Sunday, November 8, 2009

Am I on the right job?

I watched a program called "Outstanding Malaysians" on TV yesterday. It was on Chef Wan, who are now internationally known.

I learned from the program that Chef Wan was once working in the banking industry (as an accountant, I think) for seven years, before quitting his job and pursuing his passion in cooking. He sold his house, and traveled to California to learn culinary art. He graduated as the best student in his class, and since then he has been cooking all over the world.

Chef Wan's determination to pursue his passion really caught my attention. I admired his determination, hard work, and self-confidence. He gambled everything that he had at that time to pursue his dream. And this makes me think of my life right now.

Am I on the right career?

Living in Malaysia, where the society would most probably 'force' us to do Math and Science at the first sight they saw that we could do it, makes me basically did not have much choice other than studying science and become a scientist. As one of the top students in my primary school, I was offered to go to a boarding school, where everyone had to study pure science. Going into college, I chose biotechnology, as I loved genetics and I did not want to study pure genetics. I did not consider any other choices, as scholarships for other fields were scarce and I did not have any formal education on them.

However, during my college days, I found myself struggling to succeed. Biochemistry could not penetrate well into my brain. I could not make myself remember all the family names of the animals. I even got a C+ in the subject that I was so eager to learn--bacterial genetics. However, I got A's in all the Japanese classes I took. I even found myself very eager to master the language and to study the culture. Unfortunately, Japanese is not my major. And again, I found myself stuck in science.

Now, working as a Tutor, I know I am on the right track to become a scientist. After college, and when starting this job, I was so eager to study Environmental Biotechnology in depth. I was eager to do my own experiments, to learn new things, to know all these mysteries that mother nature had for us. Studying locally or abroad was not a big issue since I believed I could learn the same thing and get the same Master and PhD degree regardless of the place of study.

However, as I started my grad school studies here, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. Every class drained my energy. In no time, I realized that I had lost the eagerness and enthusiasm that I had before. My brain did not move as fast. My body did not move as fast. I have turned into a zombie. I work because I need to, not because I want to. I have lost the essences that make me, me. The goal that I have set seem too vague now. I am starting to look for other options. Other career choices.

But then again, I cannot find a thing that I am really passionate about. Maybe that's one of the things that makes it hard to be me. I am too cool and too indifferent about everything that I don't feel too excited about anything. I know I love playing music, learning new languages..both give me satisfaction, but none is my passion, I think. I do not google anything about music or languages. I can do both well, but I know I am not good when I start to study it deeper.

Recently I have started to think about starting my own business. But then, what do I sell? Cakes? Cookies? Dresses? Do I have the time? Can I really make money out of it? Do I have enough knowledge and experiences to start a new business? Owh, I remember, I got a C+ in Business Administration 6 years ago..the course that everyone else got an A. I think that explains everything.

I can't deny that I am in a very insecure and confusing state right now. Theoritically, I am in a job that I should be thankful for. However, in reality, I kinda feel like changing jobs, but obligations make me stay. I need some assurance. Something that can reminds me of my long lost enthusiasm and goal.

And so, I did a career test.

This is what I got:

My personality type is INTJ (Introvert, iNtuation, Thinking, Judging)

INTJ: "Scientist". Most self-confident and pragmatic of all the types. Decisions come very easily. These are the most independent of all types. They love logic and ideas and are drawn to scientific research. They can be rather single-minded, though.. 1% of the total population.


INTJs’ precision thinking and need for accuracy causes them to be inflexible at times. Having thought out a strategy, the INTJ may stubbornly disregard those who they think have not spent as much time reflecting on an idea as they have. This, along with their drive to produce something significant, can make them demanding and difficult. If their plans and solutions fall short of their high standards, INTJ's feel pressured — as if everything is on the line. "Everything," for an INTJ, is the competence and ability to produce something significant. Fear of not living up to this expectation will increase their stress and possibly dissuade them from risking or trying out their ideas. They may then find themselves thinking about ideas that do not have a meaningful or productive end.

When stress increases, the INTJ can become argumentative and disagreeable. Social interaction, which is not their strength, becomes increasingly difficult for them. Not trusting their own abilities, they become preoccupied with obsessive notions. The INTJ may then find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fighting horrible thoughts, tempting absurdities, and feelings of worthlessness. Fearful of others recognizing their perceived failure, the INTJ incessantly ruminates about mistakes, inadequacies, weaknesses, ineptness, and incompetence. Because this distracts them from risking what little confidence they may have left in themselves, it therefore keeps them from obtaining the success and achievement they so desperately need.


This lists represent careers and jobs people of your type tend to enjoy doing. The job requirements are similar to the personality tendencies of your personality type. It is important to remember that this is not a list of all the jobs possible. And it is very important to remember that people can, and frequently do, fill jobs that are dissimilar to their personality... this happens all the time...and sometimes works out quite well.

management consultant
computer programmer
environmental planner
new business developer
curriculum designer
biomedical researcher
strategic planner
civil engineer
intellectual properties attorney
editor/art director
financial planner

After reading about INTJ's personality, I think I really am in the state of the bold text above. The current program and classes do not reach the invisible standard that I have set, and so it makes me feel very dissapointed. However, it's good to know that I am actually on the right job. The only thing that is left to do is to make things in order again. Finding that eagerness. That enthusiasm. That energy. Finding me.

And thus, I am seriously thinking about continuing my studies abroad.

I know this decision will create conflicts with my personal life plan, but I believe if we do something sincerely, Allah will help us go through everything smoothly. InsyaAllah.


Dzulkarnain said...


tasha said...

i feel exactly the same way pushie. feel like changing jobs but what would I do? I don't quite have an outstanding passion for other things which I want to pursue. but whatever it is, let us pray to Allah may He guides us to whichever path that's right.

Wearn said...

You should definitely do something that you are passionate about. Luckily I am still passionate about science right now. I remember you telling me about how you want to do environmental biotech and I believe that you were enthusiastic about it. Maybe you just haven't had the right resource to do it in Malaysia.

Sometimes I also think about opening my own business, hehe, but I want to open a biotech business, hopefully.

And btw I am an ISFJ/INFJ. Jake is an ENTJ. :D

Adilla said...

You are right to differentiate between something you like to do and something you are passionate about (enough to pursue it for the rest of your life). Like you, I love music, but not enough to pursue a career on it. I love linguistics, possibly enough to pursue a career on it but not as much as science.

But unlike you, I like too many things. And I've thought about this before: the main reason why I love genetics is probably because it allows me to delve into multiple different fields, which fits my personality very well. And since I was a kid, I've always had a pathological fascination with being able to explain how everything works, so that's a sign, too.

Something you need to think about is: are you really losing your interest in science, or is your academic situation frustrating you so much that it's making you think you're losing interest in science? Like Yoong Wearn said, I have a feeling it's the latter ... But at the same time, a career test is helpful, but it's not necessarily THE truth.

All in all, I hope you find the answer. Perhaps solat istikharah will help. :)

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