My grades are good enough to get into an Ivy league business school. I want to become an innovation consultant and write Harvard Business Review pieces and books on the direction of business as it relates to innovation, politics, society, and civic issues.

However, I know those jobs require very good social skills, and a few years ago you told me on the phone that I have autism. Since we have spoken, I’ve found that much of my daily experience matches up with other autistic women. I’m bad at keeping meetings on track. I don’t cope well with direct challenges to my authority. I do an exemplary job in independent contributor roles, but I always have communication/personality clashes with managers and co-workers.

A friend of mine who was previously socially unskilled told me getting an MBA really helped him develop leadership and soft skills. I’m hoping to get the same results so I don’t have to use one of my backup plans: doctor or engineer.

I created this podcast about health and wellness. After putting in 2 years of consistent work, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I started it to help others get through some of the tough stuff I went through. And even though the format includes interviews with folks who have gone through the same thing, some are best selling authors, it still has no real following.

What’s missing?

Penelope, you write that if we want to know how someone is running their life, count the hours. So I count your hours, and I don’t see how you are homeschooling your kids and earning all the money you say you earn. Can you break down your hours for us?

I’ve had an idea rolling around in my head for a while now. With all the posts on social media about changes in the workplace & millennials, maybe there are ways that the 40 and up can leverage the changes millennials are already demanding.

I’ve been processing it for a couple of months now, maybe there’s something here for a blog post?

I appreciate your forthrightness and transparency in your writing.

I just turned 30 this week and am feeling a lot of self-directed pressure to get it together. I’m female, been in a relationship for 2.5 years, and will NOT be having children (genetic risks with both of our families). We live in insane Vancouver, Canada, where housing costs rival San Francisco.

We both recognize we need to leave the city now. The problem comes in deciding what to do next. He used to run his own construction company, but due to an injury has not been able to make the company really run for the last two years. I just completed a six-month certificate at a technical institute for front-end web development. This is following years of basically admin-drudgery, where I was dreadfully underpaid – despite a 4 year degree; don’t get an arts degree kids.

I assumed once complete I could work my way into a remote job in tech and we could relocate to a more affordable housing market where we could buy a modest property and start building some equity.

Tonight I learned that my boyfriend has dwindled his savings down to half. He now claims he is not interested in buying a property, is giving up on working and considering disability assistance (we’re in Canada), and doesn’t understand why I want to buy since we don’t want kids.

Aside from his lack of ambition, we are a compatible couple. However, I’ve been financially stressed all of my life – coming from irresponsible, immigrant parents who couldn’t save a dime. I paid my own tuition, only paying off student loans a couple years ago.

The constant financial pressure is causing me a lot of depression and anxiety about the future. My boyfriend’s increasingly blaze attitude is amplifying my depression. At the start of our relationship he was much more hopeful about his career, this hope has essentially disappeared.

Where to go next?

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.

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.

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.

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?

I am an INTJ and was recently laid off after working 7 years in an industry into which I fell. I have no interest in pursuing a traditional career in the corporate world again unless I am running my own business; the only reason I lasted so long at that company was because the CEO was extremely supportive of my alternate lifestyle and I treated it like a job as opposed to a career while I pursued my real passion: teaching yoga.

Between severance, unemployment, and significant savings, I have about a year before I really have to worry about making money. I am focusing my energy on teaching part time and traveling to various yoga teacher trainings to improve my skillset.

It’s been 2 months since I was laid off, and I want to spend this time figuring out a way to make teaching yoga a sustainable career for myself and others. How do you think this time will be best spent? Building an online coaching presence? Finding local clients? Or should I let this continue to be a side hustle and finagle together some other way to make a living?