INTJ Careers

Professional competence is often the area in which INTJs shine most brilliantly. Their capacity for digesting difficult and complex theories and principles and converting them into clear and actionable ideas and strategies is unmatched by any other type. INTJs are able to filter out the noise of a situation, identifying the core thread that needs to be pulled in order to unravel others’ messes so that they can be rewoven into something at once beautifully intricate and stunningly simple in its function.

The real challenge for INTJs is that in order for their innovative (and to less insightful individuals, seemingly counter-intuitive) ideas to be heard, they need to have a friendly ear to bend, and developing an amiable rapport with authority figures is not exactly in INTJs’ list of core strengths. In their early careers, INTJs will often have to suffer through menial tasks and repeated rejections as they develop their abilities into a skillset that speaks for itself.

INTJs will often find ways to automate routine and mind-numbing tasks, and as they progress, their natural confidence, dedication, and creative intelligence will open the doors to the increased complexity and freedom they crave.

Where’s My Drawing Board?

INTJs tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions from questioning colleagues and meetings-happy supervisors. For this reason INTJs are unlikely to be found in strictly administrative roles or anything that requires constant dialogue and heavy teamwork. Rather, INTJs prefer more "lone wolf" positions as mechanical or software engineers, lawyers or freelance consultants, only accepting competent leadership that helps in these goals, and rejecting the authority of those who hold them back.

INTJ careers

Their independent attitude and tireless demand for competence mean that INTJs absolutely loathe those who get ahead by seemingly less meritocratic means like social prowess and political connections. INTJs have exceptionally high standards, and if they view a colleague or supervisor as incompetent or ineffective, respect will be lost instantly and permanently. INTJs value personal initiative, determination, insight and dedication, and believe that everyone should complete their work to the highest possible standards – if a schmoozing shill breezes through without carrying their own weight, they may find INTJs’ inventiveness and determination used in a whole new capacity as the winds turn against them.

Timid Men Prefer the Calm

As their careers progress further and their reputation grows, so will the complexity of INTJs’ tasks and projects. INTJs demand progress and evolution, new challenges and theories, and they often accomplish this by pushing into more active strategic positions. While they don’t care for the spotlight, INTJs do enjoy controlling their ideas, and will often expand into low-profile but influential roles as project managers, system engineers, marketing strategists, systems analysts, and military strategists.

But really, INTJs’ vision, creativity, and competence in executing their plans make them viable in just about any career that requires them to think about what they’re doing. While some careers, such as low-level sales and human resources, clearly do not play to their strengths, INTJs are able to build a niche into just about any institution, including their own, that they put their minds to.

Sarah
5 years ago
The career description includes no visual arts careers. Anyone who is an INTJ enjoying a job that involves art of any kind? I'm an INTJ and have excelled at drawing, painting, and sewing; later on, ballroom dance. I usually have people wanting me to teach them my craft but I only can handle one student at a time and even then, I just want to do my own projects.
Tom
5 years ago
I'm a young INTJ doing animation and illustration. It's definitely possible I think, because arts require a good bit of logic and is mostly problem solving. I love telling stories and sharing knowledge, and art is the most effective way to do so. It looks nebulous and undefinable at first, but when you learn it there's a system and logic to it. The perfectionism is definitely a big problem though, especially because in art, sometimes it's not easy to define the problem if you lack experience. Sometimes the problem is subtle but simple and solved in one step, sometimes the only thing missing is many hours of tedious polishing. If you cannot get them, or mistake one for the other for a long time, the only problem you can see would be yourself, and you might get very depressed and frustrated...(Until you find the solution eventually). such is life. :)
Sandra Akhtar
5 years ago
I have been teaching (until this year) sixth grade science and reading for the past ten years. I took many art and dance classes in high school and college. I love the arts and spend a lot of my free time drawing, painting, writing... I also tried to have multiple art projects in my classes with my students. Creativity skills seem to be a strong point here so I would imagine a lot of us enjoy these sorts of activities, at least recreationally.
Abby C
5 years ago
I am currently a Fine Arts Major. Sometimes I think it is strange because it does not seem like the most logical choice. Careers in art are certainly not known for their high wages... Regardless, I enjoy visual arts and decided that that was more important than the pay. To relate it to the INTJ personality type, I would assume that many INTJs might like art because of the freedom of control (without others to tell you what to do), the creativity and problem solving involved, and the welcome time spent in our own heads.
Dominika
5 years ago
Female intj, high-schooler. Since early age involved in sports activities and dancing. The only thing I kind of dislike is that I live inside and all they do is push me to show my emotions when I often see it as pathetic and unnecessary. Will I ever find anyone who will stand by my side and fall in love with me?
Ben
5 years ago
I think you will find someone, but don't expect it to happen in high school. I am a male INTJ and found it hard to get along with the opposite sex (most people actually) in high school. I met an INFJ in university and we fell in love and have been together for over 7 years. The most important part is that we get along well together. INFJ is a really good match for INTJ. Good luck finding someone!
Adam
5 years ago
D.R.Bartlette: same here. University course I was doing was not related to my interests and personality type(I tricked myself into thinking that it is). After circa 5 years of research, career changes, short online and uni courses + unfinished second degree and some visits to places I thought I'd like but wasn't sure I finally know what my interests are. Surprisingly, this conclusion matched my thoughts about 'dream career' I had throughout my whole life. It was sometimes blurred by lack of money or family influence but the core did not changed. Just try to thin what kind of hobby, interest is always 'coming back' and go that direction. Good luck.
Boterhampje
5 years ago
Writing takes lot of time and pays very little. Why don't you start giving extra lessons to students outside school? Like report writing, essay writing or do some group activities or workshop? I believe that you must have made many contacts at school Use your contacts and CV. You need little courage to start- but this is also what you enjoy being an INTJ, don't you? If you like it, continue, or atleast you will get a break from that boring teaching work. I was a teacher before for four years. Now, I am doing my degree because what I studied in past was no more useful for present days. I am studying with almost 10 years younger folks, lol. But I used my teaching experience to get child-care job which is paying my school fee and the living. Besides that I use my hobbies to earn some extra like I cook food and sell to my neighbours now and then. Soon, starting baking cakes and knitting blankets. I will look for customers soon :D I hope sharing my personal situation will encourage you do something that you can really do in the lowest risk and give a different shape to your career and make some difference in your pocket. Good luck!
D.R. Bartlette
5 years ago
I'm an INTJ as well. I excelled in school, really enjoyed college, and was totally in my element in grad school. I studied journalism, mistakenly believing that would be a good, practical way to put my INTJ personality traits and my creativity (writing) to use and earn a paycheck. Needless to say, that didn't work out. Who could have known the venerable institution of journalism, which is enshrined in our Constitution, would go belly-up? Now I'm stuck teaching as an adjunct. I still enjoy teaching, but the low pay, no benefits, and lack of autonomy (and the bureaucracy! oh, the bureaucracy!) are driving me insane. I'm trying to cultivate a freelance writing career, but my lack of time and being located in flyover country are significant barriers. Anyone have any suggestions for me?
Christine MacDonald
5 years ago
I am an INTJ who practiced speech-language pathology for 10 years. I'm currently finishing up my doctorate in communication sciences and disorders and hope to land a faculty position when I'm done. Ten years ago, when I had just graduated with my Master's degree in speech-language pathology and about 6 weeks into my first job as a speech-language pathologist, I knew that there was no way I could do this job for my entire career. Though you usually only have to work 35-40 hours a week in this career which is not too stressful and can make reasonably good money ($65,000-$90,000 approx), I would not recommend it for an INTJ. It's somewhat interesting and challenging for the first 2-3 years and then the work gets really repetitive and mundane. Also, the main function of your job is to help people with their communication skills, so all the talking and communicating with your clients and their families all day long gets to be very exhausting and draining for an INTJ type. I only stuck with this career for as long as I did because 'life happens' (ie put my husband through his doctorate, bought a house, had 2 babies) and it was only 3 years ago that it became financially viable for me to go back to school to train to be an academic, a career that's supposed to be much more suitable for an INTJ.
Tom Hilpert
5 years ago
I'm an INTJ writer. Writing does not pay me full time, but it is part of the mix that keeps me supported. I think INTJ's do best in forging our own way. I've been in ministry for 20 years, and there's a lot about that profession that doesn't fit well with INTJ proclivities -- but I love the research and scholarship involved in preparing excellent sermons. So I have found a way to focus on that part of ministry;, and then I also write novels. I've used my INTJ drive and creativity to figure out ways to make money this way. It's not perfect, but I'm very happy in my work. Trust your imagination and intuition to give you ideas to parlay your skills and passions into an income.
T. Scott
5 years ago
I took my MA in journalism and made a great career doing marketing for nonprofit arts organizations. Right now, I work as the Director of Marketing and Communications for a large museum affiliated with a university--it really is my dream job. Yes, there is some red tape and bureaucracy (there is going to be that everywhere), but my job allows me to utilize both my creativity and love of strategic planning in a way that is very satisfying. I'm in my 40s, and I'm a late-bloomer, so it took me a while to figure it out, but I'm glad I ended up where I did.
Jane
4 years ago
No way! I am an INTJ that worked as a speech therapist for two years before being signed off work with stress and deciding it was not the job I wanted to do- I had enjoyed the course (linguistics, phonetics, even a bit of psychology was really interesting to study) but the actual job involved so much mindless admin and emotionally- charged people situations that I felt trapped (no space for my creative side- at least not in the area I worked where the service was overstretched). I am now a stay at home mum considering what to aim for job-wise when my 2nd child starts school full-time (do I re-train or do I go into starting my own craft related business- I also love songwriting but can't see me making a job out of it- useful for venting my frustrations..)
Marina
5 years ago
18 year old female at school of medicine and involved in genetics research. It fits pretty well ;)
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