Coping strategies for ENTJ in the wrong job


Do ENTJs need different coping strategies to other types who are in the wrong job?

The job I took was a mistake, and I need to find a new job, which I’m looking for. But am struggling to cope with the existing one.

Specifically, I know that the best thing to do is to say nothing at work, quietly get on with my work on my own in the corner (metaphorically), deliver but not over-deliver, and try to find happiness outside of work. But I find that so hard (is this an ENTJ thing?).

The background:

My last job didn’t work out (really difficult people in a small company), and as I was getting married, I took a job at a big company. I had a successful career, and while this job didn’t look ideal, it looked safe and secure. And when you’re in your mid-late thirties, and just getting married in a recession, and need a job, that appeals.

In this job I have to do things like proof-reading, editing documents, writing some corporate material. The things I need to cope with are:

  • Silence. There is hardly any talking, and the job itself demands little human interaction (unlike previous jobs, there’s no advising, selling, etc).

  • Selfish, unenthusiastic older colleagues, who just want to accumulate big-company pension value, while shirking the boring or less attractive work. And who have no enthusiasm or ambition.

  • No opportunities. Hell, that’s why I’m leaving. But with nothing to aim for, and no way to move sideways, it feels like such a dead end, which drives me nuts. I can’t even really learn much.

  • Being overqualified. My previous jobs were, it turns out, more demanding, senior, bigger, and made me proud. This job is embarrassing in its limited scope, if I’m honest.

  • Awful boss. Well, they were sort of kicked out, but are still there, with no proper replacement in place, causing chaos and lack of any direction or structure.

I’ve looked at it every way, and tried things, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, there is no way I can change these things. So I have to leave.

Now the sensible advice is:

  • Keep quiet, and don’t complain to anyone who’ll listen. Look happy.
  • Don’t try too hard, just enough, and go home on time.
  • Do fun things outside work to make yourself happy.
  • Tell yourself things like “it’s only for a period of time”, or take breaks on your own to meditate.

But am I the only ENTJ who finds those things hard. I WISH WISH WISH I was an introvert. How much easier it must be in this situation (it might even be enjoyable, to quietly sit in a corner and do work).

I find it really hard to enjoy life outside work, when work is so unhappy. And it must be driving my partner nuts.
Any advice welcome. I’m really quite down about things.


Working for other people was never a proper course of action. Why being 39 you still work for others? It’s nonsense that you are trying to get married while your future depends on someone else’s whim.

What is that? Bad foresight? Low level of responsibility towards yourself? Bad arithmetics?

Edit: The answer is: You don’t get into situation that later requires you lots of introspection to figure out a way out. You just dont enter and dont bother with the consequences.


I sympathise with how you feel about working for a dysfunctional organisation.

I was a terrible employee in all organisations that I was employed, except one - where the organization was market lead in both technology and market share where it all worked out very very well because the corporate philosophy and mine matched. Finding an organisation where your skills and philosophy match would be very important. Get that CV ready!

It sounds like you are coping as best as you can. I find that it particularly hard to bite my tongue, do what I am supposed to do, be polite and just close my eyes to all the bullshit nonsense that is happening around me. I try very very hard. I am such a fixer, I just can’t let it be especially if I give a damn. So watching a situation / organisation implode without doing anything is very hard.

I also think being an introvert would be very very very good too, because I need social interaction which my introverted friends seem to get by without. I think however there is far more to be gained by being an extrovert than introvert, that outweighs the need for social interaction. I don’t find it hard to work on my own in my office all day because I like what I do!


The advice you’ve laid out for yourself is fine. We both agree this job isn’t your tombstone. Maybe outside of work hit the gym, if you don’t do so already. It’s one of the more constructive ways to release your anxiety and frustration. There are others, like meditation and painting, of course. I’m somewhat partial to the gym though.


That is the best way to deal with this job… keep an active life on the outside and move on to another job as soon as you can… You’re on the right track

I understand how you feel, I have been there. I made the mistake of opening my mouth and trying to fix it. When you do that, it only backfires and you end up wishing you had kept it shut.


I just wanted to say thank you for the advice above, given some time ago. I moved on, and went into another job. Bad news - it was a political nightmare. I quit after about four months, even though they wanted me to stay, and am so glad I did.

Currently, I’m looking for work, and freelancing. The people I’m freelancing for want me full-time (I’m good at what I do), but I’ve said no to that as I know I’ll get frustrated in the role and won’t find personal growth in it (I’m not taking another job without that).

It’s been really tough, and rather eye-opening. I work really, really hard and went to a famous university, and had a meteoric career after that. Never thought I’d find myself in this situation.

It will work itself out, I’ll find something good, and persist until I do. But being an ENTJ is no panacea if you’re in the wrong roles… I may post a separate thread on this.

Most of all, I wanted to say thanks for the advice, above though.