Always Buzzing

Seems like there’s a constant buzzing in my head about what’s next in my work life.

Last night I met with my therapist for the 3rd time. We laughed about how ironic it is that I am an INTJ and don’t have any work to do at my job.

INTJ’s are able to absorb extremely complex theoretical material; they’re strategists; they see the big picture; they are driven to create order; they have no patience with inefficiency and confusion; they’re bored when dealing with mundane routine (ahem!); and they have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves most strongly.

Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are both INTJ’s. (So is Donald Rumsfeld, for that matter.)

I’m having an uncharacteristically rough time being creative about career possibilities. My therapist suggested I brainstorm about how I could find work that would make me feel ALIVE, and find ways to not do what makes me feel DEAD. Sounds so simple. “Alive” and “dead” are such dichotomies. Ought to be a cinch.

What makes me feel alive?

  • Animals (especially my cats)
  • Gardening
  • Traveling
  • Reading
  • People who “get” me
  • Exercise
  • Laughing
  • Eating good food
  • Writing
  • Music
  • Blogging
  • Taking pictures
  • Museums
  • Cooking and Baking (when I’m in the right mood)
  • Parks
  • Beautiful scenery, including at my own house
  • Shopping
  • Opening doors for people and being polite at stores and restaurants
  • Following politics and news
  • Having money in the bank
  • NPR and PBS
  • Keeping in touch with old friends
  • Accomplishing tasks and seeing the results – I like to do this regularly, not once in awhile

What makes me feel dead?

  • Pretending I’m happy at work when I’m bored and frustrated
  • Not being challenged at work
  • Trying to look busy at work when I’m not busy
  • Being phony at work because if I were behaving like I feel, I’d be crying and moping around
  • Being seen as a dumb secretary at outside work events
  • Cold calling
  • Having to kill time at work before I can go home and do something I like
  • Going to church
  • Forced socialization with people I don’t like
  • Forced socialization with people I don’t know or care about
  • The SyFy channel (I don’t get it)
  • Wondering why someone doesn’t like me
  • People who I want to communicate with, but who won’t communicate back
  • Not being able to easily make good friends
  • People who clearly see me as their subordinate when I am smarter and better educated than them
  • Not being appreciated or acknowledged for the life experiences, job skills, and education that I have

—So there’s the start of a list. But now what? Now I’m supposed to be IMAGINATIVE about how I can use this understanding to my advantage. And I’m stuck. I don’t want to be a veterinarian or a librarian. I don’t live in a metropolitan area so employment at a museum or artsy place would be limited or very low paying. I don’t have a Ph.D. so I can’t teach in college or get paid to do research and stuff, and it’s been so long since I’ve taught I don’t have any references anyway.

I don’t want to work for a landscaper or be a farmer. I don’t want to be in politics because I’d be too angry at the people I don’t agree with. I don’t want to be an athletic trainer; I have no interest in that.

Maybe a physical therapist?

Maybe I could teach a community ed class? (In what?)

I am already heavily involved with my local Humane Society as a volunteer and a member of our Board of Directors. I don’t want more involvement.

I keep returning to the idea of working in health care. Maybe I could be a medical transcriptionist who works from home. It would be interesting.

I don’t really have any interest in nursing; it’s a very physical job and nurses wind up taking care of everyone except themselves. I need to take care of me, too. Plus, it would be a very dirty, smelly, germy job, with undesirable hours. –Nursing is out.

I love to write but I can’t say I’d want to do it for a living. It’s really hard work when you do it well—a lot different from journaling or blogging or thinking aloud. I want to work hard, but I think I want to leave writing as something fun to do, not something that’s work.

Another thought is, if I can’t find a job that makes me feel alive, at least I should be working a job where I make more money. As long as I have to be somewhere 40 hours a week (or more), I should be paid well. My current pay isn’t bad, but at the same time it doesn’t motivate me to stay here.

So, I’m feeling a bit stuck. And, the brain is all clogged up with boredom built onto boredom since it’s Friday. The optimism with which I begin most weeks is always dead by Friday. Maybe I should try this again Monday.

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