Rediscovering My Inner INFJ

Photo credit: Skitterphoto – I think I will start using images that reflect the post content…

Hello, hello, hellooooo there. Though I plan to write a blog post about why I quit my job, I haven’t done so just yet, but I really want to talk about this INFJ and Myers-Brigg topic which will touch on some of the points about why I quit and things that I realized about myself in this post. You’ll be able to read it in much more depth once I publish the ‘Why I Quit My Job’ post.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Most of you have probably heard of the MBTI (though my mom hasn’t, and I feel like I should send her a link to complete it), and some may agree with its test results while others may not. I was kind of skeptical in the beginning because I seemed to flip between INFP and INFJ quite often, leading me to believe that the test was off. I’m not going to go into the psychology of it all here; I encourage you to do some research on it if you’re interested and take one of the tests you can find online for free here or here, or pay for it here.

After a while I’d begun to realize that we can waver between two similar types depending on the day, and that made a lot of sense. I think, especially for women whose hormones quite heavily affect their moods like me, that wavering between two MBTI types happens often. Men, too, perhaps, but being a woman gives me more anecdotal insight into the matter.

How Did I Come to Rediscover Myself as an INFJ

For a while after college I thought I leaned more towards the INFP side of the house, so I just submitted to that type for a while. It was okay, especially as I was working for my previous employer and had to be a lot more sociable due to the nature of my job. In fact, I’d put the MBTI out my mind and focused more on material world things instead of spending time in my mind in a way that many INFJs are familiar with. Moreover, my job didn’t really allow me the time to be in my head. Much of my post-working hours were spent learning and understanding the super-advanced technologies that I was supposed to teach to my clients and help them to understand. 

The first year went well. However, the second year I began to burnout really, really badly. To make matters worse, my second manager quit about three months into my getting to know my first multi-billion-dollar-a-year-in-revenue  client, kind of leaving me high and dry with my very, very ESTP/ENTJ/ENFJ colleagues in the sales group. Being an introvert and being the kind of introvert who needs a lot of background information before I feel comfortable adding my input, things started to sour. Eventually I went back to my first highly unsupportive manager, and then moved to a very supportive manager. Eventually he quit, too, which sent me back to the unsupportive manager. Needless to say, the burnout plus the lack of support and the slow but obvious shift of my role into being more sales-y than technical is what drove me to quit.

I’ve been away from that job for almost two months now, and I thought that I’d get back into a tech role, namely software or web development. But as the days have gone by, and I’ve been able to hear and feel myself again, I’ve come to realize that I don’t really want to be in the tech industry anymore. If you read any ‘recommended careers for INFJ’ website, they’ll say that jobs such as web developer or programmer are good. While I agree with that, as I enjoy coding, it’s the job searching process and the inherent competitiveness of the industry that tends to leave us feeling drained.

Plus, I realized that the only reason I was in the field to begin with is because we will always need technologists and many roles are very lucrative. If you read just about any job site in regards to coronavirus’s impact on the job market, jobs in technology are the ones that have remained relatively unscathed. That’s awesome news for anyone wishing to enter or stay in the tech field. 

Being able to hear and feel myself again, though, is how I’ve been able to rediscover my inner INFJ again. I realized that I’d been lying to myself about what I really want to do and how I’d like to go about it for a long time now, almost four years. The scary thing is that I’m in my 30s and I’m still asking the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”

Post-Rediscovery –  What’s Next?

Rediscovering my INFJ has reminded me that, for those of us with this type, it’s completely normal and to be expected to still ask that question. Not only are we idealists at our innermost core, but we need to feel some kind of purpose in what we do. That’s a tall order to ask of many jobs out there. And being in my 30s and still having student loan debt to pay off, I do not want to go back to school. That leaves a lot of unanswered questions and soul-searching to do.

Preliminary soul searching led me to life coaching and opening up a body care business, but there’s a lot that goes into both of those before they can actually become things I can make a living off of. While I still plan to pursue life coaching in some form, I’m seriously dabbling with the idea of becoming an English teacher. Obviously not in the U.S. because that would require more schooling.

Then there’s the writing, which is like a loyal lover following me throughout the highs and lows of my life. Vlogging has also made its way to the forefront of my mind. Being a vlogger has always been a weird idea to me, though I’ve attempted it multiple times. I think it would be a purposeful endeavor to use vlogging as a way to help other INFJers that are around my age understand that they’re not alone and how to navigate being an INFJ in a non-INFJ-friendly world (even though I’m not exactly sure myself – maybe we can navigate together). Or in the very least, watch me as I stumble through the rest of my life trying to figure things out.

All in all, I feel a sense of relief remembering my MBTI type, INFJ. Instead of feeling like a complete failure, I understand that this is normal for me and my INFJ people, and that once we find something that isn’t crazy draining, but also purposeful, we will finally experience peace. Hopefully. For a while, at least. 

Are there any INFJs reading this? What’s your experience been like? Have you found success in a career you love? I’d love to read your story!

∞ Aminah Jamil

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