I'm 35 years old and having trouble finding a career that will suit my personality type. I do not see myself working in one field, but working in many. Is there such a career?

You May Be an Introvert or an Extravert

You are an Intuitive

You May Be a Feeler or a Thinker

You Are a Perceiver

I have notebooks full of ideas but cannot get them from pen to reality. I don't do well with classrooms, studying and exams. I am hands on and find solutions to problems without books. I feel I can find a solution with minimal resources. I love people, but cannot be in amongst them for long periods. I am afraid of pursuing one career field to find I am bored of it and want to jump to another. I feel I would benefit any type of company based on my innovative imagination and creativity. I love learning anything from anywhere. I don't have some extensive resume of past work, just a mind that is hyper active with thoughts, ideas and questions.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!



Anonymous INFP (not verified) says...

Wow, I feel like I could have written this post!

One thing you could look into is fields that offer internships and on-the-job training. That way, you wouldn't be investing time and money into a degree you may change your mind on.

You said you like solving problems, being around people for short periods of time, and generating ideas. Something that I think may be worth looking into is working at a nonprofit. They usually have fewer employees than for-profit companies, so those that do work there wear many hats. Another bonus is that you can work for an organization whose values/work allign with a cause or interest you are passionate about.

A nonprofit or charity organization would probably be happy to to have you intern or volunteer with them, and this could give you a better idea of different types of work. Researching and thinking about possibilities will only get you so far because nothing compares to experience. I used to want to be a psychologist. I ended up majoring in English and interning at a social services organization for marketing. Just being there clarified for me that I made the right choice in not pursuing psychology. It's an amazing and interesting field, but after witnessing what it was like for psychology interns, I know it wasn't for me and I feel better about closing the door on that possibility.

Another thing to consider is content marketing (not the sales side of marketing). That could involve a variety of work, including design, writing, video production, even event planning. Marketing is a creative field that always needs idea-generators, so your problem-solving skills could be very useful. If you work on the content or media side of it, you would probably have a balance between social and alone time at work.

Unfortunately, the problem with having interests in everything is that you can't do everything (as a career). If you pick one thing for a career, you can feel better by persuing your other interests as hobbies. Your career isn't your whole life, just a part of it.

I hope this helps!

Mathias says...

it looks like it s me... i do exactly the same things, ..the problem here is the manifestation of our personalities.

This is the cue.

How can we express ourselves with everything we have.

well i have an idea, to reunite all of ourselves in a website where people need our gifts, whatever they may be, you cannot just go around the world with your gifts  people woudl not appriciate you thinking you are a fool.

we have to make people come to us,not the other way aroung. we can talk about that and keep contact, acting is the best way.


WaterbugDude (not verified) says...

I got into writing software and dropped out of college to work at a startup. Over 20 years I worked at more than a dozen different startups. I picked projects that interested me. It's all software but each app can be in a different field, pretty much any place in the world, from video games to multi-level marketing apps to... I liked startups because they're like an idea factory. Lot's of brainstorming. And almost always surrounded by similar types so all those "negative" ENTP attributes are instead valued. You're free to be blunt, tear bad ideas apart and think way out of the box.

Also startup always let me take on other things. Designing a new box for product, new office procedures, work trade shows. talk to customers, pitch business plans to VCs, etc... They're always resource constrained so if anyone wanted to do something was normally allowed to try.

No office politics. No dumb endless birthday parties. Lot's of going out to celbrate.

And the money is very good.

simon dickens (not verified) says...

Hi there,

Sounds like you just need some coaching to help you move beyond your current boundary of thinking. As Albert Einstein said "You can't overvcome the problem, with the same energy and thinking that created the problem"

I have had/have this struggle/greatness all of my life and I am 42, as I now know it comes with the terriorty of the personality INTP I accept and work with it.

I am building my business around my personality and top 5 values which are Family/Freedom/Community/Business/Health.

I think and know, when you align and harmonise those variables you are in a much stronger position to be at ease and in flow with life. 

My business is foucussed on helping people personally and professionaly, be everything they can be, without changing who they are, rather be more of who their true self is.

I have studied marketing extensively, how to write books, develop software (waterbugdude your experience sounds interesting) and create training programmes on/offline, so on and so forth.

All of which are relevant the INTP. 

Have you seen Roger Hamilton's work on personality profile specifically for work, very useful on so many levels. http://www.wealthdynamics.com/

I trust this can help you and others.

Your comments and questions are most welcome.



ChrisP (not verified) says...

I enjoy design work for oil&gas industry. Although, after 13 years at the same job, it has challenged my interest over the years. It still presents a challenge in some aspects, but for the most part I feel like I can do it in my sleep now. I've perfected my trade years ago you see. But it pays well, supports my family and has offered security in multiple turbulent markets over the years. So I stay because there's job security in my tenure and my opinion is valued because of my vast experience now. It hasn't been easy quelling the urge to chase down new experiences and interests over the past though. I still have to do it at times, but it has gotten easier. If the design work I do didn't demand going into great detail, I'd have no doubt left the company in search of more challenging work. Since I've perfected my approach to this particular design work, there still remains a challenging aspect in establishing consistency from project to project. Each project I am asigned is surgery and keeping my attention on hundreds of details consistently and not missing anything keeps my desire for challenge content. 

AutoCAD / Cadworx design work can offer you some options. Its a 2 year certificate at a trade school. Everything that gets built needs detailed drawings. Good luck! 

Lami (not verified) says...

My problem exactly. I keep wondering if I am in the wrong place and need to move. I am considering going into software development because I have heard it is a good fit for INTP’s. Although moving into a new industry at a later stage in life (age 35) will probably mean that I will not be one of the “good” or “smart” ones, (especially as I have a family so will not be able to spend the extra hours that IT “geeks” spend outside of work). I really struggle with mediocrity though, so I just wonder if I shouldn’t just stay where I am (Chemical Engineering) which is way too “practical” for my tastes

Nancy03102 (not verified) says...

I just took this personality test and found I too am an INTP. I spent 15 years in jobs where I got bored and ready to move on after just a year or two becuase I had learned my whole job, there was nothing left to challenge me! I am now 36 years old and have been at my current jo for five years and I am still not bored.

About a year ago I moved into my current position and inadvertently found the type of job that is perfect for me!! What makes it work so well for me? It is a project based role. I spend an average of 4-6 weeks with a client customizing our software for their specific business purposes. I have a handful of projects going on at the same time and I work with our clients for a short period of time. There's almost never time to get bored, and each project can be completely different because we provide software used in a variety of industries!! 

For so many years I focused on trying to find a career that I would find fulfilling, but what I've come to realize over the past year is that the job characteristics are what are most important to me. I can gain knowledge in a variety of fields.

Artemesia (not verified) says...

There's a book that came out last year called 'How to be Everything', by Emilie Wapnick, which is about exactly this dilemma.


Broganna (not verified) says...

I discovered this book years ago and it had a huge impact on my life. It's called What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything? By Barbara Sher :-)

M. (not verified) says...

What if I challenged you by saying..."you already know what you want to do."  And the feeling of being stuck in indescision stems from a thought or thoughts that you may not even know you are thinking?  I have to agree, I to could have written this post, you are absolutely not alone!!   I challenge you to challenge your thoughts (you are not your thoughts but they can create you...this is where your secret super power lies...you can change your thoughts and create a new fulfilling life...yes I know I sound like a preachy weirdo!) and the feelings (feelings are temporary, and so get curious and see what you can learn from them!!) that stem from them.  What thoughts are creating negative feelings for you?  Challenge them!  You are very worthwile and deserve all of the best in life!  ....I would recommend reading Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck, reading blog/looking into French Kiss Life by Tonya Leigh... Maybe even look into getting a life coach that was mentored by Beck??  I wish you the best, and just want to say that everything is going to be ok!

The Dream (not verified) says...

Find the thing you're passionate about i.e. your life's purpose. Do that, then use all the things you're good at to facillitate success in that chosen career. (Hint: it can be a career that doesn't even exist...yet) Be enterprising, innovative and entrepenurial in your approach. 

moi (not verified) says...

You're a perciever, which make question yourself all the time and feel unsure. I know what that's like, I'm one too (ENFP apparently). You've gotten a lot of sound advice in this thread. My two cents:

Spontanously I'm thinking that you might like a project based job, where you would come in during the brainstormning part to develop the project and work on different possible solutions to a problem or working out a plan.

If any of your ideas are such that you could start a company around them, that might be a good idea too. If you do I suggest surrounding yourself with at least one J type who can push you to make desicions when needed in order not to get stuck like now. People who compliment and help with your weak spots is good all around.

Your strength seems to lie in brainstorming and in visionary thinking. It's possible that you would be happy with any job that let's you fully express that side of yourself and where it is well recieved by your collegues. So instead of trying to find out what career would suit you best, maybe you should try to find out which companies that value brainstorming abilities and visionary thinking and try to get a job with them.

In my years of work I've found that the work environment and the attitude of the higherups can be just as important in the long run as the actual job you do. But maybe that's just typical thinking for my personality type (ENFP).

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck and hope you find your place to shine :)

Guest (not verified) says...

As an ENTP. I figure it out that to thrive your personality type you got to understand your dynamics and the ones you usually not use. 

I hate accounting, but i did it for two years. I did it very bad. Hate it. But i learned something out of it.

I was a cruel boy to many girl. I mean i could have been more for them but i stayed as long as i wanted to. After a long time i believe i am immune to love the fate proven me wrong and i learnt to feel. So, you got to start to feeling sometimes instead of unending logic train.

I hated rules. I deny 9-6 work. I believe in meaningful work. Yet i find myself with responsibilites and get to a point where i need to show up at a certain time. 

How did i achieve that? Well... I guess as ENTP's we can do anything as long as we understand the meaning behind it. I show up on maybe not on 9 but at least 10 so i can tell myself that "Allright, you did what you can do. Now do what you are best at" 

You see. Just because you learned your personality type wont save you but help you to discover and dream your potential. 

Find a creative job. A creative spot with flexible working hours. And you need to feel that you are expressing your ideas and if your ideas are worthy they are being evaluated. 

You have to keep learning too. As ENTP many will feel that they understand a book what to say at the first chapter. Well, you may be wrong. So take that risk into your meaningful picture and go for it. Long story short; you have to find out to shortcut your strenghts and cross them with your weaknesses so they can help you go futher to achieve your dreams. They will complement each other, for a while. Then you will look for a team. ENTP's are not the alone wolf.


AMM (not verified) says...

I agree with WaterBugDude. I am an INTP and a software engineer and I love my job. The work is challenging, and the applications can differ from business software to computer games, so there's no need to get bored. Also, there's a HUGE amount of material online to help you learn new technologies: for a self-motivator like me (and, I suspect, you) it's like a sweet shop that's open 24/7.

Kamile Brown (not verified) says...

To all ENFPs!

I adore ENFP's!  You are the excitement and passion in life.  You help bring love to our world and the sparkle to any environment.  I am a coach for your personality, so I know you well!  I have coached several through all your wonderful and challenging default neuro networks.  I've researched and found out what works for your wonderful visionary brain.  I coach you to find balance in your life and restore order to your dreams.  When you feel like your life is chaos, take a deep breath and remember that when you think "My life is exactly how I need it to be, I have plenty of time to do what I love." Your brain is free to create and learn and grow.  When you feel pressured and trapped your brain feels confined and can't work and so you spin in circles.  When you coach with me I will point out what your brain is doing.  I help you create compassion for yourself, which releases you from your secondary negative emotions (guilt and shame) and frees you to do things that really fulfill you.   I help you to stay on target and not feel "bored to tears" with the mundane little tasks.  Come to my website to sign up for a free mini session to see if it's something that interests you!  Check out my latest blog written just for ENFP's.  I love ENFP's so much.  They are wonderful fabulous people that we need in our society! 

Tropicalia (not verified) says...

I have been struggling with similar issues up to recently but found some satisfaction working for non-for profits on various projects/contracts in the past. In 2012 I decided to drop everything and become an ESL teacher abroad. 5 years in  and I am still enjoying what I do. If you are good at teaching/explaining things, and if you do better with people than computers, it may be an avenue to explore. You can work with adults, teenagers or young kids, at different levels and with various needs / learning challenges. The job itself is far from boring, and you get to develop your teaching style and public speaking abilities.  Another thing that is great about ESL jobs is that you get to travel and adjust to different cultures, and that part in itself is a fun challenge.

Someone With Similar Concerns, Even If It's a Year Problem (not verified) says...

Yeah, I have that same worry behind every major I see, but I do think that I'd be fine without schooling, but I do it because classes are the greatest source to learn and find out about something with a consistent and optional help. But, that's how I expect my life and what I think I'll see every class. But, with your's being the subject, I see one solution. Be a consultant, companies are looking for insight into what they do and if you have special requirements or skill or even fresh eyes. You just need to understand what they're doing, so explore the world and anything your hands can get on. And, from there be a consultant for projects, independent work, and think about how this could help another I guess. And with the books, find someone who can translate your writing and/or drawings. In the modern day, we've made languages, in code and for the purpose of entertainment (Elven and Dwarven language/writing), so I'm sure someone can and will understand the writing of your books. Small teams are great. Even if sounds like a business idea, something is there.

Sara P S (not verified) says...

Hey guys. In relation to the OP query, this is exactly where I am at 31. Since discovering my type, it feels as if someone has unlocked everything there is about me and written about it. But I now long purpose. I want my own business and know it will have to be diverse in order for me to be happy. But I am still figuring it all out. I will read the books some of you have mentioned, so thank you. To the OP, has anything changed for you since writing your post? I keep thinking about creating a group for us so that we may support one another on our road to happiness.. or at the very least, contentment! :) xx

Dakotahblu says...

I'm 48 years old a happy Gemini ENFP,  after much struggle I finally came to terms with the concept that I don't want or need a CAREER, but I have to have a JOB to pay the bills. To most my resume looks completely mental, like all over the place, and short stints save for one brilliant long time at an affordable housing non profit. An insightful HR manager can look at it and connect the dots fast. Creative, teaching, people, service, constant new learning, sales, persuasion, empathy, integrity, ethics. 

That's me summed up, those are MY traits, qualities, attributes that MUST be in harmony with a job or I will be miserable and check out fast. I love learning new things, and in all of my work those qualities are there and connected. The idea of a very specific CAREER, meaning doing basically one thing for my whole working life just sounds like pure hell.

Very happy with change, and connected but different changing, always learning JOBS. Ahhh, a Dabbles through and through.

Chris Rutledge says...

37 year-old xNxP here (enneatype 9w1 so/sx 952 if you're interested in all that).

You don't need a conventionally-defined career, but you do need a vision. What is the better tomorrow that you're working toward? What do you want to do for yourself, and how do you want to serve others?

I still don't know what I want to be "when I grow up". I went to school for video game design but ended up graduating with a graphic design degree. I made sub sandwiches, was a prepressman and in-house designer, customized SEO blog templates, a meat department cleanup guy, owned my own business, copy center lackey, provided web and tech support for a national non-profit, and did brief stints as a repo man and line cook for a Thai restaurant. For my church I've been the A/V department director, bassist and percussionist, the de-facto IT guy, and I currently co-lead our young adults group and will be working on developing our organizational structure.

Wouldn't mind working on a coffee boat, designing tabletop RPG content, being a therapist or a cheesemaker, riding the Trans-Siberian railway, developing an enterprise knowledge base, or working on a farm in the midwest. 

Just don't ask me to do anything forever.

I want to be a swiss army knife for people in my life, empowering them to do their job. Even still, there are so many doors to open, and I know I can't open them all. Fortunately, the God I serve points me in the direction I should go, if I listen. The things I want to do are tied to desires of my heart, and I believe that the desires of my heart are each a promise to be fulfilled. If these desires are stewarded well, then I will be prepared for the work in front of me.

So! What truth connects all the dots in your heart? Seek that and go where it takes you. You'll be able to effectively communicate this as a career trajectory to potential employers, and they'll appreciate and value your self-awareness and sense of direction. It will also be more fulfilling for you personally as you discover what drives you.

ENTP in his 30's (not verified) says...

Pick one and run side gigs. 

That way, you develop expertise in your chosen "day job" field - expertise is proven to be a key component to happiness - but also satisfy that other part of you that has to be doing more than just 1 thing.

I chose corporate finance and run side gigs. My expertise in finance has helped with my side gigs as well as given me the confidence and fulfillment of someone who can do one thing really well.

Share your thoughts

Truity up to date