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
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.
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?
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