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
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.
5 years ago
Hello all you wonderful INFJs out there! I'm so happy to FINALLY meet you. I've felt very alone all my life... and also very misunderstood. In terms of my career, I'm a missionary midwife working in Africa. I'm starting hospitals, clinics, schools, etc. I LOVE that this is the path God has called me to walk. I hope you all find your special career path in the work that makes you most joyful!
5 years ago
I am also an INFJ and work as an associate professor at a university (so I do research, I teach and do some administrative work). It took me a long time to find a good career path. I liked too many things, yet couldn't settle to do only one thing. I was in science in college, and though I love science because I am very curious, I didn't like working in a lab with fluids or objects. So I ended up trying to work in film for a while, I wanted to be a screenwriter and director, but it didn't work out so well, partly because the film industry is really harsh, and partly because I am not a really great writer. To make a long story short, I went back to school around 26 and I finally discovered phonetics, the science of speech. So now I do research on language acquisition-phonetics. This field of research allows me to work with people, yet, I also have to work alone to compile data and to write and publish scientific articles. And I can supervise research assistants to help me with the more detailed tasks. There are so many possible tasks that involve creativity and leadership, I really love it! The teaching is a bit difficult, but it is only a few hours a week. I can spend a lot of time alone in my office whenever I need to. Thus, I think researcher-professor is a great possible career path for an INFJ, but it depends in which field. For me one that involves working with people (once in a while), is best. It really satisfies my need for challenges, for creativity, for contributing to society (through teaching and through publishing the results of my research), for variety of tasks and flexible schedule, while providing me with sufficient opportunity to work with people AND to work alone. And I also get to do some creative writing... (scientific articles can and should also be written in a creative way :)
5 years ago
Hi, Izabelle, Congrats on being a prof at a university - I know that is not an easy job to get, even if you are in the sciences, well, you are also in the health field perhaps technically, and I'm sure that doesnt help. This is somewhat off-topic, but yet not because it relates to the one things I consistently return to when I think about careers - being a professor. But, I have the curse of being a philosopher by nature, or by, something... ha, that's another question for philosophy. With all that I hear about the cut-throat academic world and the you-might-as-well-play-the-lottery attitude...(re: prof. job market), is it worth the long haul? I think about safer things I could be pursuing that would lead me faster to a place wherein I could also try and teach others to teach themselves and think and blah blah... I'd love to hear your comments. Thanks.
5 years ago
Hi Izabelle, I am in a similar situation in that I like too many things. I work in finance at the moment but it gives rise to a lot of anxiety around not doing much for the 'greater good'. I'm interested in language acquisition and linguistics. I'm 26, my question is, how did you find it returning to school at that age?
5 years ago
Fascinating ... my son told me to try this out and I am the same as you guys and girls. Worked as RN - evening and night shifts as more autonomy and ability to mix up my routine, thank you very much, photographer, played musical instruments, learned languages, creative writing and literature, studied greatly in highschool but still never really knew what I wanted to do, just fell into things. Feel like square peg in round hole. I definitely got the intuitive thing going on ... it scares me sometimes! I do get people-ed out a bit and need to retreat on occasion. I do like the autonomy, but won't ever take the glory, happy for someone else to take the credit. I like the "quiet achiever" thing. Like Mike V said above about his filmwork, in my photography, my own work hits the spot, but work for hire, it's all a bit meh really. I'm starting to think I'm getting closer to my bigger calling as middle age approaches, I don't think I've even really started yet ;-) Though got to find the balance between passion and drive and making it happen, I think, the practicalities of it all.
5 years ago
I love this fascinating forum. I came to this page because as a person in my early thirties I am really struggling with my next career move. Like you Hiluxer, while in school I studied various musical instruments and languages (loved and excelled at them) and through various periods of my life you would never find me without a camera. I have thought and toyed with the idea of going into photography in some way, but the idea scored me in that there is so much competition and you really have to set yourself and your work apart to really get somewhere. Plus I would rather take photos or things that interest me verses what someone else would want me to do. Even if I were to get through all of these obstacles, ultimately I wonder how it would benefit others and that is something very important to me. I got a degree in psychology and minored in linguistics and have worked for almost a decade as a healthcare technician doing analysis and for a DME company working directly with people. It's great but I have hit a ceiling in terms of how much further I can go a so I am thinking of going back to school to be a PA. But then again - there is this need to nurture that creative side and also truly help others and I find it so hard to reconcile them both!! I'd be interested to see where your path leads you.
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