Do you see yourself as a jack of all trades? I truly believe it’s such a compliment and vibes the same with the words, “You really know a lot!” Gosh, it’s making me internally blush.
However, if you’re an INFP like me, at some point in your life, you might have realized that being a jack of all trades isn’t always smooth sailing. This happens especially when we’ve reached a wall, recognizing that although we’re jacks of all trades, we seem to be masters of none.
When we put it this way, it’s no longer as adorable as we used to embrace it.
Realizing this is one of the most frustrating seasons of my life.
I remember writing short poems and melancholic journals about my disappointment — how a “gifted” child is drained out of her usefulness and now, walking like a lost kid in the jungle.
“Yes, I’m a jack of all trades. But… *sigh* Why am I so mediocre?” I thought.
Thankfully, now that I’m in my late 20s, I’ve probably gathered some valuable self-reflections along the way, and I want to share them on this post, specifically for my fellow INFPs who struggled the same.
If you’re someone who’s frustrated with being a master of none, then keep on reading.
Are you ready? Here we go!
What Makes INFP Jacks of All Trades?
First, why are INFPs even called jack of all trades? What made them different from other personalities?
Someone who’s called a “jack of all trades” simply means they have knowledge or skills in many different areas or interests. Amazingly, INFPs effortlessly fall into this description.
Due to their open-mindedness and explorative nature, they would always be hooked on trying almost every new idea they came across.
They’re curious and open to new concepts, which is why they develop diverse interests and enjoy multiple hobbies, and activities that are waaay too different from each other.
Why Is It Hard To Be A Jack of All Trades?
So, in our society, we’re encouraged to focus and stick to one career path, right?
Well, this advice is not exactly wrong. It’s actually a good move for our communities to have specialties and masteries.
When people stick to one path, rule, structure, and policy, it breeds stability and harmony. As we build our foundations in stability, our society, families, workflows, and institutions remain predictable, and thus more reliable.
However, here comes one major challenge INFPs have to deal with. In a world seeking stability and predictability, we’re the oddballs ready to take on the chaos and change.
Stability is good, no doubt about that. However, contrary to people’s expectations, INFP’s strength is surprisingly different.
Rather than being unchangeable, these Dreamers come up strong in their pursuit of discovery. What’s more, their prowess for learning and innovating concepts always aims for people, situations, and relationships to be as close to ideal as possible.
Unfortunately, in the eyes of the majority, we’re easily outcasted because we can’t stick to the routine and change isn’t readily accepted.
But if we truly look into our strengths as INFPs, we’ll see how our potentials multiply and expand over time, and it would be wiser to feed our passion for discovery rather than be caged in the four walls of repetition, shunning every opportunity to grow.
I truly believe INFPs are not meant to be stuck, but to be exploring in the open.
INFPs seem to have a limitless capacity to explore. Nurture it.
Funnily, I talked to my INFJ friend, and she mentioned how she seems to have a “limitless capacity for drama.” Haha! She loves it when people reach out to her.
She has so much warmth to give. And it’s true! My friend seems to be everyone’s confidante as she listens eagerly to people’s problems. That’s the strength of having an Fe parent function. (Extraverted Feeling)
In the same way, INFPs seem to have a limitless capacity, too. Not with being a shock absorber of everybody’s emotions. But we seem to have limitless capacity for producing new, shimmering ideas.
We daydream a lot and are so optimistic! Our drive to always discover never shuts down, and that’s the power of being an Extraverted Intuitive (Ne-parent).
That said, keeping idealistic, curious, and multi-talented INFPs in a box diminishes their ability to maximize their potential.
So, if you’re someone who has decided to pursue your strengths and authenticity rather than be caged in walls that limit your potential, then here is some of my advice for you:
How INFPs Can Fully Embrace Being A Jack of All Trade
1. Establish your independence.
Embracing your spontaneity means you’d have to go against the societal norms. So before anything else, you’d have to establish your independence as an INFP.
Unfortunately, one of INFP’s challenges is deeply caring for the opinions of others. To make it more complex, the people who try to talk these Dreamers out of their plans are not mere strangers. Rather, they’re the people close to them — their friends, family, and loved ones.
I think it’s beautiful that some people sincerely look out for us. However, usually, our overprotective families may overstep boundaries and forget that we also have a mind of our own.
I know it’s hard to introduce your plans especially when you’re often turned down and contradicted. But it won’t get easier if you keep all your dreams to yourself and simply hope the people around you will take the hint. They won’t. So state your side anyway.
Honestly, I’ve also reached the point where I had to strongly assert my decisions to my very strict Asian mom. There was a time when she was very controlling and rigid about my life. I’ve got dreams and goals for myself, and it was truly disheartening whenever I didn’t get her “permission” and turned down every plan I had.
Unfortunately, with a great clash with my values along with my bursting emotions, I cried while lashing my anger and frustration out. It was an awful way to get my point across, but without such a “stir,” I wouldn’t be heard. I wouldn’t be heard enough.
It was the same way with my INFP partner who had a major clash with his father that almost led to a physical fight — all because he could no longer adhere to the very calculated plan and expectations imposed on him.
Thankfully, after numerous arguments and emotionally fighting back, we’re on good terms with our families, and no relationship was severed.
Dang, it’s really hard to assert our freedom as an INFP.
But no, I’m not telling you to disrespect the people around you. But if you’re an INFP caged in a situation because of other people’s expectations, and it hinders your true strengths, it’s time to evaluate your position very well.
The truth is, our loved ones may only be afraid of new ideas because that’s not how they did things before. As soon as you prove to them that you’re finding success in your chosen path, from my experience, people eventually accept it.
This may interest you: How Are INFPs Brave?
2. Be unapologetic in gathering a breadth of knowledge.
I agree that when you’re inside the sphere of discovery and still collecting puzzle pieces, it’s hard to draw a picture of your path and purpose. But keep faith. The big blocks of your “very different” experiences and knowledge soon become a source of originality.
You see, my skills, interests, and hobbies are so random. I love acting, I took a few units in Architecture, dropped out, and took Technical education specializing in Automotive, instead.
I have worked in a call center, as a mechanic, as a marketing assistant, as a cook and food server in my mom’s business, and as a teacher. I’m also a freelance writer, a blogger, a video editor, and now venturing into entrepreneurship.
Well, well. Will my career get any more random? As an INFP, you probably relate to this, too!
You bet my close friends and family are all fuzzy with what I truly do.
But deep down, after all these experiences, I believe INFPs can find breakthroughs in how their random skills overlap and converge at one point.
It’s these tiny lessons from our breadth of knowledge that lead us to new discoveries. That said, once you’ve found it, embrace the learning curve and nurture it. Spend at least a year or more to make our breakthroughs flourish.
I’ve already spent three years in blogging. A year in YouTube. Now, I’m committing to a crafts business next, and I’ll see how it goes.
I’m still no expert, but as I walk these paths, I see more and more opportunities open up. One skill leads to another. And one game plan converges to another.
It all connects as INFPs find and create correlations between their diverse skills. The next thing you know, you’re in a space and environment people didn’t know possible.
Decades from now, who knows where these random discoveries lead?
Yes, there are experiences that you won’t like at all. But it’s all part of the discovery. Sooner or later, our tedious ventures in different career paths give us a vivid breakdown of our strengths and weaknesses.
They say INFPs are “jack of all trades but masters of none.” But the truth is, when an INFP has done broad research and multiple trials and errors for years, all that breadth becomes depth and wisdom. Like an old oak tree, we become sturdy with a canopy of evolving talents.
As of now, if you’re lost about which path to pursue, don’t fear. Just continue discovering and after some months (or even years), something will “click” and you’ll be compelled to dig into that. I plead with you to be patient.
You’re not a master of none. You’re currently discovering to be a master of something new — something authentically yours, brought about by all your precious experiences.
Interesting read: INFP Job-Hopping, How Do You Stop It?
3. Earn money that can buy flexibility at work.
A survey I conducted shows that INFPs see success in the form of financial stability. They mentioned how they desire to get out of the rat race and have the freedom to do what they want. Fortunately, INFPs are very capable of doing that.
How to do it? I suggest you seek out passive income avenues. This will support your financial needs without your 24/7 presence.
It can be a digital or a scalable physical business. There are many other options but I think businesses have a great chance to be automated, scaled, and passive.
I believe this path would be best for INFPs as it liberates them from the constraints of company regulations and heavy routines. It allows them to explore, create, and discover independently. More room for growing your skillset!
However, when starting, be careful not to quit your job just yet. Instead, use your existing salary to build a legitimate passive income stream. It may take years, but at least you’re getting one step closer to your goal. Build that until it can cover your monthly expenses.
I’ve made some streams based on my passion for writing. If you have other talents, look into maximizing that, too.
It makes me happy that many INFPs who can’t find success in jobs have ventured into business and self-employment, too. Well, with the technology today, it’s highly possible.
You can do it, too. 🙂
That’s it. I hope you start embracing your strength as an INFP jack of all trades. If you have any comments, you can share them down below. Thanks for reading!
Do you wish to achieve your long-term goals? Here’s an e-book to understand why INFPs procrastinate and how to work through it. 🙂
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- 7 Unique Strengths INFPs Must Nurture
- Can INFPs Really Read Minds? (4 Truths to INFP Mind Reading)
- 6 Reasons Why INFPs Are Effortlessly Cute