ISTP Careers

The ISTP personality type is probably the hardest to pin down in many aspects of life, but especially in their careers. ISTPs thrive on diversity and unpredictability, on wondering “what’s next?” every morning. This makes ISTPs one of the most mysterious personality types, but also one of the most versatile in the professional world.

ISTPs are born problem-solvers with an unwavering focus on practical solutions (though perhaps not always solutions to practical problems). No other type is quite as fascinated by how things work, how tools can be used, and how facts can be put together to create immediate and satisfying results. This combination of curiosity and hands-on vigor make people with the ISTP personality type excellent mechanics, engineers, graphic designers, and forensic scientists.

ISTP careers
Abstract theory and purely academic work that will never see the light of real use hold little interest for ISTPs.

"Practical" is the word of the day. But it’s not the practicality of routine administration that ISTPs crave – they need variety and action, perhaps even a little adrenaline in their work. Highly structured environments leave ISTP personalities bored and tired. Jobs that focus on crisis response, such as firefighters, paramedics, detectives, pilots and police officers seem made for ISTPs.

Perhaps most important to ISTPs though, is the feeling that they aren’t stuck. The freedom to wander, the freedom to declare their own schedules, their own responsibilities, their own environments – nearly every other consideration pales by comparison to the need to avoid inflexible commitments and stodgy colleagues. While this can be a significant hurdle to overcome in traditional employment, it is the chiefest allure of entrepreneurship.

Do Whatever Makes Your Heart Sing

Nearly any creative or constructive skill or interest can be offered on a freelance basis or on a business-owner’s own terms, be it blogger, systems analyst, athlete or driver. ISTPs need to face down their weak long-term planning abilities and preference for instant results in order to make this path work, but livelihoods can be made selling bits and crafts in their free time. It’s also possible to find more traditional work to satisfy these needs, and forest ranger is a sought-after line of work for many ISTPs.

ISTPs have a natural skill with troubleshooting, a relaxed, self-confident nature and a results-oriented focus. People with this personality type understand that risk equals reward, and as long as they can use that understanding with maturity, rather than just kicking the ant’s nest whenever they get bored, they are highly desirable in any dynamic field or environment.

4 years ago
Variety is for sure. I've had a different job about every year since graduating college because I get bored. So far they've all been social work, but I am so burned out by my current job (CPS) that I'm looking for a complete career change to software development.
4 years ago
Speaking of exploring and "hands-on", I'm much of how the human body works, hands on people to help them cure.... So anything in medical field and/or science!
4 years ago
I plan to be an Mechanic/Engineer until I can complete all the schooling I think necessary (I'm in High School now, not quite there yet) and then I want to be a Forest Ranger: risk-taking, problem-solving, and LOTS of alone time.
4 years ago
i am a freelance writer and author. this personality type fit like a wet leather glove!
4 years ago
Funny - I do a bit of writing myself, but I can stay on one timeline long enough to finish it. My imagination beats my attention span.
4 years ago
I'm an ISTP and I definitely need a lot of freedom in my career! I'm a ski/watersports instructor meaning I never work the same job, or live in the same place for more than 6months. I have a severe inability to look more than a couple of months into the future so definitely can't commit to a real job!
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