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Career Choice & the Inferior Function

Architect

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Career Choice, Myers-Briggs Type, & the Inferior Function

In prior posts, I have cautioned against career choices that seem better suited to the inferior than the dominant function. The reason, of course, is that the inferior function is far less skilled and developed than the dominant. However hard we may try to tap into or develop the inferior, it can never approach the level of skill and mastery that can be achieved through the dominant function ...

So what should we do? We cannot merely deny the inferior function, which ultimately worsens matters. The solution seems to entail a means of harnessing the energy of the inferior for use by the dominant; the inferior can provide the fuel and the general orientation, while the dominant must find a way of successfully navigating the specifics of moving toward the nebulous goal that is the inferior function. Unfortunately, in many situations, these roles get reversed. We use the inferior function to define a specific outcome and then, even if unwittingly, use the dominant to justify or bolster that endpoint.
I pursued a career in music early on, only to eventually discover that as much as I loved music I wasn't an entertainer at my core. Luckily I was able to switch to a science career (difficult as the transition was) before it was too late.
 

Tony3d

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And that is why I do this...

http://www.tony3d.net/images/Fable3.jpg

http://www.tony3d.net/images/snow3.jpg

It is actually far more technical and systems driven than it is art, but it feeds my artistic desires enough that I don't get bored.

I like to sit around and make systems that allow me to control the level of snow that has fallen on the different objects and put together complex particle systems and animation paths that just plane confuse more artistic driven people.

In the end I found I am much more comfortable working off of someone elses artistic vision and just providing the technical skill to make it a reality, which is good, because that is what they pay us for. ;)
 

Valentas

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@Architect

Hello again.

After seeing you having pursued a career in music, I can confirm that I had such intentions too. When I was 8, I started to attend music school where I took up classes on accordion. Teacher was demanding, crazy and amazing. When I was 12, we have already participated at International Contest in Italy where we've been awarded 3rd place in the world. that was satisfying but required hard work(we = me and my brother, I suspect he is INTP too but sometimes I drop this thought because he likes people a lot).

However, as lucky we've been at contests, I was always dreading the stage. It was my life: school, then play accordion for two-three hours and more every day, participating in various contests. But they did not make me iron and self-confident on the stage. I did not want to do this all my life because i guess I had enough of playing one instrument for so long and hard. I was bored! I finished 7 years of music school, pushed through another one just to please my teacher but then I quit for good. I play accordion for pleasure but on my own, not in the contests. When I became older, I became more and more reserved person and then I found that I am INTP.

I can confirm yes, I was very good at what I did: playing accordion but I felt that I am no entertainer and my choices at school(biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics) reinforced my decision to pursue something more scientific and concrete with a lot of problems. I applied to best Scotland universities to do Computer Science. I do not feel that it is the best subject but at least I can feel my interest arousing at every new topic. Also I love facts and behavior of software. Also I think about the future: I want to have my own business and grounding in CS + chosen subject( I hope to take economics or something business oriented) is one of the best combinations to do a start-up.

Also, I found that I like people again but only when I talk about interesting stuff: mysteries of the world, technology, psychology...I believe I become more and more extroverted.
 

Words

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I do not feel that it is the best subject...
You've thought of a better alternative?

Also I love facts and behavior of software. Also I think about the future: I want to have my own business and grounding in CS + chosen subject( I hope to take economics or something business oriented) is one of the best combinations to do a start-up.
Excellent. I think another necessary criteria in "best career choice for INTP" is the ability or space to invent or build something. Taking charge of the financial aspects of things means more freedom.
 

Valentas

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I tried med school, biochemistry and found computers the most interesting. I am on my first subject choice and I have done loads of research before selecting Computer Science. It's interesting, logical and creative. I like it and will do it at university.

I thought it's important to get some notion about how to manage money...
 

mu is mu

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Every article I've read from that site has been very informative and helpful. I'm not sure if I've ever been attracted to an Fe-based career, though. But I can definitely identify with another one of his articles that described in more detail how the inferior can goad a person towards action plans whose end results score far below what his potential competence can achieve.
 

Jennywocky

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I've always been excellent at music, and actually one of my best abilities is to play music by ear to influence listeners' emotions. It's a mix of thought and intuition to me, coupled with feeling responses I set up in myself when I play.

For a long time I leveraged this in a church atmosphere, where I would take familiar hymns (and later, very modern pop worship music) and rearrange it on the fly in ways that I thought would invoke a particular response. I always got a lot of feedback when I played, and people would attend the services I was playing it vs alternate services, just to hear me play.

I mention all that to counterpoint it against the other aspect of that role, which was leading worship. I wanted to be able to leverage my musical ability in terms of leading a group, because that seemed to provide the most opportunities, yet it's just something I'm not good at -- being a figurehead person who interacts with large crowds both verbally and musically, leading them. I just never really did well at that (I was adequate, but not great) because it was not suited for me temperamentally. The first skill I mentioned above was much more "me" -- no one else even had to be in the room, to be honest, it was just something I was totally in charge of, and I was following my own vision and intuitions, and allow others to observe/listen and be moved.

And my artistic pursuits all seem to be of similar bent -- me doing the work, although I'm decent at imagining how others might "plug into it" as the audience, and then tossing it out there and letting things fall as they may, rather than actively engaging and trying to extravert feeling and connection.

I've considered the possibility of moving into a therapeutic provision once I have the opportunity to do so. I've already accepted that I can't be what the NF therapists I've known are able to be. I'm pretty warm for a T type, but my strength is more just quietly listening, being able to empathize with their situation and see it as they might, and then ask pertinent questions or raise points that can reframe someone's dilemma so that they might feel positioned and empowered to make different choices. Any warmth I have is a supplement to that kind of "informative" process, rather than being the focal point.

The worst job I ever had was when I spent a year working as a journalist for a private tech mag for an ESFP. He dumped the journalist/writing chores on me, then expected me to approach the job as he would have. It was horrid. I was forced to meet and schmooze new people, network, be exciting and vivacious, right short punchy articles that didn't really properly analyze the tech in question, etc. And it demanded a high level of energy that I just did not possess, and to constantly be chasing people down.

I hated it. He talked to me once, eight months in, because I wasn't handling things the way he would have handled it; and then he fired me the day after Christmas unexpectedly without any more conversation. It was probably the worst experience of my professional career, but it did teach me something about what I didn't want to (and couldn't properly) do anymore, and what kind of boss I had to be wary of.
 

Architect

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I've considered the possibility of moving into a therapeutic provision once I have the opportunity to do so. I've already accepted that I can't be what the NF therapists I've known are able to be. I'm pretty warm for a T type, but my strength is more just quietly listening, being able to empathize with their situation and see it as they might, and then ask pertinent questions or raise points that can reframe someone's dilemma so that they might feel positioned and empowered to make different choices. Any warmth I have is a supplement to that kind of "informative" process, rather than being the focal point.
I would be a terrible therapist, good for you that you can at least entertain the possibility. It's a tough job, the one therapist I know is an INFP.
 

Duxwing

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I've always been excellent at music, and actually one of my best abilities is to play music by ear to influence listeners' emotions. It's a mix of thought and intuition to me, coupled with feeling responses I set up in myself when I play.

For a long time I leveraged this in a church atmosphere, where I would take familiar hymns (and later, very modern pop worship music) and rearrange it on the fly in ways that I thought would invoke a particular response. I always got a lot of feedback when I played, and people would attend the services I was playing it vs alternate services, just to hear me play.

I mention all that to counterpoint it against the other aspect of that role, which was leading worship. I wanted to be able to leverage my musical ability in terms of leading a group, because that seemed to provide the most opportunities, yet it's just something I'm not good at -- being a figurehead person who interacts with large crowds both verbally and musically, leading them. I just never really did well at that (I was adequate, but not great) because it was not suited for me temperamentally. The first skill I mentioned above was much more "me" -- no one else even had to be in the room, to be honest, it was just something I was totally in charge of, and I was following my own vision and intuitions, and allow others to observe/listen and be moved.

And my artistic pursuits all seem to be of similar bent -- me doing the work, although I'm decent at imagining how others might "plug into it" as the audience, and then tossing it out there and letting things fall as they may, rather than actively engaging and trying to extravert feeling and connection.

I've considered the possibility of moving into a therapeutic provision once I have the opportunity to do so. I've already accepted that I can't be what the NF therapists I've known are able to be. I'm pretty warm for a T type, but my strength is more just quietly listening, being able to empathize with their situation and see it as they might, and then ask pertinent questions or raise points that can reframe someone's dilemma so that they might feel positioned and empowered to make different choices. Any warmth I have is a supplement to that kind of "informative" process, rather than being the focal point.

The worst job I ever had was when I spent a year working as a journalist for a private tech mag for an ESFP. He dumped the journalist/writing chores on me, then expected me to approach the job as he would have. It was horrid. I was forced to meet and schmooze new people, network, be exciting and vivacious, right short punchy articles that didn't really properly analyze the tech in question, etc. And it demanded a high level of energy that I just did not possess, and to constantly be chasing people down.

I hated it. He talked to me once, eight months in, because I wasn't handling things the way he would have handled it; and then he fired me the day after Christmas unexpectedly without any more conversation. It was probably the worst experience of my professional career, but it did teach me something about what I didn't want to (and couldn't properly) do anymore, and what kind of boss I had to be wary of.
I concur. You're warm-- cuddly, even. :)

-Duxwing
 

Tinted Chaos

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I have to admit that I am in the midst of a career crisis right now. I have been working in my current field for about six years and about one year ago woke up to the fact that I am not suited to it.

Right now I am a costume designer for independent film and television and for bigger projects I work as a costume assistant.

Only about ten percent of the job involves creativity, the rest is all budgeting, people management, meetings and trying to placate insecure actors. The hours are extremely long (a minimum of a 12 hour day, five days a week), and trying to find alone time during the course of the day to recharge is nearly impossible.

I get so stressed that my thinking becomes muddled and all I want to do is run away.

Right now what I am trying to get into is independent illustration. I am giving myself a year to develop a portfolio and signature style and to get my work out there.

Unfortunately I have to keep working my current job while I do that. (Gotta pay the rent) This makes things more difficult as it is hard to feel creative while I am stressed and frazzled.

Did any one else here switch careers? If you did how did you go about doing it? Did you go to school? What advice would you give?
 

TimeAsylums

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I've read your thread(s) and post(s) on really heavily recommending technology based positions (coding, etc.) for INTPs, and it is logically sound. Unfortunately I'm one of those "non-maths" as crude as it sounds, what I do does appeal to my inferior Fe, but that's not why I do it.
Going to double major in Phil/Psych and go from there...
Considering: law school, psychologist, psychiatrist..etc..no idea really, just studying what I am passionate[and maybe good at] (few things) about.

:soft sciences, if you will.
 

Vrecknidj

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Nothing soft about philosophy, and, if you do either law or psychology with true enthusiasm, there's nothing soft about those either.

Jung made important contributions to psychology, and, frankly, to philosophy as well (though he's hardly recognized for it).

Lots of INTPs in philosophy; probably more INTJs in law, but a fair share of INTPs there as well.
 

TimeAsylums

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Nice to get a +1, yup I'm only a sophomore in college this upcoming year (just completed first freshman yr) but thanks for the up.
 

Absurdity

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Law school is a racket in the US. $200k to get a specialized skill set that is in excess supply. The schools lie about their employment statistics too. Application rates are in free fall as a result.

I'd steer clear unless you're independently wealthy and able to absorb three years and several hundred grand worth of wasted time.
 

TimeAsylums

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Heheh, I am aware of the unemployment and the incredible (ridiculous cost)...that's why I said "...no idea really." Not even worried at this point.
 

WALKYRIA

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Law school is a racket in the US. $200k

U guys should come in EUROpE next time. School is free(or almost) here man.:D
 
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