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 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!
5 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!
5 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.
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