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.

4 years ago
I am a 31 yo female INTJ. The description fits me to a tee. Like many of us, I've excelled in lots of career paths and have switched a few times before finally settling as a critical care nurse. It's challenging with lots of room for critical thinking and judgement abilities.
4 years ago
I am VERY clearly the NTJ part but have always tested ENTJ. The INTJ description generally fits me better. I have seen tests where there are percentage matches for each. I bet that I am 90% on NTJ and close to 50/50 on either the E or I. Leadership comes very easily, even though I don't necessarily seek it. I have been on a jury twice and was selected as foreman without say a thing, both times. The same when on Boards or other volunteer organizations. I am executive director of a mid-sized humane society, but the INTJ personality really comes into play. I handle the people/HR parts well but do get impatient. I spend a LOT of time discussing "expectations" with regard to meeting the goals of our mission. How INTJ is that?!?! I was a self-employed consultant for quite a few years as well. As a competitor in some aspects of my work, I can be quite ruthless and strategic, and don't tolerate fools easily. I've been married for 32 years to someone who is 100% right-brained. The fact that I don't know is pretty telling of an INTJ. We balance each other (and frustrate each other) well and have raised three terrific kids, who all of parts of each of us. Gotta say that I'm pretty happy with my INTJ/ENTJ self, but I wish I knew that very early in my life.
4 years ago
Is anyone here actually in project management? I am considering a position at as a project manager in the construction industry but wonder if it is really my thing. Would like to hear about experiences of like minded people!
4 years ago
I'm actually in project management in the construction world. Finding creative ways around interesting challenges is by far the highlight. Unfortunately pm work is high in mundane paper work. I've also found my self on s very large project at the moment and I get tired of dealing with the team enviroment. That's taxing. Actually prefer a smaller project where I work more on my own. I do put off tasks I don't enjoy and if youre burdened with that as well get a handle on it as quick as you can.... That mundane paper work unfortunately keeps the project moving. While it may not be a perfect fit the construction world isn't terribly predictable and alway full of challenges. No two projects are the same. I think that's the biggest draw.
ben h
4 years ago
I completely agree except I don't think we are always good at math and in my case English (mostly grammar never saw the point if they can understand you why bother). I was always way more focused in classes with less repetition like science, history and geography. I also got annoyed with job searching but finally got over it just in the last few years. I think not liking repetition might be stronger in some people and actually prevent them from getting jobs in fields they would otherwise do well in. I currently have two jobs and found I enjoy that far more than having a single job even to the point of procrastinating less. reading this article helped me a bit as I now understand a bit more about why I hated certain jobs and failed certain classes (the ones with busywork) which I largely was told was because I was being lazy. now I just need to look for work in a environment that fits me more and probably re-learn math (also liked Geometry and Curved shapes way better than algebra).
4 years ago
I work in Emergency Management with the Air Force and I like it. I work with a small team to identify potential catastrophic events and develop plans and procedures to deal with them. It is intriguing work but at the end of the day it is also fruitless. Obviously, catastrophic events rarely occur in my jurisdiction( nor do I want them to) so at the end of the day my group comes off sounding like Chicken Little. Currently, I'm looking to use my experience to find a career in the oil industry. I find I'm OK with being ignored if I at least get paid a lot.
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