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.

INTP here!
3 years ago
seeing a lot of comments saying that they hate maths/science. same here, though i think it's really because of the TEACHERS. the teachers at my school all hate me, because i keep questioning really general stuff (for ex., once I argued that F=ma isn't accurate). I'm considered "dumb" at those subjects, but people just don't think my way. I really like art; even the art teacher says i'm good at it. I could be an illustrator when I grow up, though I could consider the path of a scientist. I've always been fascinated by that kind of thing.
3 years ago
I do agree with you mate. I've always had problems with teachers rather than subject. Once I've figured out I'm a self learning type of person my life quality improved. I've always been into science. Can't see myself anywhere else even though at young age I haven't shown much potential (medicore grades at school in math and physics)
4 years ago
This is really weird for me, because though I am good at mathematics and logical based subjects I'm not really interested in the ones prescribed. I like more human based social sciences and social issues/movements (which sounds a little odd in comparison to what I read). I like these because if feel it provides me with a more abstract and dynamic range as human society and ideas are always changing yet there is always an underline of logical and almost animal nature to explain human reasoning at it's base. It's a challenge to be interested in these topic because as an INTP personality I often lack the more empathetic understanding, but I'm aware of this and use my more logic base reasoning to gather information and perspective to make up for this (if that makes any sense). It's also, like I said, a subject matter that is always expanding and shifting so it is a continues effort to keep up, understand, and learn. So it provides a challenge to me and relates to me as well.
4 years ago
I'm still young in all this career paths and studying and stuff. I'm a 14 year old who's already visualizing my future, and I'm proud of that. So, I am someone who loves art- like drawing and designing and I really want to be a graphic designer when I grow up. But at the same time, I love science and wish to be a psychologist. And I hate math. But that's not really a good reason since I'm still young and all and I may come to love that subject when I'm older or something. I may change so yeah.
11 months ago
I absolutely hated math (no clue about calculus i've seen some comments saying that math starts to get interesting to us in calculus but i havent taken it yet) but i loved science, in fact i'd wager that i learned more math in science than i did in math
4 years ago
I'm a performer and actress but I'm also a INTP is that weird? I honestly love the arts, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying more intellectual subjects like math.
4 years ago
Interesting. I'm a total math nerd planning on becoming some form of physicist. Detective work and inventing, as well as other science fields, are fun. And as much as I enjoy artistic interests, those are never finished. There seem to be so many INTPs here in the comments who prefer artistic careers. I tried making a video game, but that lost enthusiasm as school got tougher (homework weight, not difficulty). Now I am in the process of solving some of the millenium prize problems.
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