Seeking Financial Independence As An Introvert Is Fucking Hard

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Five years ago I took a personality test (Myers Briggs) and was litterally shocked by the result. I was labeled as an INFJ-introvert. This was a shock because I always was outgoing, social and had lots of friends. I took the test one more time, because this couldn’t be true, but yet the same result popped up again.

I started to read about INFJ, and soon understood that I had suppressed my personality all my life. It now became clear as a lightning bolt why I was so extremely drained after all those parties. Or why I loved to be all by myself as often as I could playing video games after school.

Or why I was extremely careful about money, protecting them like it was my most important mission in life (read more about me here). I will not go into details about introvert/extrovert, as I’m sure that everybody knows a lot about the main differences, but let me give you some facts about the INFJ-introvert type.

Update: Check out this great podcast about the INFJ personality!

Typical traits for INFJ-introverts

-INFJ is the rarest type in the population, only 2% of the general population. And only 1 % of men (would this make me special or just weird?)

-The INFJ has a unique ability to intuit others emotions and motivations, and will often know how someone else is feeling before that person knows it himself.

-They are intensely idealistic, and can clearly imagine a happier and more perfect future. (That’s why I’m on this FI journey!)

-INFJs wants a meaningful life and deep connections with other people.

-Popular hobbies for the INFJ include writing, art appreciation, cultural events, reading, socializing in small, intimate settings, and playing or listening to music.

-Most likely of all personality types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist

-INFJs are typically organized and prefer work that allows them to complete projects in an orderly manner. They are often independent and tend to prefer a quiet environment.

-Average salary is $36,575, lower than the average for all the types

-Less likely than average to manage a large team

-The top driver for INFJs in choosing a career is the opportunity to do something that is consistent with their values. These needs are hard to meet in a corporate job structure, where INFJs will be forced to manage someone else’s policies alongside their own.

For this reason, people with the INFJ personality type are more likely to, despite their aversion to controlling others, establish their independence by either finding a leadership position, or simply starting their own practice. Often, INFJs choose careers in helping professions like health care, education, or counseling.

Seeking financial independence – but should I switch career path first?

Today I work as a project manager/engineer in the infrastructure field, and to relate it to the bullet points above, this is a really atypical career for an INFJ. Sometimes I even wonder why I chose that work path. I mean, the projects are to some extent exciting, but it is like I’m not using my natural born skillset in this job. I don’t think it’s fully consistent with my values.

My ideal work environment would be a career where I could help people, and see the impact in their everyday life. Like a life coach, a financial advisor, a counselor or something similar. Or maybe as an HR manager or career counselor. I want to help more people, and to feel more. Because as a project manager, I suppress my inner values. The corporate job structure reduce my flexibility and my creativity.

I’m only 31 years old, and I want out of the rat race. I love to work, but I don’t love the corporate job system. That means I would love to work indefinetly on something that I’m passionate about, but not on terms of others. This is one of the rasons why I’m searching for financial independence.

To work on something that is meaningful to me. I don’t want to retire early, but to have the option to quit my corporate job at anytime, so I can take a chance and try something I’m totally passionate about.

But there is so many years left to when I’m FI. I don’t think I will handle this (engineering) career all these years, and I’m thinking on switching careers. But of course I’m scared. Because I don’t think I can downgrade from my salary (80k USD/year). Well of course I can, as I don’t spend more than 25k/year, but if my salary drop, so will my FI-date. What should I do? I want to reach FI as fast as possible, but at the same time I’m tired of working in my current career.

While I’m working 9 – 5 everyday, I’m also doing a part-time study in management on the university. And that’s because I think this study may lead to some options in the HR management-field. But at the same time I wonder if I will handle those new work environments that a new field will bring.

The INFJ personality makes me doubt myself all the time, even though most people say I’m good enough, and that I do great work. I would love to try a career where I can pursue my main hobbies (reading and writing). Where can I find this? Preferably I would work from home. Then I wouldn’t have this urge to quit the job force all the time.

Read about my goals for 2019 and my WHY for FI here.

Any shortcuts to FI?

I know there isn’t any ultimate answer to this, but I just wish I would be FI right now, and didn’t have to work for someone else. I remember I read about Gwen from Fiery Millenials who quit her job with 200k USD savings, to pursue her passions and side projects, e.g Fire Drill Podcast.

And also about Zach from Four Pillar Freedom whom experimented with an active income calculator. I love this calculator, and it makes me dream away. Because as Zach mention in some of his other posts: “There is quite unlikely that you never will earn a dollar again after you’ve pursued FI”. And that’s so true. So why don’t bring some of the active income into the calculations, and then you’re FI-date will be even closer.

My FI-number is approx. 600.000 USD, but if I calculate that I will have an active income of 10.000 USD every year, that means my FI-number will be as low as 350.000 USD. That shouldn’t take to long and makes me feel very optimistic!

The road from here

What do you suggest I do? Should I keep on going strong in my current career? Switch career? Quit my job right now without a plan? Are you an introvert too? If you got any tips/books/resources for handling the working life and life in general as an introvert, please send it to me 🙂 This blog has really helped me a lot. Thanks FIIntrovert!

Thanks for reading!

Read all my posts in chronological order here: Archives

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8 Replies to “Seeking Financial Independence As An Introvert Is Fucking Hard”

  1. I can’t tell you what to do about the job situation, but I can tell you there’s a good Tim Ferriss podcast where he interviews Susan Cain and they discuss introversion. I think the INTJ personality comes up in a discussion Mad Fientist had with the director of Playing With Fire too…

    I remember the first time I took this test in my intro to psychology class as a freshman in college. My mom never wanted to believe I am an introvert, but I definitely am. I get my energy from time by myself!!!

    As someone around the same age as you who also LOVES to work (but loves to control my day and my destiny), I love this post and your insights! I was thinking of doing a similar one (substituting thinking for feeling though).

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      Thank you! I will definitely check out the podcast ?
      Have you read the book? In case, what do you think of it?
      What’s your personality type btw?

      I love that there is so many introverts in the blogging community ? They actually understand each others ?

      Yes, please make a similar post. Would love to hear your take on it! I’m glad I’m not alone.
      I would love to study psychology. Do you recommend it? Or can you learn just as much through Coursera eg. ?

  2. This is what financial independence is all about: “I would love to work indefinetly on something that I’m passionate about, but not on terms of others.”

    Try not to rush the journey. The struggle is the ultimate rearward.

    I’ve taken salary cuts at most job changes and I’ve always ended up making more. Once you finish your management degree , you may find switching to HR a good option or since you only have five years in your current role, enjoy that you have the opportunity to reach your FI number in only five years and then try anything you want.

    Sounds like you’re on a great path. Happy that you figured out your personality type so you can manage your energy and expectations better.

    Good luck!

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      Thanks for your clear insight, Drew!
      I’ll try not to rush my journey.

      Yes, maybe HR would be good for me!

      I can’t wait to learn more about your story in the interview we’re doing soon ?

  3. AffectionateExample says: Reply

    INFJ here and I was thinking of becoming a project manager or hr manager since I’m in data analytics now to make it a more bearable corporate experience since I’m just starting out.
    Though I think you have figured it out so that sticking with it until you reach FI then becoming a counselor or pursing a helpful career is the way to go. Since you posted something about the 80000 hours movement.
    I related to everything you’re saying cause while my job isn’t that stressful it’s draining cause it’s so emotionless.
    I encourage you to look on the INFJ reddit pages about those who are psychologists where some INFJs love it but for some it’s too much due to the way we absorb emotions.
    I understand constantly questioning yourself though you got an awesome plan but finding out what you want to do after FI can be daunting.

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      Thank you! 😀 I checked out the reddit page as well. Great group.
      Are you into finanacial independence as well? I think there is a lot of INFJ’s searching for FI.

      1. AffectionateExample says: Reply

        Yes I am. Though I’m getting started at 24 and well it’ll take awhile to get all the funds set up and to get my monthly spending lower. I’m getting an MBA now so I’ll be able to get a different job soon. Seems like I’m spending a good amount of time reading about it since I have a week off from school.
        I’m following along on your posts and I’ll set up some more funds soon.

        FI seems to be my goal now cause it sure would be nice to find a lower paying position and give your all to help others once you’re all set.

        1. route2fi says: Reply

          Best of luck to you! How much are you spending right now?

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