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I am an INTP, and I need professional help. For the first 28 years of my life, I thought there was something wrong with me. I tried to seek out ways to correct my inherent flaws, like joining the military. And, it was not until I was leaving the military that I found out who I really was, that it was not a bad thing, and that the military was the last place my personality type should be. Six years and four jobs later, I am completely stuck and psychologically spent. I started my forth job about a month ago, and it is not what I thought I signed up for. I guess I am too abnormal to understand the psychotic job requirements of companies these days. Where I thought I was going to be a departmental problem solver and process improver, the job ended up being more about getting product designed quickly and out the door. But, if I have time when I am all caught up to help them improve their processes, then they would like that. It's like having to keep my room clean every single day before I can play each day. And, that is another thing I do not understand about job listings. They so often want do-everything Supermen, but only want to pay Jimmy Olsen wages. Take my situation. The job was advertised as a multi-hatted Project/Plant/Product Engineer position, saying, "As the President of my company I am looking for a dynamic person who has the ability to take on projects working with customers, the drafting engineering organization, the purchasing group and finally production in order to get the product made in accordance with the customer specifications." But, on my first day, I was handed a review checklist for Product Designer that began with the following job description, "Prepares engineering plans by drawing components and parts. Prepares rough sketches; final drawings; identifies and verifies specifications; modifies drawings; resolves discrepancies; maintains data base; maintains technical knowledge; contributes to team effort." I guess I should have seen the situation developing as such, but even if I kept up with the design schedule enough to work on the interesting problem solving, there is no place in my annual review to account for my problem solving contributions. On paper, I will be graded on just the design work - and most of the requirements are about maintenance, accuracy and timeliness. How does this company not realize that a person who is efficient at cranking out timely designs will not be so good at improving processes? How do they not realize that finding someone to solve their process issues would not be the best choice to have focus on routine designs needed on a tight schedule? I have a wife, three kids, a mortgage, and a ton of debt. So, taking certain risks are out of the question. However, I am tired of not being where I would like, professionally. Although, I cannot tell you only one thing that I want to do. I can tell you that I would like to find a lucrative job, close to home, where I could spend my day autonomously solving problems - not having my contribution relegated to insignificance. I am good at rooting out inconsistencies and solving complex problems. And, I know that I cannot last at this company forever. Now, the only question is, "What now?" ... And, "How?" ... And, "When?" ... And, "Where?" Help?
Wow I am so glad I stumbled onto this page, especially amongst the mass of other sites that provide very impersonal and bland explanations of this personality type. It is truly a relief to hear from actual INTPs themselves and what they are going through in terms of career choices. "Career" is a funny word, and to me it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I am sometimes envious of those who follow a very linear career path, yet I value my freedom and flexibility to the utmost, even more than a paycheck. I do not need a job for social validation, I want to find whatever it is that will satisfy me, my lifestyle, and my needs as an INTP.
Before being diagnosed as an INTP by my psychiatrist, I thought many of my traits were flaws. My refusal to follow a typical well established career path (following many people before me who have done the same thing) led many around me to think my thoughts were delusional and/or arrogant. Ultimately I began to think this as well, but fortunately held true to myself and ignored it for the most part. But after being diagnosed, and after reading all these posts, I wouldn't change it for any of the other personality types. Now I will sacrifice almost anything to keep these traits and the life they allow. There is no better way to live life than as an INTP, no matter how difficult it may be at times; And the constant questioning and un-accepting of merely everything that is accepted can send one’s mind laps around the anxiety pool. However, I feel this is part of what gives an INTP their strengths. Going against the grain is not always pleasant or easy. But it is what we must do. In the words of Mark Twain, "Whenever you find yourself on the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
Every post on this thread, reads like it is from my own life; that is how closely I can relate to all of them. Yet they are all fascinating and enlightening in their own unique sense.
I don't think Googling "Best jobs for an INTP" will be satisfying to most INTPs, at least it wasn't for me. Some of the sites came across as too ‘textbook’ and ‘matter of fact’, and I was growing restless with the search results I kept encountering. The existence of this forum enables INTP individuals to finally communicate with one another and exchange likeminded ideas and thoughts. I have never knowingly run into an INTP on the street. They are rare, and not so easy to identify. It’s great to finally hear real words from real INTPs for a change.
I have dabbled in countless activities/hobbies/sports, just as many of us have. Many of which became short lived passions for myself. I am still searching relentlessly for that one passion that will click, the one that will not bore me over time, and that I will be happy doing for life... Heck, even for just the next few years would be nice.
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Michele Caron, 2002-2014