicated, but makes sense when you learn about how type is expressed. CT’s point about language is very helpful. We have habits of language and words have multiple connotations and denotations. I like CT’s use of the term “deep care” as a more sensing replacement for the word “values” and I can see how the word “values” is much more conceptual. Thanks for sharing your perspectives.

  8. Brian says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    For me as an INFP, I stress the idealism. The idea of ‘career’ is repelling to me, though I crave to be seen and recognized for what I can do/create. The artist/dreamer/idealist has every opportunity to feel slighted and less-than in this world. And the successes of others always do sting. The pain is doing your art and never feeling like you’ve done it well enough, and of course you’re not being given the opportunities that others seem to be ‘given’. Even others in the arts, other dreamer idealists like yourself. Of course you wouldn’t trade who you are, but it can hurt, who you are. What I’m working on is curbing my over active imagination (which makes the art – music specifically) away from how small I can feel in the world, and how different I feel from others (and wish to be!), and using it to fuel the beauty I see and emotion I feel that others don’t as easily feel or see. Or care to feel or see.

    Like you have said, INFP’s can spend so many years (especially high school/college) not knowing where they fit or who they are according to job/career/evaluation standards (trivial things like ‘majors’ and ‘career strategies’). It’s so important for INFP’s to know themselves and be true to themselves, at all phases of their very unique and personal journey.

  9. JuRika says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    I had such fun reading many of the stories!

    I too have a desire to help and develop people but opt for studies in the Natural-Sciences. Infact, I have been studying ALL MY LIFE – different things – and had been a serial job-hopper too. I took a natural science-concentration in high school. After matric I studied Social work with psychology as major; then one day in the criminology-class I had a rude awakening – I must analyse! So the BSc. started. But i had doubts although the science of life has a spiritual meaning to me (another story…) and I enjoy the knowledge obtained more than the thinking about the “coldness” of the actual eventual carreer. SO, finally in the year I got pregnant with my first, I took a step back and the field of HR just seem more and more promising to me. When my lo was 1 year I started with my B.Com (B.A.) in HR management….just that the last semester I changed it again to I&O Psychology (didn’t wasted time bc those two where very similar in the beginning). WOW, so I know that I finally have a direction to stick to and it will involve Organizational development and analysis bc I am such a systems-thinker by nature and love innovation…even in past boring jobs where it did not even apply 😕 I always figure out the Right Thing instead of bothering too much about doing the Thing right (that thing has to be re-evaluated to make sure if it makes sense!). Human Engineering can be a second degree…or maybe genetic counciling if my carreer of interest gets boring since I (will) have a psychology degree which is a prerequesite for it. I must ALWAYS keep my options open!!

  10. JuRika says:

    Personality Type: INTP

    Apologies, I was confused – I am an INTP …but I relate! ;D

  11. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi JuRika, The INTP career approach can look similar to the INFP on the outside. People who prefer INP generally like ideas and possibilities, want flexibility, and tend to dislike structure and routines. The difference is in the dominant function, Introverted Thinking (Ti) rather than Introverted Feeling (Fi). The dominant function, for both, is quietly guiding actions in the background and will not be seen unless someone violates a value or principle. If you are interested in reading more about this, see my post: Getting to Know Introverts

  12. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    D. C., Ph.D., what you’ve shared is really powerful. You’ve been on an amazing journey and survived lots of challenging moments and come to a greater understanding of yourself. I found what you had to say inspiring and would read your autobiography (if you have one) with interest. What did you write your thesis on?

  13. Donna Dunning says:

    Thanks Anne, My dissertation was on the topic of how age, gender, education, and personality type align to career values. If you are interested, the entire paper can be accessed from my home page.

  14. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Thanks for that Donna. I would be interested. I’m attempting to study and although I enjoy some aspects of study, I find meeting deadlines really stressful and end up procrastinating and getting even more stressed! Unlike my friend who is an ISTJ, who apparently (according to what I just read) enjoys deadlines!! She fits this type description to a ‘t’ so I am learning more about her through this blog and why we sometimes have misunderstandings, which I often end up taking personally. Thanks for all your insights. Anne

  15. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    P. S. I’m attempting a Master of Special Education.

  16. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    P. P. S. Why is there a P/J as your type? Are these preferences evenly used?

  17. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    P. P. P. S I think my mother is an ISFJ but over the last few years she has become more of an ISFP, as her judgement as been affected by various health issues.
    I’m guessing that my father is an ISTJ.

  18. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Anne, I realize as I read back through the posts you were asking someone else who commented (D.C.) about their research and not about mine. Sorry about mis-reading your comment. I don’t know why that reader reported P/J as preferences. Perhaps they are still thinking about that pair? My preferences are ENFP. Good luck with your masters program.

    Personality type preferences are thought to be inborn and unchanging. According to the model what can change is reported type (on indicators) and behaviours as we develop and adapt to our circumstances. I have a post on this called Does your type change?.

  19. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Hi Donna
    That’s okay. I wonder if this ambivalence is tied in with choosing between the dominant function and auxiliary function? Or as you cite in the link above, “… they often express how they learned and adapted to circumstances by using non-preferred aspects of themselves…” I think my mother has adapted over the past few years, due to her health issues, as she once had a very clear mind and now has trouble thinking straight. I wonder if brain changes caused by various conditions/disorders or brain damage have been studied in relation to personality preferences?

  20. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    P. S. I have been scanning your paper with interest, as my text – “Collaboration, Consultation, and Teamwork for Students with Special Needs” (Dettmer et al.) refers to MBTI in Chapter 3.

  21. Anne says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    P. P. S. Please delete this line above, ” I wonder if this ambivalence is tied in with choosing between the dominant function and auxiliary function? Or”, as I just read about the “Order of Development” in

  22. Calliopé says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Dear Donna
    Dear all

    I am an INFP, lawyer specialised in a niche field, that is energy law (so to say, ‘true’ energy law, as I focus on regulation, energy services development, etc.). I get a kick out of helping new technologies to develop. For instance, I give advice on a regular basis on barriers to the development of new functions/new actors appearing on electricity markets, as technology evolves in the context of fight against climate change. I love my job so much! It requires complicated analyses, mostly based on non-existing experience/references. It requires being imaginative, so as to find solutions to overcome barriers and gaps. I also reflect on my work (publish in scientific journals on a regular basis), and share knowledge with the industry (speaker in conferences). I couldn’t be any happier!

    As far as the ‘F’ side is concerned, I have learned to listen to my heart/my values, which guide me through all my actions now… This has helped me going through difficult times, like losing a long-time client (no respect for my value/not compatible from a value viewpoint). I am F but I am very able to take difficult and seemingly ‘cold’ decisions, such as firing an associate who does not work well e.g. I have no problem with that (Fi).

    Being Fi dominant is fantastic! The range of emotions I can feel is wide; I live my life with a lot of intensity.

    Being INFP is not an easy thing in a world favouring extroversion, ‘thinking’ (well, this is certainly true for people who work within/for corporations) and judging/decisive actions. I argue that being intuitive does not make things easier as it is estimated that 70% of the population has a preference for sensing… I have always been and I will remain a true ‘weirdo’/a kind of ‘freak’ but people like me as I am!

    Long live INFPs! They are bold, persevere through all they do!!!

    Thanks for your attention (especially to Donna for this great blog/work!)/best regards x x x


  23. Jen Lilienstein says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    David McD’s last paragraph suits me to a T! (Or, rather, an F.)

    “I have generally left a job because it starts to conflict too much with one of my core values. I would literally rather collect trash and serve society, than to be forced to make decisions that are designed to turn a greater profit at the expense of the clients or patients or whomever I am supposed to be serving. “

  24. TRU says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Dear Donna,
    This here, is a garden of sanity for me. Because the insights from fellow enhancers here are much real for my soul to connect with.
    Offline, I am in my fifth career change to make things ‘work’. And that is where I have been failing for the last three years.
    I learned the hard way that my ideas would not be realistic in the ‘business sense’, there are certain ‘limits’ to which I can function and most importantly;
    – whatever happens, one has to move into the next day with detachment and purpose, disconnected from the feelings and emotions of the previous day. To turn the page and move on, to let go. Not to confide in people 100% because doing business is a mind game or like a spy movie, heart based relations are not much in demand out there, although it might look like that in the eyes of a feeler.

    Now, I look for professional support in ‘INFP terms’ and believe in ‘prevention is better than cure’.
    There are fragile moments in life which never visit me with scheduled appointments.
    And I wish to be ready for them,
    for I can never go back and redo things or have all resources ready like the fire department.
    I read somewhere that ‘the only resources one truly has is what’s left after surviving a shipwreck.’

    Brace yourself fellow enhancers,
    the sun and the moon shines upon us,
    mortals with evolving spines,
    creating destiny in their own times.

    So, Donna Dunning, could you tell me more about your consulting work? 🙂

  25. Donna Dunning says:

    Hello TRU,

    Thank you for sharing your story with me and the visitors to my site. Your story is personal, poetic, and powerful in its message.

    My husband and I have worked together for over 25 years providing services to help others learn and grow. This purpose aligns to my core values. I understand the disconnect a person with preferences for Feeling can have in a Thinking oriented world. I do believe it is possible to lead a successful career by following your values and living an authentic, values-driven, life.

  26. B says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    I am a 28 year-old INFP female.

    I obtained my undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and IT. I don’t remember anything I learned in my IT classes, so I never pursued that avenue, I know I would be terrible at it anyway. I originally took up philosophy as a stepping-stone for law school which I decided was not for me — so, a waste of a degree, pretty much. I have not been able to find any REAL jobs given the economy. Employers either never call me back or don’t hire me. This makes me fell less as a person since I know I have the brain, skills, ethics, loyalty, and perfectionism they are looking for. I just obtained my Master’s in teaching and now I have a year left of completing my teaching certification in Middle School Science and Secondary Biology… so hopefully, I’ll be starting my “real” job by the time I’m 30 years-old (yippee?)

    These past few years where I have not been able to find full-time work, I have worked two part-time jobs at the same time to earn a full-time salary — all in the fields of customer service (a clothing store in the mall, hosting at a restaurant, and a hotel front desk) and also as a substitute teacher on the side during the school year. I am very different from most INFP’s, in that in most of my jobs, people have characterized me as “coming on too strong” and “controlling”… I’ve also been accused of “telling people what to do” too much when my intent was not to control but to really help them when I saw them doing something wrong….I know I would want others to do the very same for me. Obviously because I am underemployed (over-educated and over-skilled for these kinds of jobs), the kind of people I’ve had to work with have no more than a high school diploma, and they treated me with a lot of disrespect, avoided me, managers who also don’t have more than a high school diploma never tried to give me an opportunity to grow, excel, or become promoted, and they picked on me the most when I did everything that I needed to do — this I will never understand. I am really friendly and helpful to everyone, I have good manners and I feel like the people I worked with had horrible manners – never told me hello, thank you, etc. they are just the same with customers. I always spread myself out too thin and go out of my way to do the job perfectly and make sure customers/students get what they need. Even though, at a school that I worked at and at a few customer service jobs in the past (one just a few months ago), it really amazes me how my bosses/superiors have told me I’m being “rude” to customers. How am I being rude? This blindsided me and I feel like this is a huge joke. I may not be a big smiler and I hate to smile when I don’t mean it, I also hate making eye contact with people when speaking to them because it doesn’t make me feel comfortable, but I always get the customer or student what they need and I get the job done… so what’s the problem? My boss even told me that he didn’t like it one time when a customer was trying to make small talk with me, and I didn’t engage in it too much, and I just went on talking about getting him taken care of. I told my boss I seriously can’t stand small talk and am terrible at engaging in it… and the reason why I didn’t engage in it was because it was a gentleman that I knew was trying to be flirtatious with me, and it sort of embarrassed me; even though, my boss didn’t really care, he just kept telling me that I’m “rude”, when other coworkers I have never smile at people either and only do their jobs halfway done, and he never seems to care. This just baffles me.

  27. Donna says:

    Hi B, Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you have lots of great qualities that, so far, you haven’t been able to use. I can’t ethically or practically provide counselling advice over the internet, but I can offer some general ideas. Keep in mind that I don’t know you personally and my ideas are simply for educational purposes. Your description of your experiences sounds similar to that of someone with your preferences who is in the grip… a stress response. Take a look at my post on Enhancers and Stress to see if this might be true for you.

  28. Carl says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Despite nearing 40, I cannot speak of a ‘career path’ any more than a pin ball in a machine can speak of one. Some of the above stories sound so tame, so easy, that I wonder if they are really INFPs. It was my understanding that INFPs and ‘success” don’t make very good partners. But maybe temperament is only one of many components that make up the factors that drive success or failure. Maybe socio-economic background looms larger than we care to admit. Maybe Karl Marx trumps Meyers-briggs.
    I have pursued writing, philosophy, religion, and psychology with a kind of obsessive private passion that would have been more common 300 years ago than today. Being of lower working class ilk (to spell it out, a father who slaved away as a grocery checker after serving in the army, and who wanted his INFP writer/scholar son to skip college for boot camp after booting him/me out of the house at 16 to fend for myself), and having to borrow huge sums of money for two useless liberal arts degrees that even basic admin hiring agencies sneer at, I have lived a life of severe, chronic dualism between passion and career. “Career” has been the brutal pinball machine of temp jobs, from benchmark driven call centers to mindless assembly lines, while the rest of life has been passion, scholarship, authoring brilliant work that cannot and will not sell for lack of contacts (if you haven’t noticed, contrary to popular mythology, we do not live in a meritocracy). This is the short version of my so very happy life. Be sure to include it as one of your authentic tales of an INFP.
    Society will say “don’t give up, chin up, put on a good attitude.” I say, you can’t separate attitude from experience, as the latter dictates the former, organically, from trunk to branch. You might as well tell an elephant to stop pulling such a long face or a giraffe to get his head out of the clouds. They can’t.

  29. Erin says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    I don’t know that I would call this a career success story since I a) haven’t started my career, and b) haven’t really been successful, but I thought I could share anyway? I’m still in university and changing my major for the second time. I started out in science, intending to go to medical school, because I had no idea what I wanted to do and becoming a doctor seemed like the most practical way I could help people, so why not? It was sort of a disaster. Not because I dislike science (I actually enjoy every field of academics), but because the classes were so big. I was isolated and lonely, and none of my professors knew who I was (I had not previously realized how important that was to me). I discovered that all along my strongest motivator in studying was considering what my teacher (or professor or TA) would think of me if I didn’t. Without that it was hard to care, since grades don’t matter to me at all. So I switched to a smaller department, Linguistics. Now I’m wishing that I had just started in English Lit, since that was my favourite class to begin with, even if it isn’t very practically helpful. I’ve wasted so much time, but I will end up with a double major in English and Linguistics, and I’m hoping to go into teaching (English or ESL). I figured out that this was what I wanted to do when, after volunteering with Conversational English classes and local youth groups, someone asked me to picture myself in ten years and what I wanted to have accomplished by then. This was precisely the question that I didn’t know the answer to, but I had to say something. As I started talking I realized I knew what it was. I wanted to help people understand things. I want to teach. I will probably end up overseas though, both because of the low demand for teachers in Canada, and because I absolutely refuse to join a union (I don’t want to be part of an organization that keeps people who are bad at their jobs from being fired or reprimanded preventing those who actually care from getting hired, and which forces you to disregard the welfare and education of the kids you’re supposed to care about in order to fight for things I don’t believe in and for benefits I don’t want. It’s disgusting and I refuse to be a part of it).

    In the meantime I paint houses to pay for school. It’s pretty satisfying in its own way. I always work with a small group of people who I’ve gotten to know, I have plenty of time to myself (just thinking and painting), and I get to see some dramatic results of my work. The biggest problem is that I’m not very eager to seek (or once found, use) the most efficient methods. I’d rather go slow and get it perfect than just do well and get it done. My boss has found a solution to this: he reminds me, whenever I slow down, that the longer I take the more the customer has to pay. I immediately fall to worrying about how expensive it is for them to hire painters to begin with, and how awful it would be if I was the cause of their paying more than they have to, and become full of a renewed desire to paint as well as I can as fast as I can. The rest of my trouble comes with the mechanical side of things (like figuring out how to position a ladder to reach a tricky spot), and with getting paid. Somehow, no matter how hard I work, I feel guilty getting paid for it. It’s like admitting that all the effort I put in was just for money. If my boss forgets to pay me, I never mention it. He always remembers eventually, but if he didn’t I probably wouldn’t do anything. If I worked for someone inclined to cheat me, I’d let them get away with it. This probably isn’t good, but at the same time I don’t think I want to change this part of myself. I feel like I’m seeing something true about the nature of money and our economic system and I’d rather lose money than lose that.

  30. Sydrah says:

    Personality Type: INFP

    Hello all,
    I really enjoyed reading all your posts and feel like youre all right about it being hard to choose a particular career path and stick to it. I’m the same i am always doubting my choices, even though i don’t have the courage to change my career path and start from scratch. But the same time i can’t seem to figure out whether i’ am satisfied with my current decision or dissatisfied enough to make a change? So i should explain a little about myself i recently graduated from university with an undergraduate degree with a major in psychology and a minor in education studies. And my goal or ambition would to be a teacher preferably working in infant school or in special needs or my ultimate goal to become an educational psychologist. At the moment i’m in a little bit of a conundrum of whether to follow primary school teaching or to follow my dream to become an educational psychologist. I just feel like there are so many options and routes that sometimes you wish you had a ‘bright yellow arrow’ pointing you in the right direction. And that university doesn’t at all prepare you for real life or getting a job 🙁

  31. Donna Dunning says:

    Thanks for your comment Sydrah. It is tough to choose one career direction and INFPs tend to enjoy change and growth in their career. As well, I find many INFPs like to keep their options open.

    Some people find it helpful to look for themes in their career journey. For example,learning about special education (self study, at school, as a volunteer, or on the job), would build skills and knowledge for working in educational psychology and teaching. Or maybe your theme is working with children? or helping others? Thinking of these broad themes might help you feel that you don’t really need to choose only one specific kind of work. Rather, your work serves to move you along a career path.

  32. Rick says:

    Personality Type: INFJ

    Donna, can you help me. I am a writer and my latest assignment is to INTERVIEW (5 questions can be answered online) 3 successful ENFJs and three ENFPs. The goal (similar to yours) is to help readers understand a bit about their educational (college) choices. How college affected their worklife…etc Can you put the word out? Person would be totally anonymous. Thanks, Rick, in Pennsylvania.

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