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.

Evan
3 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.
Hasna
3 years ago
I've noticed some INTP's here who are more inclined to creativity like writing, art or design, even music. I've been into music and writing, and I'm so interested in pursuing something in the field of IT, programming and design. Although I can't say I hate math or science when I actually excel in those fields despite displaying minimal effort. idk but I wanna explore so many different fields.
Hanna
3 years ago
Fellow INTPers - I'm in high school, and am so divided between becoming an astronaut (ultimately; my real profession will be space science related) or a filmmaker/director. Filming is such a fulfilling process for me because so much effort and so many ideas go into it and the end result is just so beautiful. My creativity is utilized to its fullest. Not to mention, being a YouTuber has been a big dream of mine for basically all of my real life. For some reason, I feel obligated to achieve that. I want to change someone's life with my films and make people see things from a different perspective. Film techniques are fascinating, and I love putting together stories. On the other hand, space captivates me, and the idea of traveling to a WHOLE NOTHER PLANET?!/! Yes please. I want to be an inspiration for the next generation of space explorers. I want to be the first on Mars and say something as iconic as Armstrong's "One small step". I could never memorize all those equations though. Facts, yes. Aliens, yes. Equations? noooo... Haven't taken physics yet though, so we'll see. I'm passionate about both, but I can't choose. Help anyone?
Kim
3 years ago
Why don´t you do both? Film your space related projects...just a thought.
Lauren
3 years ago
Why not do both! You can always make films related to space or have your YouTube channel be devoted to providing information about space/ space travel, etc. As a fellow INTP, I often feel just one passion is not enough for me. I'm very interested in international relations and makeup artistry. They don't seem like they're compatable at first, but I find they offer me different things, with opportunities for both analytic research and creativity. Who says you need to be one thing? International relations is my "day job" but I do makeup in my spare time. You can pursue space science in college and film on the side (or vice versa) or find a way to make them interact. For example, I have fun researching different makeup and body modification techniques from around the world :)
Anonymous
3 years ago
Hmmm, Space documentary? Why not film in space so you can do both! :) Good luck
Sabina
3 years ago
I'm personally very biased to film making because I'm a performer and would love to get into entertainment industry whether on or off stage.
Anonymous
2 years ago
Same, but I ultimately decided on filmmaking.
Your Name
3 years ago
I'm an INTP (obviously) but contrary to all of these other comments, I don't care much for art at all. That is to say, I don't care about ballet, or the different styles of Monet, or taking a museum tour. I do however love drawing and used to make flash games and animations while I was in middle school, as my only creative outlet. I agree with many here, school was hell as being told what to learn is just aweful when there are so many more interesting things out there that "deserve" to be learned. I'm now a university student of Artificial Intelligence, specializing in Robotics. I think I've found a career path that fits very well with the INTP profile!
Joe
3 years ago
Where do you study?
Your Name
3 years ago
I'm INTP and I hate maths and science mainly because I go to school, which is also known as the steel block devoid of imagination, freethinking and philosophy. However I find that like many of the other commenters on here that I enjoy the arts more especially writing and animation. I think this is because it lets me move from one project to another and it lets me express my thoughts, philosophies etc. I think I once read somewhere that INTP's enjoy a job that has a constant changing environment that always forces them to think but I don't know if this is true...
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