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
Hi there, I have to say its comforting to see so many at my age still struggling to figure out where in the world they belong. I've always tried figuring out where I actually belong since I always felt... well, like a missfit. Then I discovered the online tests and finally found a description that fits my personality to a tee - where I used to think that either I'm slightly bonkers, or there is some serious psychological problem, its reassuring to know there's many others like me! I'm caught between the devil and the sea so to speak. At first I trained as a dietitian, but the criticism around my own not-so-perfect body killed any possibility of me blossoming in that direction, although I've always had a passion for helping people. Ever since they started asking us in school "what do you want to be?" I was always stumped - I had no idea! All I knew is I wanted to "make a difference in someone's life". I hated the detailed nitty gritty fuss over minute vitamin/mineral detail, the constant focus on each morsel you put in your mouth, and felt there were so much more to life than what you eat. Later I got involved in a teaching career- and I lived for the moment a child's eyes lighted up with understanding! I was always attracted to the "problem child" and loved trying to draw them out, somehow improve their self-worth and easily identified when there were relationship issues in terms of family etc and loved that. But I totally sucked at the teaching profession in school - the fast pace required, the thousands of requirements thrown at you that overwhelmed me, the rigid structure, the constant peeking-over-my-shoulder by the head of department, headmaster and peers constantly griping about things that just don't (in my opinion) matter in the broader sense of purpose of life (who cares if its a green pen and not red?? why should my marks be written in a circle at the exact right??) I'm slightly disorganised in terms of paper work too, and keeping track of 160 student's tests, projects ( 24 per child) was just such a daunting task. But I simply loved imparting information to the children! If they wanted ot listen by the way.. I found myself constantly frustrated at not being able to "impart wisdom" because 70% of your class interaction is simply maintaining discipline - which I hated. It now makes sense in the INFJ profile that we don't' like and avoid conflict... so many things make more sense now! I felt completely burnt out and emotionally drained after each day, but everyone kept telling me to hold out it will get better. I did, for 5 years, then got fired. I simply LOVE researching random information, I love sciences and recently developed an interest in politics too - since its fun to see the big picture of the in-fighting and competition, the attitude and motivations of politicians through their actions. Currently I'm working as a science and maths tutor, and although I love helping, the position bores me out of my mind. Its much less administration, the kids come in at random times and do a lot of self study - and while I'm not required to give immediate assistance, I'm bored out of my wits and yearn to read up on issues that interest me. If anyone can help give input here I'd greatly appreciate it, because I'm at my wit's end to know where to go next! I love writing and attempted blogging a while, but can only write when I am inspired (and lately depression and lack of self worth has kept me from that). I've been thinking to somehow qualify myself in a councelling type of career, but I have no idea where to start or how to get there! Before teaching i worked as a sales assistant in the health industry - and always undersold (because I felt sorry for so many people) but loved helping, although the constant contact with people completely drained me and I often longed to just hide somewhere between the shelves for some time alone! Its such a relief to discover I'm not crazy, only unique!
Michelle C
5 years ago
I'm an INFJ, and I'm currently in my last year of high school -- and I'm considering a career path as an HR manager or journalist. Ideally, I would have wanted to be a graphic designer (I love art and creative writing), but HR and journalism just appeals to me more - the fact that I get to work with people and staff, knowing that they're getting the training they need to succeed, and that I can encourage personal growth. For journalism, I'm attracted to the idea that I might eventually be able to uncover issues in society, advocate for minorities, and inspire and motivate communities. I guess it's an INFJ trait that I always wanted to do something morally and ethically in tune to my beliefs. I like making sure people are satisfied and happy. That's just it, really. It's that simple,,. My personal happiness comes from the happiness of the people around me.
5 years ago
It's amazing after reading this and everyone's comments how much we have in common as strangers. It's nice to finally see that I'm not the only one struggling to find my place in the world. My main problem I'm having right now is trying to find what career path to follow. I'm 26 and currently own a small consignment (resale) shop for the past 3 years. It's a bit routine and I find that to be the hardest part of it all. I want more out of it and a career to push me, I just don't know where to start. If I had it my way I would leave it all and backpack for a few months to venture off and "find myself". I'm wondering if anyone has ever had problems keeping friends or has had issues in friendships. I find that most friends I've had throughout the past few years consisted of endless arguments or ending of friendships in general. Although I hate arguing I now realize that a large part of it was that they had a hard time understanding me and my thinking process. Anyways, it's so reassuring to see others like myself and I loved reading everyone's comments.
5 years ago
From one Katie to another, hi! I can totally relate to your post and how difficult it is to maintain friendships and relationships as an INFJ. In my experience, people don't understand our need to time out, and I think some people don't want to understand, which is the biggest obstacle in the friendship process. Due to health problems and my tendency to hate crowds and large groups, I have lost one very close friend, despite being there for her through her tough patches but because she can't or won't understand me, she's decided to give up on our relationship altogether. Having recently had surgery, family bereavement and oter problems, I've decided its time to look out for me, and to do what makes me happy, not what works for others and while this may be harsh It seems the right thing to do, and I think we all should learn to be happy and if people don't or won't understand us. Its their problem. :-)
5 years ago
School Psychology is the perfect blend of teaching, psychology, communication, writing, and counseling. I never get bored because I am in a different school each day. My ability to work in groups and read people's emotions is very helpful due to the highly emotional nature of the job. Oh, and this career is currently in high demand and pays well too!
5 years ago
I am an INFJ and I really agree with this post, espeshily the part about wanting to do something meaningful. I would love to be a writer. I really do feel what i do as an adult will be more than just a job,more like a calling.
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