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.

Laura
4 years ago
Reading all of the stories/questions here has me feeling like I've finally found my people! Currently I hold three jobs, which is far too many. My main job though, and the one I answer with when asked what I do for a living, is massage therapy. It ticks a lot of boxes for INFJ - quiet, one-on-one conversations, helping people, variety and the need to be creative, to name a few - however, it's not something that I can do on a full-time basis. Partly that's because of some health issues (thyroid/endocrine) and partly because it can be extremely draining work on a lot of levels. It's also partly because I can't seem to earn much money doing so, as seeing more than 3 or 4 clients a day is impossible for me. As a shy only child, I was often solely in the company of adults, and from the age of 4 have had the nickname "guidance counselor" due to my tendency to stop arguments and disagreements (often between strangers) and talking things out logically from the other person's POV, often saying things like "this whole thing is a waste of energy, now stop and listen..." . It's been a natural and normal thing for me to do, though it does get exasperating at times. I've always felt most like myself and most content when reading or listening to music, or being outside and thinking about things. Making and keeping friends is extremely easy for me, the hard part is letting people go when the friendship has perhaps run its course, or when my helping nature has devolved into a possessive neediness for them. Always being called a "very old soul" and being extremely mature and responsible, I find the sheer rudeness of the general public to be extremely grating - I've sometimes literally ran to my car to get the heck out of a situation in which people were simply behaving childish and self-serving. My parents are, thankfully, also introverts, and that has helped my identity immensely. Intuition, various "psychic" abilities, and the need for alone time are strong on both my mothers' and fathers' side. When thinking about jobs and careers when I was younger it varied wildly, but some of the main jobs that I "played" doing were teaching, doing secretarial work, and being a musical performer. I played the viola and was in various choral groups from fifth grade through my college years, and musical expression has always been a large part of myself. Often, music will move me to tears. Since the age of 14 I have had several jobs in all sorts of areas, yet have never really found something that I did well in (all jobs were like that, and each time I've quit, my boss refuses my resignation and tries to get me to stay - it's both amusing and annoying) and that I enjoyed and got something out of. Pointless jobs are simply no longer an option for me. I'm 35, and while the variety of my professional jobs all do something for me (aside from being a Massage Therapist, I also work part-time as a shelver at my large local library and part-time as a clerk at a health store), I'm miserable that the constant minimum-12-hour days 7 days a week. By some luck I have today off, and like any other amount of time not spent working, I'm at home doing chores so I can keep wearing clean clothes and eating food while I'm working, and simultaneously wishing I was reading a book/taking a nap/writing/watching a movie. I guess this whole ramble (sorry, folks) is to also quietly put my hand up in this group to say "Here!" in the INFJ roll-call. I'm feeling like there will be large shifts in my work life in the very near future (like in 6 weeks or less) and that I'll be able to finally really be myself and have a schedule, and therefore life, that truly suit me best. I'm still looking for other things to do, but for now I'm so happy to have taken this test and found others like me out there. Cheers to you all!
Kristen
4 years ago
It is so lovely to see so many different INFJ's sharing their tales. I am 21 and I have my Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts. I plan on transferring to a four year institution, however I am at a loss for a major. I initially considered nursing, but soon realized that that was not for me. Then I was seriously considering majoring in ASL (American Sign Language) Interpretation. My state does not have a 4 year program/degree for this major and I cannot afford to go to college out of state. My heart still goes back to ASL though. I am still very rough with the language only knowing a miniscule amount of signs, and the structure of ASL still baffles me. Currently I have been toying with the idea of writing a book and majoring in English. In the fall I am taking a Creative Writing course and a modern Poetry course at my community college and I am very excited for them. However, I am seriously doubting whether I could make it as an English major. My grammar is rather poor and I always tend to doubt myself. I figure that since all the college courses I have loved have been English and English electives that that is the direction I should pursue. I love to read and I love to write, I even love to write papers on literature and poetry. However I do not want to teach and I heard it is hard to get into the publishing field. So I am at a loss on what major and career I should pursue. If antone has read this whole rant of mine, I applaud you. I just read everyone's stories, i know mine is still unresolved but I felt the need to contribute and stand among the fellow INFJ's.
Luna
4 years ago
I'm a manager at a mattress store. As important as getting a good night's sleep is to health and wellbeing, I'm really tired of the rudeness of many of my customers. I'm good at my job. But I really would prefer to sit in a quiet room and write copy, greeting cards, assembly instructions anything other than to face another person trying to widdle away at my tiny, commission-based paycheck.
Veneziana
4 years ago
Hi All, It's great to hear from so many diverse INFJs. I've known I was one for a while, and always knew I wanted a career that involved caring, communication (particularly writing) and learning. My first career was as a high school teacher, and I'm now working as a journalist in a busy news office, but I'm hating it - mainly because of press conferences, which I find very impersonal, and require a lot of confidence and assertiveness. I prefer interviewing people one-on-one and doing research in the background for my stories (as well as the creative aspect). Áll this has made me think about going back to college and investing in research, maybe in history or anthropology. I'm looking for something that will allow me to travel, meet people and write about my experiences and impressions. (I'd love to become a travel writer, but it seems so competitive.)
Shay
4 years ago
Hey guys! To me, the best thing was fiiiiinally an explanation of why everyone thinks I'm an extrovert even though per my internal dialogue I'm nowhere close. After high school I joined the US Air Force as a radio/broadcaster and it was so much fun. I always joked about how I was being paid to be nosy and invasive :) I loved that I could follow around other people and experience their jobs for awhile before retreating to the safety of my own quiet editing bay. I always preferred to do stories on the jobs nobody wanted, and I was always pitching stories like "A Day In the Life of ___________" because I felt like they weren't getting enough credit for their legitimately hard work. Makes so much sense now :) I was in Afghanistan during Thanksgiving one year and my boss told me to go film the troops who were having a Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was really agitated because I felt like there were much more important things that I should be out documenting... So I filmed it and even filmed troops sending messages to their loved ones back home, all the while being in a pissy mood myself. I edited the footage, posted it online, and sent out releases so that people would know where to find it. A few hours later I got an email from a parent, telling me how much it meant to them to be able to see their child, alive and well and looking happy. I hope to never forget that lesson, and to always be willing to do things even when I don't think they're valuable. My first office was awesome. We were all about the same age, passionate about the same things and all willing to work really hard to get the job done right. My next office made training videos. 45ish minute long mind numbingly boring training videos that I would fall asleep while editing. And even worse, we were overmanned, so I only "got" to edit two a year. I got out of the military soon after. Now I'm 3 weeks away from a bachelors, and I've been studying art/metal casting. After I get certified as a welder, I want to work in an foundry. They're usually small work environments with a family vibe, and creative people bring their sculptures to us to be finished all the time. I'm looking forward to artistic stimulation from coworkers and clients. There are lots of solitary jobs, so I'll have the alone time I need when I need it, and there are also lots of tasks that require teamwork so I'll have that too. I can't wait :)
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