Ask Sarah: Finding the Right Career

Hey Sarah, I’ve been a fan of your page for a while now! It’s nice to know there is another INFJ woman out there with the same mindset. 

I was hoping for some advice on more of a job or career path for myself. Basically the current day job I have is retail, but the products we sell have to involve us with the customer quite a lot. It’s not as simple as selling bread. Our products are for projects. I have to deal with emotional customers whose project has failed, deal with phone calls and emails daily.

Now I love the products we sell, I love the projects and helping people achieve results, but the whole job in itself is mentally draining for me (as you would know).

I have been in it for 3 years now and never have any energy, even my boss complains about this and its hard to explain to her it’s not me being lazy. I feel like it’s a stab at who I am because I can’t keep up and be so happy and smiley 24/7. 

Everything I have read about INFJs sales and customer service is like a no no. What would be a solution rather than moving over to another retail job that has the same issues? 

Many thanks,
Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,

I know what it’s like to work in a retail job. I worked in retail for more than 10 years through high school and college, including 4 at Walmart.

I also know what it’s like to be exhausted by your job. I worked for an insurance company in a call center for about 6 months. I was doing what’s called First Notice of Loss. So when the customers would get into a car accident or have a problem with their home, they would call the insurance company and I was one of the people answering the phone.

I had to talk to people all day long who were having really bad days. Some were still on the side of the road, super upset about their car accident, yelling at me for not being able to fix it because they didn’t have the right coverage.

I went home every night feeling like I had been in 10 car accidents. It was completely exhausting. There was no way for me to not internalize those feelings. I knew that for the sake of my own health I had to do something else.

Working in retail can be equally exhausting. It’s even more exhausting for me working with people face to face all day long.

Have you thought about changing to a career that isn’t retail? Maybe working in an office or maybe a warehouse where you are working with less people? There are a lot of options where you could still help people but not have to deal with so many of them all of the time.

I would also encourage you to think outside of the box a little bit. Make a list of all of the things that you are good at and all of the things you like to do and think about the kinds of jobs or careers that you could do with those skills. You might be surprised at what you come up with!

I created a free guide to finding your purpose to get you started. It has a whole bunch of questions to get you thinking about what you might like to do. You can find it here.

I also wrote a blog about finding the right career. I talked about considering elements like freedom and creativity when looking for a new career.

I know that there are a lot of people that say that INFJs should stay away from retail and I understand why they say that. But you have to remember that it is just general advice. You can do anything that you want to do. If you really like your job and the products that you sell, then maybe changing jobs or careers isn’t the best option right now. Maybe focusing a little bit more on self care would help. I would certainly give it a try first.

Here’s some tips to get you started with self care.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you listen to your intuition. I’m sure that you know that you need to do. I’m giving you that permission that you need right now. Best of luck!

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