I can’t stay with a job or a boyfriend for a long time

I left my job to work on my own business full time. The business teaches kids how to program (and not just to program but produce their own apps, emphasize on problem solving techniques). I’m very excited because I love kids and this is something I can potentially sustain myself as a lifestyle business.

However, what makes me a bit down is that after my coaching session with you, we agreed that the best thing for me is to focus on staying in one job and finding a lifelong partner.

I went on a few dates, dated a guy (broke up within a month) and then now in a pseudo relationship with another guy who is non committal. For this guy, I’ve been seeing him for 3 months regularly (~2 times a week). We like each other but he has just got out of a relationship (in Nov) (or for whatever reasons), not ready to commit.


And, another problem is that I also have an idea for a new business I’m thinking of, just one week after I quit my job to do this business.

I’m not getting younger, but at the same time just don’t feel I don’t have the capacity to both run a business and cultivate a new relationship.

Would you have any advice for situations like this?


What should I do when everyone else is drunk?

I am in a treatment program called Harm Reduction, for people who need to get their drinking under control. It’s been wonderful for me, my health is better, my blood pressure, weight, skin, mood, marriage, everything. I drink two drinks maximum, ever. I want this to be my lifestyle – it’s very important to me.

So: what do I do about heavy-drinking business occasions, where it would be good for my career to get sloshed with the others, and where it will make them feel like I think I am better than them if I stay mostly sober?

I really don’t think I am better. I have no judgment for anyone else, and I think for a lot of people partying hard works fine and can be  awesome. But I have been at a professional seminar where I ended up being bullied by my group, who were all super hard partiers and saw me as a threat because I was sober.

Do I secretly go smoke some pot once everyone is drunk, so I am also intoxicated? Do I pretend to drink more than I am? Do I say I have a stomach virus? Do I say honestly that my drinking was getting out of control, so now I am on a program to help me manage it?

Everywhere I work is awful

I have two major passions in life: Animals and Reading/Writing.  I worked with animals for about 10 years, doing kennel work, dog bathing, and eventually, dog grooming.  I love working with dogs, the only problem is that the way owners of grooming salons focused on money more than the love of the dogs ate away at me, so I made a career change. I went from being dog groomer to being a Media Coordinator for an Ad agency, a small 11 person company with only two people in the Traffic department: myself and my manager, who would be training me.

I thought it would be a great fit because I love editing and I’m a very organized person, looking for a new challenge.  The biggest problem arose when my manager,  who was training me (or supposed to be…I mostly just watched what he did, which is a terrible way for me to learn, personally) QUIT out of the blue after 2 weeks of “training,” leaving me to run the department myself, still not sure what I was doing (although I asked a million questions) and trying to deal with the pressure of people saying “you should know this” when I was never given a chance to “know” anything.

This lead to me quitting after two months without another job lined up because the pressure was breaking me and making me miserable. Now that I’m out of there and living on my nice nest egg I made while grooming, I’m struggling to figure out how I can put my love for reading, and writing int o a full time job where I can be happy and be respected.  I have a book review blog and do some editing for a publishing company, but I’m struggling to find a way to make a living reading/writing and getting over the fear that another job will sandbag me like my other one did, which lead towards history repeating itself.

Is there any way you can throw a line or two of advice my way?  I would GREATLY appreciate it.

I hate my job and my marriage how can I fix it?

I am 27 female INTJ (English and Creative Writing graduate) working in a lowly job in an English public sector. Words cannot describe how I hate my job and how little opportunity for development it provides.

I am married, only due to the fact that I could not possibly support myself on my shitty wages. I hate even the thought of having children and frankly, staying at home and taking care of anyone makes me feel sick. My marriage makes me feel sick and I would love to leave but…

I have childhood issues (my parents never loved me and do not love me now either) which render me almost impossible to live or function on my own – I always need a safety net, otherwise I feel like I am drowning. I have been in therapy in and out (currently in) for the last 14 years and the more I explore the more I find out that my biggest issue is that I cannot simply be myself. That I feel insecure to do so. It does not help that I cannot seem to find a job that would give me that security. Obviously, my role in life is not to be a home-maker. I need a career. But I generally hate whatever happens to me and whatever I do. So I keep thinking more and more I should just settle for something for INTJs that is well-paid because if I am not going to enjoy it, I might as well earn good money for doing it. Because I generally do not mind what I do as long as I can do it independently and that I deem it worthwhile.

I do admire the advice you are giving on career, however, it is hard to understand why you decided to have children. But hey, I might turn 35 and maternal instincts might kick in – biology is a mystery and is not to be treated lightly.

I was always drawn toward older men and it was a mistake to marry someone my age and maybe if I met someone my age I would look at the prospect of having kids more favourably but maybe it is just my insecurity talking. Either way, I would love some advice on how to get a career/forget about a relationship for now. It is sad to think that despite having 3 long-term relationship I have never had sex with anyone I love but it is even sadder that I have never enjoyed anything that I have done at work.

Just to be clear, I am not disrespecting anyone (regardless the gender) who chose family over career/the other way round. I think it is amazing that some people posses the self-knowledge that helps them making decisions they are happy with, whatever they are.

Can I quit with no notice?

I have been employed more or less happily as an executive assistant at this company for a year. Today I had a final round interview for a great job (project director at an incubator for start-ups, with higher pay and flex time to work from home!) and I believe I have a solid chance to get hired.

The catch is, they want the candidate to start on Monday, as the person vacating the position is moving to England on January 20 (!) so there’s not much time for training.

If I get this job, how do I gracefully extricate myself from my current position without making them hate me forever and ever? The girl who does backup for my position will be leaving on an overseas trip this week and I will be leaving them in quite a bind with no administrative support. I wish I could have given 2 weeks notice but there’s no time. I would really prefer not to burn my bridges and kill my potential references from this job, which is only my second “real job” ever.

What Would Penelope Do???

Full-time INFP Working Mom Loses Mind

That subject lin will be a headline for an article starring me if I don’t make some changes.

I work in HR (accidentally landed and am now stuck in this field). I hate every second of it. I am essentially a babysitter for adults who lack common sense and the ability to use good judgement. I started as the Communications person for HR (translating mumbo jumbo into English so employees could see the real value of working for us). Now it’s turned into a chief of staff role for the VP of HR. We’re restructuring, launching an ERP, etc. I bloody hate it.

I have two beautiful children, ages 3 and 1 who are in daycare from 8 to 5, and I can’t afford to quit my job because the city we live in is overpriced.

I live in a city that I hate on most days. We have no family here, which I thought I would be OK with before I had children, but now I wish we had at least a couple of the non-crazies near us.

My husband loves the city and the industry he’s in and up until very recently was not open to change. (Now he is ready to make some life moves). I explained to him that we have 5 things in life that we need-I know we won’t always get all 5, but we need at least 3, and we currently have .5.

1. Friends & Family (network close to you that you can rely on)
2. Community Connection (the culture of your community aligns with your values)
3. Cost of Living is Logical
4. Career Opportunity
5. Education (good schools are within reach)


Where does one start when everything needs to change?

I’m an introvert struggling in the wrong job

I am a 29 year old introvert (ISFJ) woman who struggled with the responsibilities and expectations placed on me by being a gifted kid. I am the first person in my family to attend a four-year university and graduate, which I did with a high GPA and multiple awards.

Immediately after graduating I entered an environmental advocacy fellowship program that is prestigious and competitive, but it made me miserable. I was depressed, gained weight, and entered into a terrible and destructive relationship during that year because I so badly needed any type of support. I’ve worked in environmental NGOs ever since.

Now my job is communications and media relations, which is also prestigious and competitive. The highs aren’t high enough to justify how low I feel when things are bad. I see more gray hairs every day. I am afraid to quit because I am finally making decent wages – $44k per year – and have another 18 months to pay off a loan.

I came across this post and it got me thinking: http://mailbag.penelopetrunk.com/2012/03/04/how-to-find-meaningful-work/. I want a job making 45-50k, not in politics and not in the environmental field, where I can work well with people AND not have my family members disappointed that I’m not living up to my potential. I want fewer gray hairs and more days where I go him smiling. I think human resources or office manager or something like that appeals to me, but I have no idea how to make the transition or even be considered for those jobs.

Whenever there’s no new post on your blog…

Whenever there’s no new post on your blog, I check on the Mailbag section. But today I went there and it’s gone. Did you take it down?

Hey, why did Mailbag disappear?

Whenever there’s no new post on your blog, I check on the Mailbag section. But today I went there and it’s gone. Did you take it down?

How can I get my business idea off the ground?

I’m launching an online marketing platform to connect brands with potential customers in a completely new way. The biggest component of the business is partnering with various large and medium size brands that are willing to experiment with their marketing approach and product offerings. Until now, I was working on devising the business plan and the operational aspects of it but now is the time when I have to penetrate the C-Suite, specifically the Chief Marketing Officer suite at those brands I want to sell to. I am not sure how to go about it. Do I sent emails, pick up the phone, send letters? Do I prepare a “pitch deck” that I email the brands or send them or a top view summary page? I am totally unconnected to those brands and they span across various industries. Any ideas or insights would be appreciated!