INFJ Careers

INFJs are likely to find that most corporate career paths are not designed for them, but for those focused on status and material gain. This doesn’t mean that people with the INFJ personality type struggle to see viable options though. In fact, they are likely to face the opposite problem – many INFJs struggle to begin a career early on because they see ten wildly different paths forward, each with its own intrinsic rewards, alluring but also heartbreaking, because each means abandoning so much else.

Truth, Beauty, Purpose

First and foremost, INFJs need to find meaning in their work, to know that they are helping and connecting with people – an INFJ Ferrari salesperson is a non-sequitur. This desire to help and connect makes careers in healthcare, especially the more holistic varieties, very rewarding for INFJs – roles as counselors, psychologists, doctors, life coaches and spiritual guides are all attractive options.

INFJ careers

INFJs’ needs don’t end at meaning though – any productive work can be rationalized to be meaningful, as any productive work helps someone, somewhere. INFJs crave creativity too, the ability to use their insight to connect events and situations, effecting real change in others’ lives personally.

For INFJs, money and Employee of the Month simply won’t cut it compared to living their values and principles.

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellowed Wood

These needs are hard to meet in a corporate 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. As independents, sole proprietors in the parlance of business, INFJs are free to follow their hearts, applying their personal touch, creativity and altruism to everything they do.

This is the most rewarding option for INFJs, as they will step out of the overly humble supporting and noncompetitive roles they are often drawn to, and into positions where they can grow and make a difference. INFJs often pursue expressive careers such as writing, elegant communicators that they are, and author many popular blogs, stories and screenplays. Music, photography, design and art are viable options too, and they all can focus on deeper themes of personal growth, morality and spirituality.

Where INFJs fall flat is in work focusing on impersonal concerns, mundanity, and high-profile conflict. Accounting and auditing, data analysis and routine work will leave people with the INFJ personality type fidgety and unfulfilled, and they will simply wilt under the scrutiny, criticism and pressure of courtroom prosecution and defense, corporate politics and cold-call sales. INFJs are clever, and can function in any of these fields, but to be truly happy, they need to be able to exercise their insightfulness and independence, learn and grow alongside the people they are helping, and contribute to the well-being of humanity on a personal level.

4 years ago
I need advice on a career. I start university in 2014. I want to know from some other INFJ's what careers are well-suited. I have been attracted to biological oceanography because it seems like a career that would leave me satisfied but careers are sparse in the field, and the salary is low, also I would have to live in certain regions. Biology was a favorite course of mine in high school though. In the past, I have on multiple times considered a career in international development, this summer I even went to East Africa and served at an orphanage for abandoned and at-risk babies as well as donated to a widowed women's organization. I also sincerely spending time speaking with the African's about their lives. But I know positions in development, again, are low. Last, a city planner, because like with international development, I could assist people in finding low-income housing or revitalizing the city. Other careers I have considered are physical therapy which I have decided I am not attracted to after all, a curator because I am interested in art history but ruled it out because sitting around would drive me insane. The one position, I do not want, even though highly rated amongst INFJ's is as a counselor or psychologist as I have had bad experiences in the past. If you could send recommendations for careers, or share your career with me, I would appreciate immensely.
4 years ago
Hi Nicole, I am an INFJ, and I have been following an academic career in the biological sciences since I graduated with a BSc in 2003. When I was at your stage, just before University, I was most interested in global issues that affected people and the environment, ecology and conservation, and medicine and biology. I ended up pursuing biology at University. After University I soon realised I didn't have the ability to emotionally detach enough to be a doctor, and I don't think I would have had the 'steel backbone' needed to undergo the harsh 'right-of-passage' training most young doctors have to endure after med school. I instead seemed to flourish in the academic environment, where I could exercise independent thought and creativity, and find value in my work by how it may eventually contribute to solutions to medical problems. However, as I have progressed after my PhD, I have discovered that academic science is a corrupt, competitive, and self-serving system. Much money intended to research ways we can improve our world is wasted because scientists are not encouraged to publish their negative results. This does nothing to further our knowledge: it can lead to unneccessary repetition of studies and scientists fabricating their results to make them look more impressive. Also, the system doesn't encourage scientists to work together to solve the world's problems. Instead, they are fighting against each other to survive in their careers. There is no job security in academic science until perhaps your 40's, but this age is increasing. Until now I have remained here because I am passionate about my research, and I believe that if no good people stay in science, the situation will only get worse. However, I think this has been naive and futile, and has left me quite depressed. Not to mention I am often anxious about my future as I work on projects that typically last two to three years each at best. So, if you study oceanography and follow an academic research career afterwards, be warned that you may find yourself sad and frustrated by the system. Here's the BRILLIANT news: I have many friends who studied environmental science as undergraduates and then embarked on PhDs in various social and biological topics surrounding environmental science. Some of them traveled as far as Antartica to complete their research and had the most amazing experiences. Now, none of them have stayed in academia like me. Instead, all of them work at local, national, and international levels to help improve our world - from running campaigns to promote energy conversation to running nature reserves and city planning to promote cycling and public transport. I think this is because the environmental sciences offer the most broad range of career opportunities for graduates. Engineers are another group of people who can apply themselves to many different areas like this as well as medicine. My point is, anything you choose right now will not close all the other doors open to you. You do not have to know exactly what you want to do right now, and your direction may change as you grow as a person and experienece the world. Careers are rarely linear, but more often branch in different directions like a tree. Don't worry about your salary. Just make sure that whatever you do each day, you follow your values. The fact that, at such a young age, you have already travelled abroad and engaged in humanitarian work demonstrates you have a strong desire to contribute to humanity. Keep using that wonderful gift you have, remember to listen to yourself as well as others, and you will not go "wrong".
4 years ago
Hey Nicole, just stumbled across this site and thought I should comment on your question. I'm currently in my 4th and final year of studying information design (a bit broader than graphic design). Thinking back I'll admit I could never have guessed I'd be studying design, but I have really enjoyed it, especially because of how the course is set up where I'm studying. It's very stimulating as it's constantly changing and no project is the same as the previous one. I'm also an extremely socially minded person as I really want to help people some how - and that's part of design, especially these days as design is shifting to be more socially focussed by using their creative problem solving skills in fields such as education, health care and all kinds of social issues. This what I'm hoping to get involved in next year as I start working. Anyway, sorry if I've been rambling but just thought I'd give my INFJ 2cents and tell you what career I chose.
4 years ago
Hello INFJs! So happy to know there are so many of you out there in the world who are also looking to find themselves! When I took a personality test and was told I am rare and part of only 1% of the population, I felt very lonely.... I just checked the world population and realized that 1% of 7 billion and growing is 70 million!! I am not as alone as I think sometimes even though it has been a struggle for me to "fit in" my 33 years of life... I have had many different jobs in customer service (ugh..), secretary, administrative, office jobs in many different industries. none of them gave me any satisfaction. I love helping people and making a difference even in the smallest way. Am I really artistic and creative? I need to able to express myself in a creative way as it seems most jobs I have to fit in a box which made me feel very unfulfilled, angry and depressed. Now I want to get into a role and an industry that allows me to reach my full potential. My husband gives me the strength to keep going and keep trying to find what it is that I like to do even if it takes me my whole life! Let's keep each other motivated! Go INFJs!! :)
4 years ago
This is so interesting! I come from an I.T. background, graduated Computer Science. On my 3rd year of college, I thought I would prefer a Psychology course but decided against it wanting to graduate sooner than later. I have worked as a programmer, systems analyst, I.T. Manager, etc for 10 years until I finally decided to switch careers. I am now a Birth Photographer and enjoying it immensely. If I knew earlier, I would have followed my gut and pursued Psychology. I have thought about going back to school to pursue Psychology... or possibly Architecture several times before but reading this affirms my thoughts. Im seriously thinking of doing it....
5 years ago
I can't even explain what I'm feeling right now!! Well, I'm sure eventually I could, but it'd take a whole lot of typing! :-) "Liberating" is a word others keep using in their comments on every site I've visited that addresses the INFJ personality...and it sums it up perfectly! I'm in absolute awe of the fact that there are people who know & understand exactly how I've felt my whole life! Wish I had known about personality tests & had found out my INFJ 'status' years ago...even from childhood. It would've saved me a lot of grief, confusion, loneliness, anxiety, etc. I grew up feeling like a stranger to the world & longing to be understood & included. I, like many of you who have commented above, have spent years trying different jobs that didn't fit and feeling frustrated with where my life was going & searching for meaning & purpose. I just scanned through a few of your comments and felt like I could've written them myself...I feel like I've found a family :-) *sniffle* I'm still amazed at how many of us INFJs only really begin to 'find ourselves' in the later stages of life. I'm 37 & completed my BA in Guidance & Counselling 2 years ago, but it was a hard road getting there; because I have so many interests that kept pulling me in different directions and, although I've always known that I wanted to "help people", I couldn't figure of which career would allow me to best achieve this. Because of my indecision, many persons advised me to go into the popular and presumably lucrative field of business. Due to this and many other issues (psychological, academic, financial), I ended up in many business-type jobs earlier in life: clerical officer (Collector of Taxes), CSR, teller...and even a 'doomed-from-the-start' stint as an life insurance salesperson. Of course, none of these jobs made me feel as if I was making an impact on my customers/clients or the wider world, so I ended up feeling unfulfilled, like a complete failure, angry, I was gonna lose my mind! Now, all I want to do is play a role in making the world a better place, by ensuring that children and young people grow up to be wholistically healthy adults who are empowered to use their God-given abilities to impact the world positively. Reading all your comments & knowing my own life journey, I wonder whether all schools worldwide shouldn't administer personality tests to all students (from primary school level even). Hopefully, this will ensure that children receive proper guidance in order to maximize their full potential. It would certainly help INFJ kids, in particular, to reduce all the psychological/emotional developmental issues that seem to characterize our 'growing years'. Well, here's to all of us...may each one of us find his/her true purpose in life and excel at it! Be blessed!
5 years ago
Hey fellow INFJ's! It's past midnight and I know I should be sleeping, but I just had to finish reading all of the comments here. I have always changed my career path as well. I originally wanted to become a dentist (most likely because I am an agreeable person and I was raised to believe that a medical profession would be the best job/high-paying). Then after flunking first year of Life Science and taking a summer Psychology course, I switched gears. Eventually I graduated with an H.BSc in Psychology. First year out of school, I enrolled in a summer TESL certificate program and taught English in South Korea (I had an amazing experience as a foreign worker). Coming back to Canada, I applied for research assistant positions since I enjoyed working part-time in a university psychology lab. However, after almost 4 months of applications I didn't even get one call back. I had also applied for a bunch of random entry-level positions. Now I am working at a permanent part-time position as a Call Center Representative. I love helping customers and sitting at my own desk. However, every day I am thinking about pursuing further education. I am definitely an INFJ who connects really well with diverse groups of people,...I am overly sensitive and I get flustered quite easily, mostly from self burn out (Thoughts are constantly running in my mind, I'm always moving..either working out or helping out a family/friend). In terms of my career decision, I am honestly motivated by money as my parents both work in factories and I would love to assist them! In the back of my head, I know I need to just follow my own intuition but I still struggle with finding my vocation. All in all, I am grateful for being my sensitive self and being able to enjoy the simple things in life such as nature and meeting new people. I also know that worrying won't produce anything (although I don't have the mental discipline to stop worrying =p) Thank goodness we're all in the same boat...I really appreciate everyone who shared their story and I hope to read more later on!
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