Career Change, Website, and Medium

Hello my friends. This will be a quick and straight-to-the-point post. I recently began posting on Medium, which I am enjoying very much! The platform, the ease of use, the community, and much more has me hooked.

My most recent post is here, if you’d like to take a gander:

Embrace the Pivot: How to Rock Your Career-Change Like a Pro

I also launched my freelance writer website here: www.aminah.io

If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it! In the meantime, I’ve got to jet to a training. We shall talk soon.

∞ Aminah

I Should Change My Middle Name to “Pivot”

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Hello there!

It’s been a minute, but hopefully not too long.

I thought I’d come back through with some updates.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about a huge change of plans that forced me to re-evaluate my career, things have really, really been changing for me, as I’m sure they’ve been changing for a lot of you all with the craziness going on in the world.

I used to get really self-conscious about how much I changed my career, and especially when looking at people my age and how much they’ve accomplished thus far in life.

I’ve since come to accept that this is just part of my life. Until that thing that makes me financially, mentally, and emotionally comfortable comes along and sets up shop in my career department, I’ll be pivoting, again and again. 

Luckily, somehow, the universe continues to clear a path for me to do something I’m wonderful at, something that comes quite effortlessly to me, and something that, if I’m being 100% authentic, doesn’t feel like work, and I am actually happy doing it.

That thing is writing.

Despite the pivoting I’ve experienced throughout my career life, the one thing that’s always been consistent is writing. Every single job I’ve had to do, writing was a big part of it. So I guess I should cut myself some slack, huh? 

If you’re like me, a middle-aged millennial (meaning your birth year is around 1985-1990), and you keep finding yourself wondering what the heck you’re supposed to be doing in this life, please don’t give up. But also please give yourself a pat on the back for how hard you’ve worked thus far. And also please don’t give up on any dreams you’ve ever had in your life—try them out, if you have the chance. 

Look, if the only thing that’s stopping you from going after a dream is fear, whether it’s your own personal fear or fear from naysayers, PLEASE KEEP GOING.

Maybe You Still Don’t Know

Even after winning the young author’s contest in the 3rd grade, I still had no clue that I wanted to be a writer. It wasn’t until my adolescent years that I even started writing creatively, and not until my early twenties that I took writing seriously enough to consider just doing it on the side.

Plus, think of all those famous writers who didn’t become famous until their forties and fifties. Kids, we’ve still got time, okay? Not that we’re trying to get famous here. Let’s call it “meeting our definition of success”. 

We still have time to meet our definitions of success, no matter how many times we need to pivot; we will make it there. 

You heard it here first!

Tl;dr – be okay with the pivot, it’s okay not to know what you want even if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 100s, 1000s, etc.

∞ Aminah Jamil

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

Getting Over Career Fear

Technology will always have a place in my heart. Always. But I recently realized that the only reason I started working in tech to begin with is because it is safe. Well, not necessarily safe as in you could never get fired, but safe as in it pays well if you’re willing to put in both the time and the work, and you can (usually) find a job in some area of technology within a few months with close to zero experience, having built up your experience through learning within those few months.
 
I love creating. Anything. And when I was building my first blog on WordPress some 10-odd years ago, I found that I had a lot of fun with it. Though I wasn’t serious about it until 2017, I’d continued to dabble in web development, building things for freelance clients here and there, not fully understanding the world of code, but knowing my way around it enough to be okay at it.

Now that I’ve had experience in the corporate tech world, I never want to go back. There is no bone in my body that wishes to return to that overly competitive, non-diverse place, but it’s the only thing I have actual working experience in.

So what now?

I’m not alone in being a late-blooming career-changer. There are many people, like me, who gave up their dreams for financial stability just to find themselves wanting their dreams back. Maybe they had a near-death experience and know that, if they don’t live their dream, they’re not really living. Maybe they found their current career to be so oppressive that they’d rather starve than to continue working in it. Or maybe, like me, the universe threatened to kill them if they didn’t write the damn novel. Maybe they’re somewhere in the middle. Maybe they’re none of these.

At the end of the day it’s up to us. No one else can make the decision for us. Many people choose to stay in their current careers and push through by working on their dreams during non-working hours. Ain’t no shame in that. I wish I had that ability when I was working for my previous employer, but we came out with new products and features every year, over 100 of them, so my non-working hours were spent learning those new products and features.
 
It was fun while it lasted, but something called out to me that needed to be set free, and here we are.

Some might say that my point of view is an entitled one. I’d have to say that I disagree. My point of view comes from experience of both good and bad, both with their relevant lessons. I won’t be standing on a cliff screaming that I only deserve the best, better than what people who’ve worked hard for that same thing deserve. In fact, deciding to go back to writing requires that I start at the bottom, unless I’m believed in enough to be given an opportunity to start higher. It’s the idea that in order to be and do something great, we have to suffer doing something that we absolutely hate, something that makes us miserable just to make a living in the meantime that I really despise. Or getting into a field because of how lucrative it is, not because we find purpose and value in the work.

Do I think I’ll ever become so desperate that I’ll try for a tech job again? I’d have to say nah, I don’t think so. I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t put up with BS anymore, BS being doing something because of fear. All of my decisions are now based on love – love of myself, love of my dreams, love of my freedom, and love for the world. The world deserves us at our best, does it not?
 
∞ Aminah Jamil

If You Ain’t First, You’re Third

Surely, as I continue posting, you, my dear reader, will find that there is no meaning to the pictures that accompany said posts. Adieu.

Recently I’ve found myself going through this weird depressive episode. In the mornings when I wake up I hate life and I wonder what’s the point, but then by around 10-11am you could call me Optimistic Olga. I’ll be hopping around my apartment with all kinds of ideas, crossing things off of my daily to-do list, and laughing maniacally.

Perhaps I’m in need of a proper B-Complex vitamin?

The truth probably lies somewhere in the crevice of life that I am currently in – able to not have to work for a while, but also worried at the same time about what should happen if I don’t find work that pleases me enough to not want to run away and hide in Morocco or Tunisia in a run down studio apartment with no AC once I begin to need to work again.

The truth probably also lies in the years of lies I’ve told myself, and that others have told me, about work and career and the necessity of it and what work would be most pleasing to me. I won’t be taking clients for my life/self-empowerment coaching consultation until mid-August. With the way the world is at the moment, it’ll be a wonder to find clients, not that I’m not confident in my coaching abilities. It’ll be more of a test of faith in that concept that says, “if you put it out there, they will surely come.”

But then there’s even more truth in the fact that right now, at this very moment, I am struggling with the decision of whether to write the novel I’m working on in first person or third person POV, and THIS, I TELL YOU, IS THE TRUTH BEHIND THE DEPRESSIVE EPISODES.

Or so it feels like. I could be wrong, but I haven’t been able to write a lick of the novel yet, because of it.

The Solution: I am a very solution-oriented person. We ain’t leaving this room until we come to a conclusive decision with a solution attached. And the solution to the first/third person problem is…drumroll please…to write the first five pages of the the novel in both.

Boom. There it is. How scandalously easy it was to come up with that. Would you believe me if I told you I came up with that idea whilst writing this post? Aww you did? That’s sweet, but I didn’t. I’d mulled it over in bed yesterday while learning some Korean alphabet, or Hangul, consonant and vowel pairings.

히 is hi like “he”
니 is ni like “nee”
사 is sa
가 is ga but it kinda sounds like ka, super hard g.

If the word starts with a vowel, or it’s just a vowel by itself, you have to write it like this:
이 or 아, which are “ee” and “ah” respectively.

Alright, onto hopping around my apartment and laughing maniacally while I am somehow super efficient with my time!

∞ Aminah Jamil