Is it time for me to take a break?

I really enjoyed your recent blog post about taking a break, but I was wondering what a break that is not constructive looks like? I’ve been thinking about taking a year off of work to go to grad school, or to travel, or to do both, but, as a longtime reader of your blog, I know that you aren’t a fan of either. Do you have any advice for a way to structure the break so that you end up in a better place on the other side of it?

I know that I’m approaching a point in my life that I need a break and to change, but I’m not quite sure that grad school/travel would be a way of avoiding problems instead of changing in order to be better able to face future problems. If it helps, I’m an INFP.

What’s the best job for a perfectionist?

I’m an ISTJ. My company told me I need to increase my social IQ in order to advance. I am not sure how to do that. And I’m not sure if I want to. What jobs do people like me usually do?


It’s hard to be a perfectionist at work because most peoples’ jobs do not require perfection, so you are not evaluated by how perfectly you do something and you are not rewarded for the extra time you take. 

Especially in management, perfectionism is looked down on. So people tend to not value perfectionism. Making big decisions with very little information is what people get paid the highest salaries to do. And that’s the opposite of perfectionism. Even in accounting, the people who get paid the most are valued for their understanding of the gray areas of accounting which have no clear answer. 

So, keeping that in mind, it’s important to find a job where the management team cares about being perfect. Because then the culture of the company will include respect for people like you.

An example of a place where management cares the most about the product being perfect is online gambling. Because if there’s an error in the code, the company loses a lot of money. I coach a lot of ISTJs who write code for gambling sites. That personality type has a strong bent toward honesty and justice, so you’d need to be careful what sites you work at. Here are the best online casino reviews.

It’s true that a lot of perfectionists work in science. But remember being a scientist in academia is mostly writing grants and not perfectionism at all. However doing the actual lab work is about perfectionism. Here’s are the best places to get lab jobs.

Sometimes perfectionism is a sign autistic spectrum disorders like OCD. In that case, the best sort of job is one that is repetitive and very clear cut. While some people would get bored at that sort of job, people who  have an obsessive need for perfection find these jobs calming. Here are the best jobs for people with OCD.

Finally, perfectionism is not something that is good for anyone. Being perfect sometimes is admirable, but perfection can also be crippling. Needing to do everything perfectly is often rooted in insecurity and anxiety  and you probably need to address it. Here’s a post about when perfectionism is a disease.

Whats a good career for an idealist?

Hi. I just graduated high school, and I’m undecided and that’s why I decided to go to community college. I’ve always thought about becoming a teacher but I’m unsure if that would be right for me or if I should pursue a career in the health field like a physician assistant. I’m a romantic at heart and I just really wish I could just be pragmatic. It’s a blessing and a curse I’m too idealistic and that’s why I think I have such a hard time finding a career.

How do I apologize for being a jerk? (I have Aspergers)

I am a female with Aspergers. I think my mom and my sister have Aspergers, too. And we all have the same problem: we can greatly offend people by the things we say and how we say them. In talking with each of them, they have no idea that they are doing it and they say they don’t mean to offend. I physically cringe when I hear how they talk to people – even though I know I accidentally do it, too.

I don’t tell colleagues and friend groups that I have Aspergers. I know to look people in the eye when in conversations. I am pretty decent in one-on-one conversations when I pay close attention to personality type and what the other person needs from me and the relationship. I am very bad at reading people’s intentions.

In my adult life, I have jumped from friend group to friend group. My mom used to tell me that I wore people out. I’ve gotten fired from every job – which I think is a combo of me being an ENTP and having Aspergers. I feel like I leave a wake of destruction in my path from saying exactly what I am thinking. I’m generally a friendly and enthusiastic person, so my harsh comments tend to really catch people off guard. So, people who liked me at first will distance themselves in a hurry. Or, I’ll be so embarrassed that I hurt someone’s feelings, that I’ll distance myself.

I’m getting better at keeping my mouth shut by understanding personality type and group dynamics, but I know I will always make this type of mistake. Sometimes I will know immediately that I was a jerk by the look on someone’s face or shift in body language. Other times, I think I was just stating the obvious and everyone sees the same thing I do, but later it will become clear that I’m out of step with the rest of the group. So, I need to learn how to mea culpa gracefully to someone in the moment or later when I’ve realized I’ve deeply offended someone.

Do you have suggestions?

I’m sick of dealing with incompetence

I’m an INTJ, and I have a quick question.

I’m a Ph.D. student of theoretical physics and as usual, I discuss my research with my supervisor. Because she doesn’t bother to get into the detail of calculations, or maybe because she doesn’t care enough, sometimes she makes obviously stupid comments, and such things make me angry a little. So I feel she thinks I’m arrogant, even if I don’t get angry and try to explain (explaining stuff is a little hard for me…). But I’m not. I do appreciate when she has some good comments (which she does sometimes…).

So can you help me to avoid such misunderstandings?

I don’t want to be financially dependent on my spouse

I don’t want to ask you a career question because I know you’re just going to tell me that I’m 32 so I should get married and have kids. But if I don’t get a career I love first then I’ll always be dependent on my husband, and that’s scary.

How to recover from a workplace affair?

After 12 years of not a single date, desire, need or want for a man/companionship in any way, my coworker and I unintentionally fell in love. Loves me for who I am, your happiness is my happiness and all that jazz.

Problem is, he is sort of married. Not legally married but wears a ring, they share a child and a home. However, it’s an insane partnership where both have hurt each other in every way, constant fighting, one of those “were staying for the kids” relationships at this point. Mostly bad with good moments.

I lost my virginity to him. We told each other we loved each other and had sex all within a 3-month span. Lots of late nights in the office, however we only had sex the one time. When he kissed me I actually lost my breath and went weak in the knees. When we had sex, it was perfect in every way. He was wonderful to me.

The problem with all of that is, he has completely changed on me, even though he swore he wouldn’t and I’m miserable. I don’t know what happened, but he won’t talk about it even though he knows I’m an ENFJ and my two needs are communication and quality time.

One day he will sneak a handhold in from across the desk and tell me he loves me. The next he won’t even let me speak to him.

I decided for myself weeks ago that I was done, this was over, I deserve better, this is bullshit, etc. The hell of it is, I not only have to work in the same building, but we are the COO’s of the companies only two departments that go hand in hand.

I have constant anxiety.

I think what I’m struggling with is, I can’t decide on a story. Either I was a complete and utter fool who was someone’s mistress and lost my virginity and this was the biggest mistake of my life. Which is a hard pill to swallow when you have pride yourself on being a strong, smart hard worker with a healthy dose of confidence. This is very new, and if I’m being perfectly honest, pathetic feeling to me.

Or, as my friends like to tell me, I waited until I was almost 30 to have sex with someone I loved. With the person I have loved more than anyone in my entire life. And it was wonderful. And with all the growing and learning I’ve done, how could that be a mistake?

The real problem is this: I have worked my ass off to get this position. Worked my way up from the bottom, nights and weekends, many sacrifices, etc. I love my job. I am fantastic at it. I was made for management. I have hand chosen my team, and they are amazing. I have never worked so hard before in my life but somehow never tire.

I don’t know that I can with having to see him every single day. Because then it hasn’t really ended. I don’t have the luxury of choosing to not see him or talk to him.

So, should I stay or should I go? Would leaving be giving him even more power? This is more change in my life (in a very big real way) because of him? Should I stay in spite him, stand my ground and what not?

I bought my own house two years ago, I’m not making a lot of money but its the most I’ve ever made and am more than comfortable, financially speaking. I have no prospects job wise but a healthy savings.

Wherever you go, there you are, that’s a thing. I know leaving won’t resolve this but at least I wouldn’t be tormented by him and his games 10 hours a day.

What is my boss really telling me to do?

I am an INFJ. My current boss keeps telling me that I don’t challenge people / push back enough on the spot in terms of what colleagues/clients tell me and that she sees me just accepting what they say, for example:

1. A teacher says they are not using the virtual platform we provide to their school at the expected usage rate for X reason e.g. Intermittent Internet connectivity, basic infrastructure issues disrupting their ability to use the platform etc. I’m supposed to push back against what they see as obstacles and get them to solve these issues so that they can increase their usage of the platform.

I’m actually satisfied that they’ve gone from zero use to some use looking at the obstacles they face and don’t think we should be pushing them for the sake of increased usage when they’ve figured out a way to use the tech meaningfully within the limitations they are facing.

2. A team member informed me that we were not supposed to deliver a training session for a client in English (I was away from work when this happened and so just assumed she was filling me in on a decision made by my boss). I didn’t think to question her as I had no reason not to trust that the information wasn’t accurate.

Turns out she mislead me but my boss used this as an example of me not challenging people enough. In fact, when my boss raised this with me I didn’t even explain to her why I didn’t feel the need to question my colleague. I just took it rather than have an argument.

From my point of view whenever someone tells me something, my lack of objection doesn’t mean I’ve accepted what they are saying. I find I need time to ruminate on what has been said, understand where they are coming from before I can come to a ‘judgment’.

Is my lack of immediate pushback associated with an INFJs’ cognitive process or is this a function independent of personality type?

If it is associated with type, will working to overcome this and thinking more on my feet be an uphill battle or should I just let go of getting validation from my boss/company expectations and make this job my own by exploiting my so-called INFJ strengths?

How can I get a passive income stream?

I have taken a few of your writing courses and I loved them. I need to make enough money to contribute to the bottom line of our family, and I don’t want to create more pressure on my writing which is what would happen if I were relying on my writing to support the family. Can you recommend a course I can take the give me a passive income option?

How do you make money from your blog?

I just finished reading your post about how one is unlikely to earn significant money from a blog (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/21/8-reasons-why-you-wont-make-money-from-your-blog/).  I generally agree with what you say, but I’ve also noticed that you’ve mentioned in other posts that you now make a substantial amount (maybe most?) of your income from your blog.

I understand that you’ve built the blog, its readership base, and your professional reputation up over the years to get to the point you’re at now, and I know you have other businesses as well, but my questions is: how do you actually make money from your blog?  What is the mechanism through which you earn?

I’d like to set up a blog or two, mostly for my own creative outlet, but it wouldn’t hurt if I was able to eventually earn a small side income from it.  How does one go about doing it?  Just enabling Google Ads or going out and courting ad companies to get them to plaster their sponsorship all over your page?

I don’t like the idea of ads on my blog (or at least “over-commercializing” it) and would rather not put too many on there, but I don’t understand the underlying business dynamics of how one makes money with a blog otherwise.  You don’t appear to have any ads on your blog, and in the above article you’ve even mentioned how you dislike them, as well; so how does one go about generating (even the tiniest) income from a blog, website, or writing/media platform if not with ads?  I don’t think I understand the underlying business model here or the revenue-generating alternatives that exist in the internet world.