I think I’ve mentioned my Career Conundrum before, but in case I haven’t… I’m looking for a new job. I don’t even know if I’m looking for a new career; it could be a career, perhaps, if you know… people other than me start to call it one.
I’m one of those people who never quite knew what I wanted to be when I got older. I was in love with the idea of being a pilot with the Blue Angels. Thrilling crowds, doing loop-the-loops, flips and twists and perhaps even the idea of ejecting out in the case of big trouble was titillating to me. Then, I got glasses and my dreams of soaring above the clouds and thrilling audiences with my contrails went up in water vapor.
My Military dreams didn’t end with the Blue Angels. Oh, next up was the dream of joining the Marines and becoming a Sniper. Take a moment to soak that one in. A Sniper. I had to take Hunter’s Safety in the Sixth Grade and I was a crack shot with a rifle. I loved how AWESOME I felt when the instructor pulled out his binoculars to look at the target and in a bewildered voice uttered, “You hit the Bullseye.” Damn right I did. About that same time, the series China Beach was out as was Tour of Duty, my dad was a Marine who served in Vietnam and our shelves were lined with military history books. I was primed to be a Sniper. Then I learned that it was not a job given to women… who wore glasses. Damn you imperfect vision!! (I would still be a Sniper…)
I remember wanting to be a Bull Rider. Eight seconds? I could do eight seconds! I rode mini-bikes over jumps (without wearing a helmet) and everything!! I would ride my pony, Tommy, like a Circus Trick Rider (incidentally – not a job path I was interested in), standing on his back, seated backwards and watching his little, fuzzy legs fly! Tommy was a great pony, but he was no snot-snorting, one-ton bull. I got a little older and a little wiser and scratched Professional Bull Rider off of my list.
Seventh or Eighth Grade found us all taking the Career Aptitude Test. The school’s Counselor shook his head as he read my results: Policeman, Fireman, Cartographer, Oceanographer, Race Car Driver and Farmer. Adrenaline for half and working with maps, give or take, for the rest. I was a map-loving adrenaline-junkie. After the head-shaking, he told me I should look into being a teacher. A teacher? Mr. Counselor, Sir…. my test results do NOT list “Teacher” anywhere. Interestingly – all of those jobs still sound fun… even farming, but especially Race Car Driver.
My coach for Horticulture competitions told me I should teach. My Mom has told me I should teach. Hell, I have even started to research careers for the INTJ/INFJ personality and results for both types have “teacher” or “professor” as a career path. Let me establish a few things about myself with teaching. I have little patience for teaching. It’s one thing to teach an enrichment course where people pay because they want to be there to learn what you know. It’s another thing entirely when you are trying to teach people who don’t necessarily want to be there and who, for the life of you you don’t know why, just can’t seem to grasp what you’re teaching with ease. I used to feel close to ripping out my hair in frustration in grade school when everyone took turns reading aloud in class and would pronounce words wrong. There were a few times I couldn’t stop myself and would shout out the correct pronunciation. See – no patience.
In college, friends told me I’d make a great Engineer, particularly a Civil Engineer, because I just seem to “get” the lay of the land. Personally – I’d opt for Environmental Civil Engineer, because I’m a treehugger like that. (I’m also a big fan of Roundabouts ) Psychologist and Psychiatrist are two other careers that I am told frequently I’d be good at along with being a Doctor. There are a few problems with the higher level careers, however; firstly, they require a lot of funds to go back to school. Second, I don’t have those funds needed and third, for the medical fields, I’d be the doctor who looked like they were taking notes, but really they were just doodling on the notepad.
My friend, DazyLady, feels that I should look at something involving Data Analysis and handed me a business card for a new contact she made. The person’s company may, or may not, be hiring Data Analysts. I do love my data. Numbers don’t lie.
So, here I am, pondering what I want to be when I grow up. The INTJ and INFJ Personality Type printouts lay before me with notes scribbled behind personality traits. I’m more INTJ today. INFJ is a little too wishy-washy right now and I want to tell it “Get to the damn point already!” Which is curious considering how long I can take getting to the point with my blog posts.
At least I was able to mark some of the general traits with “not so much” (“Bored when dealing with mundane routine”) and others with circles and underlines – all that’s missing is glitter: “Work best alone, and prefer to work alone”. Other traits were strongly emphasized in the affirmative as well:
- Value knowledge and efficiency
- Have no patience with inefficiency and confusion
- Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves most strongly
- Reserved and detached from others
- Driven to create order and structure from theoretical abstractions
- Love difficult theoretical challenges
- Intuitively understand people and situations
- Value deep, authentic relationships
- Reserved about expressing their true selves
- Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything
- Calm, collected and analytical
- Can work logically and rationally – use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it.
So, at least it’s not like I’m a completely anti-social pariah. Just don’t expect me to stand around chatting at the water-cooler for long, or often… or ever, if I don’t particularly care for you.
I think for the most part we’re all just bouncing along doing what we *have* to do or *what we’re good at* until we’re finally in a place to do what we actually *want*. Only the lucky few get to start out in their dreams, the rest of us have to 1) figure out what the hell our dreams are exacly, since things are rarely as they seem, and then 2) chase them like the dickens.
HA! Indeed! I’ve always wondered just why, exactly, did I need to figure out this whole Grand Plan for my life? I’m happy doing a whole lot of different things. A friend on the Book of Faces stated that she just wanted to find a job that kept her “busy and paid”. I’ll add that I like a job that I enjoyed that kept me busy and paid.
I’ve done so much reading on resumes today and how to stand out that my brain is spinning a bit. Thank goodness I like research.
Sadly, or happily depending on my mood, I can emphasise with your conundrum more than I should. I have always envied those who knew they wanted to be a doctor or a track athlete from the age of three and just got on with the focused training. For most of us, our future and our dreams are shrouded in a mystery made up of fears hopes and aptitude. Some people find out who they are just in time for retirement.
As for you, regardless of your day job, you come across as a feisty, thinking women who is open to ideas and adventure. As such I am sure you inspire those around you with less ‘want’ in their makeup. It is a great person to be, even if the pay can suck a little.
Awww! I want to give you a hug! That must mean you’ve entered the “Circle of Trust”?? I, too, have been envious of those who “know” what they want to do… all of my “want to do/be’s” have been lofty. But, I feel another post brewing.