INTP Careers

INTPs are solitary, eccentric, and independent – none of which is listed as desirable for corporate positions, which are usually designed for very different personality types. INTPs duly struggle in finding careers that meet their needs, but what they do bring, qualities in much higher demand, are creativity, a passion for theoretical methods and ideas, and an entrepreneurial, innovative spirit. If they are able to put this better foot forward to secure a position in a suitable line of work, people with the INTP personality type will find that, whatever the job listing says, these "less desirable" qualities will prove an asset after all.

INTP personality

A Poem of Numbers

Chief among INTPs’ interests is exploring and building models for underlying principles and ideas, even going so far as to find these concepts, in their own way, beautiful – this makes them natural mathematicians, systems analysts, and career scientists, especially in more abstract fields such as physics. There are many other careers that allow INTPs to explore these interests, but many of them are far too rooted in uninteresting practical applications. As useful as it is to develop a better vacuum cleaner, it is no Large Hadron Collider.

INTP personalities are self-driven and have very high personal standards – "good enough" is never good enough – but have few environmental needs. Despite this relative simplicity, they are often hard for more people-centric types to understand. INTPs live primarily in their own heads, and have little interest in social distractions like chitchat and motivational speeches.

All INTPs really want is to immerse themselves in an interesting project, and anything that interrupts that, be it overactive managers, the need to manage others, or office parties or meetings, are simply unwelcome burdens.

For this reason, the flatter the workplace hierarchy, the better, making small, technical workplaces and fields such as law, forensics, and laboratory research very desirable for INTPs. Insightful and open-minded managers who can accommodate these needs will find their INTP subordinates to be a tireless generator of brilliant and unique ideas. However, many people with the INTP personality type may do away with the immediate hierarchy altogether, opting instead to provide their services on a freelance basis as consultants.

Emotional Values: A Mere Illusion

Where INTPs do not thrive is in workplaces that require them to provide a high degree of emotional satisfaction – cruise ship masseuses they are not. INTP personalities struggle to understand emotional exchanges, and service-oriented positions will prove baffling and exhausting for them. Though INTPs are talented analysts who are perfectly capable of understanding the theoretical importance of customer service, the day-to-day application of such a scheme is simply better left to more people-oriented personality types.

Business is growing more complex every day, and this complexity is managed with technical systems, economic theories, and data. The need for novel approaches is stronger than ever for people and organizations to distinguish themselves. Though general people skills are often phrased as a must, it is the technical work that creates something to talk about, and it is in this pursuit that INTPs thrive.

Work as business analysts and corporate strategists is well suited to INTPs, but they can also move things forward as data analysts, mechanical, electrical and software engineers, and even as technical writers and journalists, provided the field is interesting enough. If they can smile and shake hands just long enough to establish themselves as the brilliant innovators that they are, people with the INTP personality type will find that whatever the expectations for social conduct, it is the qualities unique to them that are truly in demand.

5 years ago
Psychology taught me how to pick apart people and philosophy helped me learn how to pick apart everything else. Sadly I could not get a job after undergrad so now I am getting a Master's degree in public administration. This article mentions that INTP's don't like to manage people but the way I see it is that I am either going to end up managing people or being managed and I would rather be the one in charge. Also I frequently get frustrated by how horribly public administrators seem to be doing their jobs, jobs which I think are important for our society to function well, that I decided I would do a better job.
5 years ago
I am definitely NOT a mathematician or scientist. Although I love the theoretical aspect and can debate on various scientific studies endlessly, I do not possess the mathematical acumen to follow those career paths, sadly. I have taken coursework for both journalism and paralegal, but did not pursue careers there due to the poor payscales involved with those professions. Instead I have had a decent career in retail management. I ENJOY talking to customers and staff, and solving problems for them that no one else could or would. Perhaps that is just me. I don't relish social situations, but I don't avoid them entirely. I think many INTPs probably are the same way.
Sensei Jay
5 years ago
I agree that we can be influenced and guided by our emotions. It may be what helps us develop the sensitivity to our environment or situation causing us to question and analyze things in the first place. I also agree that our logical and exploritive side prevents us from desiring conflict due to our understanding that things have multiple solution as well a s catslysts, and to be driven by emotions more so than reason clouds our mind and makes us question our actions and choices. And for people to say that are emotional stunted means they are surface judgers and are lacking the vision to see very deep emotions like passion, curiosity, dissapointment, worry, or anything else that keeps our mind going a million miles and hour. Another reason why holding onto things rather than resolving it makes us stressed or drains us of energy. I am introverted but my desire to study mankind in a constructed social organization like a martial arts studio, requires some extroversion. Emotion plays a big part in things especislly where you try to control it.
5 years ago
Definively INTP! I have worked in IT the last 16 years (from systems analyst, specialist, project leader, and the last one... business relationship manager) before that I was a teacher (I liked a lot but the fact of having to theach the same class 8 times struck me) being systems analyst and programmer was good too, a diferent chalenge every time and the opportunity to work isolated; but, as I grew to managerial positions I begun to experience that I cant work in the same position for more thatn 12 or 18 months without getting boared I have been thinking about changing my carreer, but since I have wife and kids, I cant take any major risks. So, Im still thinking how to solve it (victim of my own personality type... thinking how to solving and thinking and thinking, and second guessing, and more thinking... ) Its good to see.. we are not alone,
5 years ago
i'm INTP. But i wonder if i realy am well there was mentioned that INTP are good at math... and new fresh ideas well wath about if you are sort of good at math... and the ideas that you made aren't that fresh and if they are they are stupid. i wonder because i'm going too electrotechnic school and now i'm not sure if it is right for me because well i'm not a genius of any kind. i just know that i can't understand the point of small talk and even though i am sort of cold well many things can trigger the emotional side in me. But i sometimes wonder what other people think why do they act the way they do.... so here i'm second gasing if i realy am INTP can anyone help :)
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