We’ve all been there. You’re in the dreaded “work slump.” You’re losing sleep over the upcoming weekday. It’s the Sunday Scaries, but it never goes away.

Sometimes we blame the job itself, our annoying coworker or boss, or just the general stress and strain of work. And those are valid complaints. But we can also look inward. We can reflect on our own strengths and weaknesses. We can admit to ourselves there might be some work to do internally. 

That’s where the work mantra comes in.

For starters, I’ll name the obvious: mantras aren’t one-size-fits-all. We all have our own things that we’re working on. The best mantras are the ones that speak to you personally. (Duh.) Of course, something that resonates deeply with you may mean absolutely nothing to your coworker or friend. This is where personality type comes in. Below you’ll find sixteen different mantras, each specific to a personality type, all with the goal of helping you realize what you need to focus on to be the most successful version of yourself at work.

Maybe you’re a mantra kind of person already. You know, the kind of person that has a post-it stuck to the top of your laptop, or on your bathroom mirror. If so, that’s brilliant. You can go ahead and jump to the bottom of this article and claim your prize. 

Or maybe you’re not a mantra person. That’s fine, too. No one is telling you that you have to commit your personalized phrase to memory. You may even take a look at yours and scoff. But you clicked on this article because you are feeling a certain way. And a work mantra can be one way to help overcome an obstacle in your mind. Coming back to the same couple of words or phrases can help you focus and remember your goals, course-correct your path, or just help you tune out the incessant noise of advice and direction that bombard us every day. 

It’s human nature to focus on what we’re good at. Using our strengths is easy. It’s harder to look at those unfinished edges and think about where we could grow. But the secret to success is exactly that - to work on growing your competence in areas that don’t come quite so easily (they’re called blind spots for a reason!) 

So, without any further ado, here’s your type-specific work mantra.

Work mantras, by type

ENFJ - “Slow down, relinquish some control, and take things less personally.”

INFJ - “Pay attention to details, be flexible, and be willing to act spontaneously.”

ENFP - “Prioritize, focus, and follow through.”

INFP - “Develop realistic expectations, value compromise, and don’t take things quite so personally.”

ENTJ - “Slow down, focus on the details, and tune in to others’ needs.”

INTJ - “Consider practical realities, recognize the value of input from others, and balance your work and personal life.”

ENTP - “Prioritize, focus, and follow through — especially with commitments made to others.”

INTP - “Be better organized, be patient with less intelligent people, and work at improving your social skills.”

ESTJ - “Slow down, consider implications for people, and be flexible.”

ISTJ - “Be open to possibilities, consider implications for people, and embrace change.”

ESFJ - “Slow down, consider possibilities that don’t already exist, and not take things quite so personally.”

ISFJ - “Speak up, consider possibilities that don’t already exist, and try to be more flexible and spontaneous.”

ESTP - “Think before you act, consider people’s feelings, and follow through on your commitments.”

ISTP - ”Communicate, consider people’s feelings, and follow through on your commitments.”

ESFP - “Think about the future implications, don’t take things too personally, and follow through on commitments.”

ISFP - “Assert yourself, step back and consider the big picture, and don’t take things too personally.”

When a mantra isn’t enough...

Hopefully by now you haven’t clicked away in anger. No one really likes to be told what they’re not doing well! 

But the good news is this: the worst part is over. You can now go back to work, armed with a new tool that you didn’t have before. One that will help you focus on your blindspots. It might even feel like a relief to reframe a challenge that feels like it’s out of your control, and see what you can do to help it get better.

At the same time, we get it. Sometimes a mantra isn’t enough. Sometimes we need a bigger change. Sometimes the job we’re in isn’t working for us anymore - or never was.

The work mantras above are excerpted from the book I co-authored with my parents, Do What You Are. People have been using these mantras for over two decades, and - with over a million copies sold - we can safely say that they have helped to change many people’s career trajectories for the better.

The sixth edition of Do What You Are is out this month,  and has roadmaps for people in all kinds of work scenarios. From people just starting out finding a first job to those changing careers entirely, this book is individualized to you and people of your type. Read about people like you who found careers they love, and figure out what exactly you need in a job to be truly satisfied at work. 

This edition is fully revised and updated, and includes job forecasts and trends for the coming years. We’ve helped over a million people find a better fit in their work, and can help you hone in on your specific work-related strengths, blindspots, and the things you need to be truly satisfied and successful at work. In a moment where more people than ever are reevaluating their needs and wants in the workplace, this book is a must-have guide. 

Check out DoWhatYouAreBook.com and order your copy today!

Kelly Tieger
The daughter of two Personality Type experts and authors, Kelly Tieger has been studying and applying Type her entire life. Kelly is a coauthor on the 5th edition of Do What You Are, and is proud to have taken the helm on the upcoming 6th edition and future ones. She lives in Lakeville, Connecticut. You can find her online at KellyTieger.com.