INFP Careers

It is perhaps more challenging for INFPs to find a satisfying career than any other type. Though intelligent, the regimented learning style of most schools makes long years earning an advanced degree a formidable undertaking for people with the INFP personality type – at the same time, that’s often what’s needed to advance in a field that rings true for them. INFPs often wish that they could just be, doing what they love without the stress and rigor of professional life.

Oftentimes, as with so many things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle, in a line of work that begins with passion and dedication, but which comes to require training so that the academia feels intimately linked to that passion. Too many INFPs drift in frustration, ultimately succumbing to the necessities of day-to-day life in a job that wasn’t meant for them. But it turns out that, despite such exacting demands, modern economics places a premium on the very keys to INFPs’ challenges: their creativity, independence, and need for meaningful relationships with individuals who need their help.

INFP careers

There’s Place and Means for Everyone

First and foremost is seemingly every INFPs’ dream growing up – to become an author. While a novel is a classic choice, it is rarely an accessible one, and there are many viable options for freedom-loving INFPs. The internet brings to the world the opportunities of blogging and freelance work – as organizations expand their reach beyond their native tongues, they will come to depend on INFP personality types, with their gift for language and written expression, to take their rougher translations and stale pitches and inject them with a sense of beauty and poetry. Smaller organizations will need more than ever to express with elegance the value they bring to local communities.

Most any cause, idea, or field can benefit from the artful and natural expression that INFPs bring to the table, and INFPs have their pick of the world in choosing who they work with.

The real beauty here is that it takes a core interest that people with the INFP personality type share, while helping a cause they believe in, independently, through creative expression and personal growth, and makes it applicable to any interest there is. There will always be a need, and now more than ever, to win people’s hearts and minds with the written word.

Some INFPs will prefer a still more personal touch, being able to work face-to-face with clients, seeing that their personal effort really impacts another’s quality of life. Service careers such as massage therapy, physical rehabilitation, counselling, social work, psychology and even academic roles and retraining can be exceptionally rewarding for INFPs, who take pride in the progress and growth they help to foster. People with the INFP personality type have a tendency to put others’ interests ahead of their own, a mixed blessing by itself, but when a patient takes their first unaided step in the long road to recovery after an accident, nothing will feel more rewarding than that selflessness.

If to Do Were as Easy as to Know What Were Good to Do...

Where INFPs will not thrive is in a high-stress, team-heavy, busy environment that burdens them with bureaucracy and tedium. INFPs need to be able to work with creativity and consideration – high-pressure salespeople they are not. It can be a challenge to avoid these roles, as they are the basis for so much starting work, and it’s often a risk to break away into something less dependable, but more rewarding. To find a career that resonates with INFPs’ values though, that’s more than just a job, sometimes it’s just what needs to be done.

John
4 years ago
Great post! Thanks NO ONE ^ for the positive post! I, too, have found myself not fulfilled at the current job I have now. We're basically healers right? And somehow, there is no really a specific course for us because we're too rare. But it is true that if you want something bad enough, there is always a way. :) We are so unique. We are a gift to this world. But we'll find our way.. one step and smile at a time. ;)
No one
4 years ago
I'm an INFP. I HAVE found that I am a decent writer, which is surprising because I never really thought I was when I was younger. I see writing as more as a relaxer or a means to an end however. I am about to graduate college in a week, (which means I should probably be studying right now for finals...) and will be starting medical school in last August. (It is odd because before researching these personality types, I had a strong feeling that one of the key factors I was accepted into med school was because of my personal statement...) This somewhat conflicts with some of what is mentioned above, not being able to cope with high-stress situations, but I find that if you want something bad enough, there is always a way. :) Just wanted to post this to show there is definitely diversity among the career paths one may choose as an INFP. I have chosen mine based on my principles, and my realistically idealistic desire to heal the world, one smile at a time. :)
Krista
5 years ago
I am an INFP, and while I started out as a teacher, I found that teaching is not for me. The paperwork, the need to be a cop constantly, ("Today we will be...Johnny sit down...going over...Johnny stop talking....the Pythagorean Theorum...I am calling your mother, Johnny!") and the politics of the classroom drove me away. Now, I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm thinking seriously about medical imaging, if only because I need cash relatively quickly and I know that I can volunteer my services as a sonographer to Pro-Life organizations and do Photography and Videography on the side. What do you think?
Willow
4 years ago
Oh dear, well, I just finished my first year of teaching (Music) and while I can't imagine doing anything else, I also wonder if it is the right thing sometimes. I'm hoping to find some equilibrium as I get better at it - between teaching music and performing music! And also having the alone time that I really need. I definitely also have problems with anxiety which got majorly turned back on this year. Talk about extremely frustrating. But it was my first year of teaching which is hard for everyone and I think the school combined with city setting is not the best fit for me, so I feel hopeful for there to be improvement. I think teaching is a good fit for my need to help others. I like schools and people who associate themselves with schools. I do (can't help but) adore the students who want to be adored :) and I think they appreciate it. The insensitive/self absorbed middle schoolers are hard on me though. One other positive thing about my situation: my supervisor is great, also extremely idealistic, and will shower me with praise when I start looking woeful...THANK GOODNESS. I wonder if that will give anyone else some insight...a few things that work for me mixed with a few things that don't.
Patch
4 years ago
I think that the fact that you had to say "if only" is not a good sign. :/
Patch
5 years ago
It's wonderful such info exists now. I had my skill in languages taken from me for commercial studies by my mother who thought I should be like her - nothing like her at all! So I went down the office path and working in that way made me really lose my confidence. It wasn't until I had children that I discovered that this was the most creative thing I had in front of me - the lives of my lovely children. So after that any jobs were peripheral. I did waitressing for a few years to put into a house and found that rather good as I could be organised and give service my way ! Another time I did a Beauty Therapy course and found massage talents. But not enough intellectual stimulation. So when I had enough of work and wanted to follow my creative life I wrote and wrote, played with abstract art, then studied a sociology degree which really fired me up!! I found it a way of understanding how my sons' lives were in a world that had changed from my early days. I'm considering a blog now to pass on all I have learned in sociology and study of my own on what makes families tick ! In another life - a healer of some sort I believe.
Rhapsody
5 years ago
"INFPs seek careers that are more than just jobs." How true is this! I have been working in the corporate world for almost a year now ever since I graduated from college last year. All this while I have been doing administrative work at a 9-5 working hour routine, and I feel that I am wasting my life away. The politics, company culture, and the mindset of the staff just caring only about their own duties are killing me slowly everyday. It disheartens me whenever I see my colleagues pushing extra work away, pushing blame on people, complaining about every single thing, bad-mouthing about everyone in the office. It's so hard trying to get the people around me to understand my desire to do something that I like and enjoy. Every time I tell my mom that I want to head do something that I am passionate about, she tries her best in discouraging me, as she feels that having a "stable" job is better than living for passion. I understand that she is looking at the practicality purpose of having a job, but I still can't help but feel aimless at the end of everyday. This is why for the past one year I have been in a dilemma of chasing my dreams, or to keep this "stable" job. I'm glad that I found out what type of personality I have, and I must say it describes me to the T! I strongly agree on the points that we all strive to uphold our values, contribute to people's happiness, and it is important to work in a position where we find value and meaning. Hence, I have decided to pursue my goal of living my life with meaning (not just 9-5 jobs, I hate routine!), and not to care so much with other people's opinion on how my life should be lived. Because at the end of the day, the ones living out our lives is us, not the 99% of the population.
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