It’s better to fail while striving for something wonderful, challenging, adventurous, and uncertain than to say, ‘I don’t want to try because I may not succeed completely.’
For people with the INFJ personality type (Advocates), professional decisions are not guided by conventional yardsticks of success like financial gain or status but by the potential their work holds for meaningful connection and personal fulfillment. These personalities long to find a career that aligns with their values and their dreams – a career that allows them to fulfill their unique mission in this world. To INFJs, a job isn’t satisfying if it doesn’t offer a deeper sense of purpose – no matter how good the salary is. The good news is that people with this personality type can use their creativity and determination to find work that suits their needs in just about any field.
In fact, INFJs have trouble deciding which job is best for them because they’re able to imagine so many possibilities. They may see half a dozen wildly different paths forward, each with its own set of rewards. This can be exciting but also stress inducing, because picking just one means letting go of so many others. They may even feel a sense of loss when so many doors close because they finally committed to one path. But they needn’t worry, as one can have many different paths, purposes, and jobs in this lifetime.
The Search for Purpose
For these altruistic personalities, jobs that involve helping and connecting with people can be deeply satisfying. It’s no surprise, then, that many INFJs gravitate toward work as counselors, therapists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, yoga instructors, and spiritual leaders. They may also enjoy service industry positions that allow them to interact directly and build genuine relationships with their customers. Careers in health care can also be rewarding options for INFJs, including occupations such as nursing, physical or occupational therapy, medicine, nutrition, or more holistic paths such as acupuncture.
INFJs are often passionate communicators, though sometimes in subtle ways. This explains why they are often drawn to careers in writing, creating many popular books, blogs, stories, video games, and screenplays. For people with this personality type, the opportunity to tell stories for a living can be nothing short of a dream come true. Other INFJs might pursue music, photography, design, illustration, or fine art. Even if these artistic pursuits aren’t their primary job, many find that creative side hustles offer a much-needed outlet for the themes and ideas that occupy their imaginations.
Nonprofit workplaces, from museums to nature centers to food pantries, also hold a special appeal for INFJs. With their focus on serving the community rather than drawing a profit, these organizations can be a natural fit for these personalities. But even in workplaces that are very much for-profit, INFJs can find ways to direct their energy and creativity toward helping others. No matter what it says on their business cards, their insight can enable these personalities to spot unusual patterns and come up with outside-the-box solutions, creating real change in others’ lives.
A Sense of Mission
INFJs are incredibly versatile, but some work environments may rub them the wrong way. This is especially true of workplaces that offer little independence or agency, forcing employees to adhere to rigid, repetitive protocols without regard for their individual needs or strengths. People with this personality type may also chafe at the criticism and pressure that come with cutthroat, competitive work environments.
For this reason, many INFJ personalities seek out more flexible, autonomous positions – or branch off altogether to start their own businesses. They may also find it gratifying to create bridges between seemingly disparate professional fields – for example, by writing about psychology or by being an environmental lawyer. Such hybrid careers can offer plenty of opportunities for INFJs to exercise their creativity and their love of learning.
In truth, people with this personality type can do well in any field. To be truly happy, however, INFJs often need to find work that aligns with their values and allows them some independence. They crave opportunities to learn and grow alongside the people they are helping. When this happens, INFJ personalities may finally feel that they are fulfilling their life’s mission and contributing to the well-being of humanity on a personal level.