INFP careers

It is perhaps more challenging for INFPs to find a satisfying career than any other type. Though intelligent, the regimented learning style of most schools makes long years earning an advanced degree a formidable undertaking for people with the INFP personality type - at the same time, that's often what's needed to advance in a field that rings true for them. INFPs often wish that they could just be, doing what they love without the stress and rigor of professional life.

Oftentimes, as with so many things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle, in a line of work that begins with passion and dedication, but which comes to require training so that the academia feels intimately linked to that passion. Too many INFPs drift in frustration, ultimately succumbing to the necessities of day-to-day life in a job that wasn't meant for them. But it turns out that, despite such exacting demands, modern economics places a premium on the very keys to INFPs' challenges: their creativity, independence, and need for meaningful relationships with individuals who need their help.

There's Place and Means for Every Man Alive

First and foremost is seemingly every INFPs' dream growing up - to become an author. While a novel is a classic choice, it is rarely an accessible one, and there are many viable options for freedom-loving INFPs. The internet brings to the world the opportunities of blogging and freelance work - as organizations expand their reach beyond their native tongues, they will come to depend on INFP personality types, with their gift for language and written expression, to take their rougher translations and stale pitches and inject them with a sense of beauty and poetry. Smaller organizations will need more than ever to express with elegance the value they bring to local communities.

Most any cause, idea, or field can benefit from the artful and natural expression that INFPs bring to the table, and INFPs have their pick of the world in choosing who they work with.

The real beauty here is that it takes a core interest that people with the INFP personality type share, while helping a cause they believe in, independently, through creative expression and personal growth, and makes it applicable to any interest there is. There will always be a need, and now more than ever, to win people's hearts and minds with the written word.

Some INFPs will prefer a still more personal touch, being able to work face-to-face with clients, seeing that their personal effort really impacts another's quality of life. Service careers such as massage therapy, physical rehabilitation, counselling, social work, psychology and even academic roles and retraining can be exceptionally rewarding for INFPs, who take pride in the progress and growth they help to foster. People with the INFP personality type have a tendency to put others' interests ahead of their own, a mixed blessing by itself, but when a patient takes their first unaided step in the long road to recovery after an accident, nothing will feel more rewarding than that selflessness.

If To Do Were As Easy As To Know What Were Good To Do...

Where INFPs will not thrive is in a high-stress, team-heavy, busy environment that burdens them with bureaucracy and tedium. INFPs need to be able to work with creativity and consideration - high-pressure salespeople they are not. It can be a challenge to avoid these roles, as they are the basis for so much starting work, and it's often a risk to break away into something less dependable, but more rewarding. To find a career that resonates with INFPs' values though, that's more than just a job, sometimes it's just what needs to be done.

Workplace Habits


Your name:
Aug 28, 2014 15:14:56
Nailed it. After a lifetime of terrible office jobs I switched to caregiver, one-on-one with a profoundly disabled adult. I am deliriously happy. My ongoing novel is yet to be written but it's there nonetheless.
Aug 27, 2014 16:36:54
I'm an INFP who can't play an instrument. Life's looking good!
Aug 27, 2014 09:18:52
I am in my 40's, and feel that I am always searching. I am for sure an INFP. Other people seem to have a grounding, which I would like to have as well. I want to find balance in my life and bring together my artistic self with the self that needs a certain amount of security. I am not ashamed of my many interests or my need to learn and grow, but as I get older I feel more angry because I feel unappreciated and that I do not truelly belong, like I am alone. But, as I write this I know that it is not as dramatic as it sounds. There we go, I often feel that what I want to express is hard to do so in words!
At times I feel as wise as a boundless spirit, no explanation needed; other times I feel childlike, not able to communicate my needs to others. When its good, it is really good, and when it is bad, you know the rest!
I have completed my Graduate degree in Counseling and continued on with Psychology, but that felt to restricted. I am currently thinking about teaching, all sorts of teaching (education, movement), but I am not certain if I can do it (organization, not a good multi-tasker, mostly introvert, etc). I am in need to make a living with work that is meaningful to me and also affords me a better life that I am currently living. I am also the mother to 4 children, who are all great souls. As they are getting older, I notice that eventhough kindness, creativity, humor, etc. is what we all have and share, the need to live well is getting stronger, and I am not talking about a castle, or a mansion. I know there is a way to combine living an authetic life with making enough money to afford a good life style. I am on my way to find it.
Aug 24, 2014 05:18:21
I've known for a while now I was an INFP and it's kind of reassuring to see so many people who feel the way I do. I too love creative writing, poetry, and helping people (despite the introversion), but I also feel overwhelmed and stuck a lot of the time. Right now I'm trying to decide between law school, librarian, and speech pathologist. Work-life balance is important to me because I want enough time to pursue creative endeavours, but I also want a job where I feel like I'm learning and challenged.
Aug 21, 2014 00:42:23
Hairstylist, I knew it would be the perfect job for me.