INFJ in the Workplace

INFJs have pretty tall demands when it comes to a satisfying work environment. Not only does this personality type need to be able to express their creativity and insight, INFJs need to know that what they are doing has meaning, helps people, leads to personal growth and, all the while, is in line with their values, principles and beliefs.

Oftentimes the best way for INFJs to achieve this is to not have to answer to others’ rules at all – to be their own boss, neither above nor below anyone else, just directly interacting with the people and ideas that are important to them. All that being said, INFJs are a clever and inspired group, and with a few of the right conditions, most any position can be made to work.

INFJ workplace habits

INFJ Subordinates

As subordinates, INFJs are likely to chafe under hardline rules, formal hierarchies and routine tasks. People with the INFJ personality type value diplomacy and sensitivity, and the more democratic and personal their manager’s style is, and the more they feel their independence and input are valued, the happier they’ll be. INFJs act on their convictions, so when they do something, it’s something that has meaning to them – if those actions come under criticism, even justified complaints, but especially unwarranted ones, their morale is likely to tank spectacularly.

A manager’s values need to be naturally aligned with their INFJ subordinates for both parties to be most effective. Though usually idealistic, if they feel in conflict, INFJs can lose touch with that sense and end up all too bitter. But if it’s a balance they can handle, with a little encouragement every now and then, INFJs will be hardworking, trustworthy, and more than capable of handling their responsibilities and professional relationships.

INFJ Colleagues

As colleagues, INFJs are likely to become quite popular, being seen as positive, eloquent and capable friends, identifying others’ motives and defusing conflicts and tension before anyone else even senses a disturbance. INFJs are likely to prioritize harmony and cooperation over ruthless efficiency, encouraging a good, hardworking atmosphere and helping others when needed. While this is usually a strength, there is a risk that others will take advantage of INFJs’ commitment to their responsibilities by simply shifting their burdens onto their more dedicated INFJ colleagues’ desks.

It should also be remembered that at the end of the day, INFJs are still Introverts (I), and their popularity isn’t always welcome – they will need to step back and act the lone wolf from time to time, pursuing their own goals in their own ways. An unhealthy version of this tendency may pop up if INFJs sense that their values are being compromised by a more ethically relaxed colleague.

INFJ Managers

As managers, INFJs are often reluctant in exercising their authority, preferring to see their subordinates as equals, coordinating and supervising people, leaving the technical systems and factual details to more capable hands, and working hard to inspire and motivate, not to crack the whip. That’s not to say that people with the INFJ personality type have lax standards – far from it – as INFJs’ sense of equality means that they expect their subordinates to be as competent, motivated and reliable as the INFJs themselves.

Though sensitive, understanding, principled and just, able to appreciate individual styles and to make accurate judgments about others’ motivations, if a subordinate’s actions or attitude undermines INFJs’ ethics or values, they will find little comfort in these qualities. INFJs have no tolerance for lapses in reliability or morality. But, so long as no such lapse occurs, INFJs will work tirelessly to ensure that their subordinates feel valued and happy.

Alperdem
5 years ago
Objectively saying, those are true, congratulations,
Rema
5 years ago
Hi everyone! How do other INFJs deal with this aspect; "Are extremely vulnerable to criticism, especially if it is not completely justified." I'm really trying to work on this area but find it very difficult if I don't completely trust the person giving the criticism. I end up feeling unappreciated and personally attacked. Intellectually, I know I should not take criticism so personally, but I usually put 150% in everything and it hurts when it is not appreciated. Ultimately, I know I need to learn how to accept criticism more graciously without so much hurt. Anyone else dealing with this or have personal experiences of overcoming this? Thanks!!!
Joanna
5 years ago
I'm also trying to improve that aspect of my personality, something that could help you is analyze how that person was acting, he may have been to hard on you making an exponentially strong critic for self defense. So take in account the things he said but take it as defense mechanism of the person, he probably meant to tell you something you should improve, so don't feel down by the way he said it. Well that's normally may problem, they tell you what you lack so that you can improve but you take it to personal. Good luck
Andrew
4 years ago
I struggle with this, too. One thing that helped me was to fight for the higher virtue of humility. Just because the person I'm obedient to does not have the same values or virtues, did not give me reason to be insubordinate. I'm sure that's not, or rarely is, the case; however, being upset was a quick way to start slacking in my own work. I later noticed aiming for this new virtue gave my superiors a new perspective on me and that they respected me more when I said "thank you for your correction" with a smile, and that they eventually criticized my work less and less and valued my opinion more and more. Before I knew it, they were asking me to help in bigger tasks they would normally carry out on their own - even managerial ones. The fact that "INFJ's tend to avoid positions of authority, or see their insubordinates as equals" I thought was very true for me.
Andrea
5 years ago
I agree with most of this but should add: though I scored as the INFJ personality, I value constructive criticism and feedback and view it as a means to help myself improve. Preferred alongside positive feedback of course. :) Never was a popular or affluent type, due to a higher level of introversion and inability to socialize. I actually had to smile at myself reading some parts. "Cannot stand unreliable individuals". One of the issues I struggled with while working as a QA lead was task delegation. I was often reminded to share more of the work rather than keep it to myself. Not that I didn't trust my team members, more that I did not wish to overload them. Great test!
lucy
5 years ago
Very True. I have been seen as extroverted as am very social & love connecting with people. Yet at the same I hate working aimlessly without clear guidance of where am going.
Jason
5 years ago
There is only one part that I disagree with in this article and that is being a natural leader. Whenever I have tried to take the lead at work or in a group I am always being ignored. When I tried being a little less strict then I was walked all over, but doing the opposite by being stricter left me in the position of those underneath me calling an unfriendly jerk. I have found absolutely no way of being a effective leader that people will listen to and follow the orders or suggestions given to them.
Jason
5 years ago
I forgot to add that I always try to see those that I lead as my equals but that has never helped me.
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