Advocates (INFJs) have some specific needs when it comes to a satisfying work environment. For people with this personality type, the most rewarding work allows them to help others while also growing as a person. And it’s a given that an ideal career for Advocates must be in line with their individual values.
Anything that gets in the way of these values – from red tape and meaningless rules to office politics and unscrupulous coworkers – can seriously sap Advocates’ motivation. This is a personality type that thrives in environments that promote fairness and equality. Most Advocates prefer not to think of themselves as above or below anyone else – no matter where they are on the job ladder.
Advocates value cooperation, sensitivity, and independence. As employees, they gravitate toward managers who are open-minded and willing to consider their input. Advocate personalities may become frustrated when they feel unheard, so having a manager who listens to them can make all the difference.
Because Advocates tend to act on their convictions and aim to do their best, their morale can be vulnerable to criticism, particularly if it’s unwarranted. Other morale killers for these personalities may include strict rules, formal structures, and routine tasks. They may find it especially dispiriting when they’re asked to redo their work, particularly if it’s for a reason that just doesn’t seem valid to them.
Of course, a perfect work environment isn’t always possible. Advocate employees with less-than-ideal managers may need to draw on their inner resilience and seek out other mentors. The good news is that people with this personality type are more than capable of handling workplace challenges, including the challenge of having a difficult manager.
As colleagues, Advocates can be quite popular and well respected. People with this personality type are often seen as helpful, eloquent, and capable coworkers. Among their greatest strengths is their ability to identify others’ motives and understand the root causes of conflict before anyone else even senses a disturbance.
At times, efficiency may be less of a priority for Advocates than collaborating with and helping colleagues who need a boost. While this is usually a strength, there is a risk that others will take advantage of Advocates’ desire to help. They may find themselves picking up the slack for their less dedicated coworkers at the expense of their own energy and well-being.
Although they tend to be well liked among their colleagues, Advocates are still Introverts. From time to time, they may need to step back and work alone, pursuing their own goals in their own ways. This isn’t a sign of resentment or ill will – but rather a signal of Advocates’ need to balance serving others with their own self-care.
As managers, Advocates may dislike wielding their power. They prefer to think of everyone as equals, no matter what a person’s business card might say. Rather than micromanage their subordinates, Advocates often prefer to empower them to think and act independently. They work hard to encourage others and promote an atmosphere of mutual respect.
That’s not to say that Advocates have low standards – far from it. Their sense of equality means that they expect their subordinates to live up to the standards that they set for themselves. Bosses with this personality type want their employees to be rigorous, motivated, reliable, and unfailingly honest, and they will notice if anyone misses the mark.
Advocate managers can be particularly stern if they catch someone behaving in a way that they consider unethical. These personalities have little tolerance for lapses in reliability or morality. When their employees’ good intentions match their own, however, Advocate bosses work tirelessly to ensure that their entire team feels valued, fulfilled, and successful.