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.

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!
5 years ago
I am also skilled at writing, language, the arts, etc. I worked in sales for years and did astonishingly well, though felt unfulfilled. I am now back in school full time, completing my pre-med requirements. Any INFJ doctors out there?
5 years ago
Wow, I feel as though I've found my long lost soul friends! :0) I want to thank all of you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, insights, and experiences. You express yourselves beautifully! I'm really struggling in my life right now. I've had a lot of health issues throughout my adult life, and now at almost 39-years-old, I'm finally healthy enough to pursue a career. I have always been drawn to understanding and helping others. I love to figure out what makes people tic--myself included! I have always been drawn to psychology/social work/counseling. I feel as though it is my life's calling. I am one math class away from completing my AA degree and am already second guessing my choice to go into social work. .If I didn't have the health issues I have (two kidney transplants), I would happily sign up for the Peace Corps and call it a life! I am not motivated by money. I want to know when I leave this world that my life has mattered--that I've made a difference. With that being said, I'm afraid that with no real job experience and a boat load of student loan debt, I'll have a difficult time finding employment in social work and/or I'll only make enough money to pay back my student loans. So, I've been considering becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. That would be wonderful except for the fact that as of 2015 they're phasing out master's programs and you'll need a doctorate to be a NP (IF my research is correct). I can't see myself being happy as a regular RN unless I was working in a psych unit. Which again, makes me wonder if with no experience I'll struggle to even find a job, especially in a specialized area such as psych. One thing I know for sure, blood, guts, etc.--every day for the rest of my life....NO! I know I'm probably over thinking, but I don't know how NOT to assess and contemplate every angle of a situation! I am hoping someone on here can provide me with some advice about choosing a career. If I didn't have student loans to pay back I'd happily work towards an MSW and become a therapist. I feel as though my heart is conflicting with my head. I want to feel good about what I do for a living. I want to love what I do. At the same time, I want to be able to take some of the financial burden off of my husband. I'm not sure I'll be able to do that as a social worker. On a side note, I think it's a travesty how little mental health professionals are compensated for the invaluable services they provide! Thanks for listening to me ramble on! I enjoy knowing that I'm not the only person who is notorious for my "novels"! ;;0) Sending prayers, blessings, peace, and love to all my fellow INFJer's out in the world! <3
5 years ago
Hi all! I'm 28 years old and have been described since infancy as having an 'old soul', which has felt both accurate and limiting, particularly when I was younger and kind of resented my tendency to hold myself strictly accountable for...pretty much everything! I always 'knew better' and always had a wide-ranging grasp on the consequences of my actions (weirdly, I was never worried about the legal or punishment-based consequences but the interpersonal consequences -- for example, the look of disappointment on my dad's face was always, ALWAYS more effective than being grounded. I didn't want to hurt him!) I absolutely feel like an INFJ, particularly the penchant towards describing people to themselves and thinking that I understand them / the situation they find themselves in better than they do themselves. Following the point above about being an old soul, at a certain point in my early 20's I actively made myself go into the world and "be young" for a while because I had pretty much skipped the oat-sowing, prank-pulling and other stuff people supposedly do when they're favor of trying to be as conscientious a person as I could. It was a fabulous, crazy, exotic and emotionally expanding few years of high-jinks and general debauchery, but funnily enough I was SERIOUSLY physically afflicted by the stress I engendered by being all foot-loose and fancy-free. The out-of-body depression that still manifests itself occasionally as simply being out-of-body and the feeling that my life is not actually happening to me, that I am somehow physically removed from my physical self and am almost watching my life unfold...all that stuff is TOTALLY spot on. As is the part about my friends, who firmly believe I'm an extrovert when I am fully aware that it's just a facet of myself that I put on like party clothes--spot on! I absolutely need to recharge and be alone, particularly after long periods of interaction with others. At 28 I've already had 31 jobs doing all kinds of things, all over the place--from line cook to internship coordinator to secretary to copy writer to house painter...I could never make up my mind! My English BA was something I pursued purely because I love to read. My cooking degree was something that happened almost by accident. Line cooking and being a chef in general is something I've found is satisfying on certain levels, but does not satisfy the larger aspects of what I want from my work. Anyhow, these days I am trying to marry the disparate aspects of my personality (as opposed to before, when I was...oh, whoops, doing exactly the same thing, just slightly less consciously!)--the part that loves to travel and just GO places and DO things without too much forethought (it's nice to get out of character every once in a while!), the part that wants a house completely devoted to comfort and all of my favorite things, the part of me that despises money and the part of me that wants enough of it to do anything I want.... And I'm finding these personality tests quite helpful--I was reading another article about INFJ and it said that one of the gravest mistakes INFJs make is to set their goals too low--I'm definitely guilty of that. And lately I've found that the key to releasing my creativity is to believe in myself first and foremost, and to realize that if I'm enjoying what I do chances are other people will enjoy the result, too. Hopefully, anyway! Overall, my biggest goal is to write. And to do it because I love it. To have fun with it. And to RUN WITH IT! I've really enjoyed reading all of your stories and while I generally don't respond to articles and things I felt compelled to share my experience just in case there's anyone out there who might find reading my story as helpful or interesting as I found reading your stories to be. It makes sense we're in the serious minority--anyone else ever have those conversations with people where the person's like, "Yeah, everybody feels alone and alienated sometimes, it's cool and totally normal," and you're thinking, um, I mean I'm alienated to the point of feeling like I don't EXIST. I'm not trying to downplay other people's experiences, but I really have felt like I'm this pendulum of extreme emotion with a resting point of calm that is so peaceful it's almost eerie. Thanks for reading, I'm going to stop now, whew! Best of luck to everyone--I hope and believe that internal scrutiny and an examined life make better people out of us all, so bravo to everyone here for trying to become something greater. Cheers!
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