I picked a bad major. Now what?

I have a major question I haven’t the slightest clue to answer. I am a 22-year-old poor Puerto Rican who went to school for photography. (The worst choice I ever made.) Now I am in debt for said school which only amounts to my poorness.

How do I go back to school with no money? No SAT or ACT scores? I just want to work as a teacher. I just want to live my life.

Your parenting philosophies are flawed

I know I can speak frankly with you since you’re not actually going to be reading this.  I found you through an internet search that went something like “what distance is too great lessons Suzuki drive”…for my six Suzuki Strings players with their myriad practices, private lessons, and group classes.

Sometimes, and especially as a musician knowing how insidiously vicarious living can hold sway in these decisions, I worry that I’m wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere or that my motives for pushing on are poor.  I was, therefore, cringing inwardly reading your post about same.

But, your unschooling philosophy also has flaws, as does your idea of channeling children away from extracurriculars that don’t fit their personality. That assumes a great deal of perspicacity on the part of the parent and seems against “delight directed learning” that unschoolers seem always to be promoting.

I also don’t believe children in general will have focus or discipline to keep at even areas of delight without training from an adult. Do children or adults even know themselves? It takes years and better personality tests.

In addition, there are some life skills that are necessary whether one is delighted by them or not – basic math, cleanliness, literacy, and (I would submit) religious training all come to mind.

Penelope, I’m rambling now. I’m going to close by thanking you once again for writing in an honest, open, approachable way about your opinions.

Should I be earning more money?

I’m a 27-year-old INFP woman. I live with my parents, have a boyfriend of four years, and quit a good office job last year to travel. Now I’m a part-time manual laborer (I’m a longshoreman, so I tie up container and cruise ships). I also have my own office space where I do some freelance writing and photography. I don’t market my freelance services at all—so I get very little work, and it’s all word of mouth. I can bring my dog to my office, which I love.

Other than traveling, I’ve been working on a novel for the past year. I don’t tell anyone that because I’m embarrassed by it. I almost started an MFA in creative writing last fall but didn’t because it wasn’t free and you told me it was a bad decision anyway.

I’m pretty happy doing what I’m doing (longshoring, occasional freelance, personal writing projects), but I’m not making much money, and I feel like I should. Especially because I do want to have kids within a couple of years. And my own house would be nice, too.

I’ve started applying to jobs and have gotten a few interviews that might lead to job offers. I’m also vacillating as to whether apply to my former employer (same role for a different department at a big corporation). I left on great terms with them, but I’m afraid I might apply and get interviews and then decide I don’t want to work there. Which would be really shitty, and I hate being really shitty.

As a side note: I’m worried by the current political climate, and the actual climate, and the world. This contributes to my desire to make money (money = stability).

What should I do?

 

What if I’m in-between personality types?

The Quistic personality test is excellent around 90%. However, it does have issues with borderline types such as me (ENTJ) and one of my friends. But it hits the spot with most. How do you deal with that situation?

I find it rather interesting that the founder of a personality test website personally roots outs oddities.

How can I present my idea in a way that does not alienate my superiors?

I am a 27-year-old cis-gendered female INTP with mild Asperger’s and a good job at a nonprofit. My organization is doing good work and actually effecting some positive change in this insane community of people. This isn’t really what I want to be doing long term (I am interested in Data Science and Machine Learning) but it is a good job and a good salary while I do personal and contract work in my chosen field with the hope of being able to enter that field as a career.

I have had a lot of different experiences, some have been successful and some haven’t, but what I have learned thus far follows:

  • I am highly empathetic in spite of my social dysfunction and people tend to like me even though they find me odd.
  • When I am not liked it is because people perceive me as cold, overly-rational, and arrogant. This is common among people with Asperger’s, especially women.
  • I am really, really smart.
  • I have a penchant for organizational thinking, resource management, and strategy.
  • Many organizations are completely dysfunctional because the people in charge are not good at the aforementioned things.
  • I am good at managing people as resources, but not very good at managing people as people.

I believe in my organization. I also believe that it is totally dysfunctional. In my experience, most nonprofits are.

Specifically, I am mismanaged as a resource. My direct supervisor (who is at the director level) has never had a direct report before me – and she does not know how to manage people either as people or as resources. The reason she was given an assistant is because she is doing two (completely different) full-time jobs at once – one of which is in line with her experience and career and the other which is not her area of expertise at all.

The problem is that she is unable to effectively delegate – so we have a situation where she is totally overwhelmed and I am completely bored. I have asked her repeatedly to allow me to take some things off her plate, but she is unwilling to trust my ability to do anything on my own, which basically amounts to her having a ton more work by virtue of having an assistant rather than having less. It’s maddening.

So there are two major problems: 1.) I am totally unsatisfied in my job and 2.) this mismanagement of resources is a waste of my salary – which this organization sorely needs.

One of my boss’s jobs is development, which is the second position that sort of fell into her lap and isn’t what she is good at or wants to do. I believe that it would not take much improvement on the part of a new, more experienced development director to pay for the difference between my current salary and his/her hypothetical new salary – the going rate for a fairly experienced development director at this kind of organization is only about $30,000 higher than what I’m making now. I want to suggest to the executive director that I leave my position and they use my salary to hire someone new at the same level as my current supervisor to ensure that both jobs get done well and fully.

I would like to stay at this organization if they can find a place for me where my talents are beneficial and I am permitted to take on interesting projects and learn new things, but regardless of where I end up, the organization doesn’t need me to be in my current position, and because of my boss’s difficulty with being a manager, I’m actually hurting the organization by being here more than I am helping it.

So my question is this: How the hell do I propose this plan (fire me, reduce the scope of my current boss’s job to something she can manage without an assistant, and hire a person to do development who actually knows what the hell they are doing) in a way that the board and executive director will take seriously?  I am aware that this suggestion is brazen and likely to really piss off my current boss, but I also think it is a good solution to a very real problem that needs to be addressed.

Should I train my ungrateful co-workers? 

When I joined my current company a few years back, I started working on a special project that I have experience in, but the tool I was using was relatively new to me. As expected I spent my weekends and free time at home learning and excelling in it.

After two years, a newly employed fresh grad joined and I trained her as the management wanted me to do so. I work in senior capability and my lead is also a senior who has no clue about the work I do. But I trained her as well. They hired a new senior person who does not have any experience in the line of work I do.

As I believed the go over and above crap, I did a project as my manager VP asked me. I did a good job but my manager found some silly reason to criticize and scream at me.

I was asked to provide pictures as proof when I needed to work from home due to major repairs at home, but they gave the new colleague permission to work from home half days for the whole week as her teenage kid has holidays.

Fast forward the manager changed, and my colleagues got licensed to use the tool I was using so that they can also do the same work. As they started bombarding me with basic questions I guided them to the online documentation and videos available (I learned from them) as I already provided 2 sessions on that and also scheduled a session again but they canceled it and keep asking me questions.

No one else is learning anything new and sharing. They have no time to read and watch the video I provided. Within four months time, the new colleague complained about me behind my back but now she comes to me sounding innocent asking how to questions.

She won’t share any info. She already managed to take a high profile project which was promised to me by the VP. Once I was told I’m the highest paid in my team. Now part of my work is getting assigned slowly to my colleagues. My boss says everyone should know everything on the team so he wants me to train others but the work my other colleague is doing is not shared or no knowledge transfer sessions or training on it.

Do you think I better start looking for another job?

My husband doesn’t want more kids. Should I get a job?

I’m reaching out to you and hoping you would share any insight you might have.

I’m an INFP with one toddler. I want to have more kids but my ENTJ husband doesn’t want anymore. He says we can’t afford them. So I want to go back to work (community/career college teaching) to try to set aside enough money to have more kids, but wonder if this is pointless because I think my husband just doesn’t want more kids, period. And a lack of money is just the excuse he is giving me.

I feel a little useless because I’m not working, but I still leave them for 5 hours a day to have time for myself. I’m also not very good with emotional stuff. You and my husband allude to not being good in this area, but you’re both far more real, articulate, and honest than I am. So I don’t even bring the supposed INFP strengths to our relationship. My husband is really good at the things ENTJs typically excel at — leadership, decision making, real-time crisis management, and he’s better than I am at the stuff INFPs are supposed to be good at, like reading and responding to emotions and listening. I feel the only thing I’ve ever done really well was being pregnant and giving birth. I wish I could do it again.

When I read your posts and listen to you, I feel like you could be my husband’s soul sister or something. You’re so similar, and since I’m too hurt and scared to talk to him about this (again) and I don’t want him to feel pressured, I’m wondering if you have an intuition of what I should do or how I should handle this. Go back to work? Keep doing what I’m doing and get over wanting more kids? Perhaps if I hear it from you, it will be less triggering than hearing it from him.

Thank you so much for being who you are.

What should I do with my life?

I know this is too long, but I don’t know how to transition and I married a man who was succinct so I didn’t have to be, so I am banking off of content interest for you to keep reading. But I don’t feel entitled for you to keep reading if you are bored – I just couldn’t figure out how to edit this down further and I really needed to write you after reading your blog.

I have spent the past 20 hours in three days reading your blog. I’ve probably read over 50 posts or so, and they all revolve around the self-acceptance and fulfillment or career change categories. I am very interested in reading your homeschooling and parenting categories soon since I am almost 63% sure I will be going off birth control after my husband and I come back from our China trip in 2017.

I am 28 years old (ticking clock and parents aching to be grandparents working against a fear that once I have kids I will always think “what if” if I don’t figure out “what I should be doing” now) and feel like I’m in a job that wastes my potential. I know I shouldn’t blame the job, but I blame myself for being too weak and scared to leave this job that is a 5/6 on your test for “do you have a good job“… so I tell myself I should shut up and be grateful.

I am an ENFJ, but sometimes I test as an INFJ. I think I’m 50/50 on the Introvert/Extrovert thing because I love helping people at work, but I get tired of being constantly around them (so I work virtual and in-office) and I am very independent and need an escape to think.

This also may depend on at what time I take the test. If I take it around holidays when all my free time is taken up rushing to and from family events which I am very bitter and guilty for feeling bitter about right now, I test as an INFJ, but when I’m taking the test while I am at work or was just around cool people, I am an ENFJ. I love my family, but I can’t say no to family events because we live 2 hours away and it’s not like I see them every day… so perhaps I am just a guilty and bitter ENFJ with no family boundaries.

I am a programmer analyst who changed from being a systems analyst last year. I have been caught in analysis paralysis on my next career move for over 3 years. I have been at this company since my 2010 college graduation.

My company likes me enough to keep me even when I had a quarter-life crisis last April and said I am about to quit so they gave me a coding job I asked for to replace my database job but it didn’t get better because I don’t like data, I like reading about research based on data. (TBH I think they keep me because I’m fun, not because I’m good at coding) But I thought I should make myself get a degree in something I was bad at because it would be a good character building experience for me. And because it would fulfill both my parent’s expectations (and I had no time to think of any for myself) I think that was a big mistake.

The only part of my job I like is when I am helping people find answers to their problems. But I don’t want to learn the code anymore to be the answer to those type of problems so I don’t see how I have any more use here except to keep doing a mediocre job at learning to code and then giving people sort of knowledgeable advice about something I don’t really like. But I end up feeling good I helped them and that keeps me going. Sort of.

My dad is a successful engineer and manager and loved us based on achievements (grades, contest wins) and my mother was a very emotional and creative best friend who raised me to “get a degree” because her husband would definitely marry a woman with a degree if she died. My parents are still married after 36 years and are quite happy with each other for what its worth.

My friend is abused and I have been helping her through her issues. This makes me feel fulfilled and interested because it presents a challenge where I need to convince her to make better life choices to get away from the abuse. I looked up “victim advocate” job on indeed and apparently a master’s degree is required…. so I dropped that idea because having to get a masters degree for that sounds stupid since I’m already doing a great job at helping my friend now. I actually ended up counseling many coworkers about their relationship issues or lack thereof these past 5 years. I’m good at getting people to open up. But to be a psychologist I’d need a doctorate and I’m 28 with a ticking clock.

I tried to go to art school and business school at the same time. The art school because I wanted art and the business school because I thought it was the smart and practical thing to do to support that art.

I felt mentally raped by art school as they were all crazy drug addicts who thought my representational art was kitsch and their over-sexualized abstract art was high brow. I saw no other options in art. The school gave no other options to be a different type of artist. So I quit. I did something practical that I thought would give me a stable income so I got a business degree in computers. I am sort of a happy person in general but existentially miserable.

From one of your posts, I tried to remember my greatest feeling of accomplishment and super fun or peaceful moments as a child. So I remember interpretive ballet dancing on stage many times and enjoying it, mostly because I enjoy moving around and also knowing people are being entertained by it. Now I pursue wushu, a performance martial art 3 times a week. I remember setting up house for dolls with friends in a low hanging camphor tree. We climbed and jumped off the branches. We were at home there.

I now live in a stilt house on a lake built from wood and fixing it up feels good. I liked helping my grandmother with her chicken and rabbit feeding chores. I also remember laying in a meadow by a forest in really soft grass and it felt awesome. I currently have 5 chickens and think 15 would be even more fun – so I guess I’ve done pretty well in actualizing my childhood aha! moments. I realize this and feel more ungrateful that I am still complaining about my career.

I know you’ve heard this before… but I think I still want to be an artist. After all the career books and repetitive analysis I have done in the past 3 years I look back on my notes and I keep coming to this conclusion. I make some art, but I feel guilty about it because the art doesn’t make money to help support myself or my family so its only for myself. Then when I catch myself feeling like this I become scared to death I will become my mother. She is too guilty to do anything for herself and never tried to capitalize on her natural artistic talents.

Right now I just want to sit the work computer down and go to my art desk and make art. I have been in the flow state with this before. But I would be a bad employee if I did that. But I’m not a bad employee if I type this long winded expose of my life to you after reading 50+ of your posts in the past 3 workdays.

But am I cut out to be an art entrepreneur? In 5th grade, the kids liked my art and commissioned different Pokemon, and I drew them and received fair compensation. I was proud of how well I could make Pokemon drawings and sell them for 25 or 50 cents but then a jealous kid told on me and the teacher said I couldn’t do that in class. I was so guilty I did something the teacher said was wrong so I quit.

I am a people pleaser to my own fault, and I don’t want to die having pleased everyone but myself. I’m scared because now I’m 28 with a ticking clock and probably have maybe 2000/10000 expert hours of art combined under my belt. I want to draw pictures of awesome stuff, have people see it and love it and want it, and then pay me for it. So then I can buy everything plus health insurance with it and feel worthy. I know there are successful artists that do this. But they are all already successful. I’m just starting out. It was easier to explore when I was a child and had no adult responsibility or a baby clock.

I want to ignore people (INFJ) but I just can’t (ENFJ). Women have it harder than men in these existential crises because of babies. And I still want babies too.

If you got to this part of the mail, my question is what do you think I should do? I would love to know your opinion about my situation. I finally feel braced and ready for any hard truths I may hear.

How do I prepare to get a good job after college?

I originally wanted to be a lawyer, however, after interning for a law firm over the summer, I quickly noticed how miserable lawyers are. During my second year of college, I am taking Finance and Accounting courses, and loving the work.

I have decided that I want to become an investment banker after college. What tips do you have for getting an investment banking internship? I plan on doing the CFA Program (Chartered Financial Analyst) after college, but what else can I do to stand out to get one of these highly competitive internships?

Why don’t we build careers that follow our talent?

Why does most everyone hold their talent/passion/true gift/calling under water like trying to hold a beach ball under water? It does eventually pop up, but why the squelching? It’s wide spread and effects all classes, people, etc.