How to Inject Inspiration into a So-So Career, By Personality Type01 May 2023 / By Cianna Garrison Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on March 22, 2023
Not every career feels like the perfect fit, but for every person, there’s a way to cope that makes a so-so career feel more meaningful. Although you may not feel inspired by your job, adopting the right mindset can help you overcome those tricky job blues.
Here’s how each personality type can learn to find fulfillment in almost any career.
INFP: View responsibilities as problems to solve
INFPs frame their decisions around their values and beliefs. With INFP’s idealistic nature, inspiration can be found in a career when they view job responsibilities as problems to solve. For example, an INFP who works in public relations or nursing might look at each project (or patient) as an isolated challenge they can problem solve and inject their own values into. In P.R., for instance, the INFP can help promote brands that share similar values, like eco-friendliness.
ENFP: Invest in the people you work with
ENFPs are imaginative storytellers with a fondness for the arts. ENFP’s natural disposition to leadership makes them great teachers, hence their nickname “The Teacher.” ENFPs must learn to see the opportunities in front of them and invest in the people they work with. Because they love helping others reach their potential, they may find more fulfillment in their work if they assist coworkers like a mentor or develop encouraging relationships with clients. Remember, even small scale will make an impact.
INFJ: Inject your values
The INFJ’s authenticity, nurturing spirit and desire to make an impact rule their decisions. At the heart, INFJs want to improve the human condition and create positive change. To feel more fulfilled, INFJs should remember even the smallest impact is worth something. Therefore, these types should search for ways to implement their values at work, even if it’s by being friendly (or being the unofficial counselor) when engaging with coworkers or customers or looking for avenues to use their creative talents at work.
ENFJ: Lead and inspire others
ENFJs feel responsible for making the world a better place. An ENFJ stuck in a career that feels blah will need to leverage their leadership skills where possible and allow themselves to live more in the present rather than the future. If an ENFJ can focus on using their skills to inspire others, lead them and inspire them to do better, even if the job isn’t their ideal career, things will begin to look rosier.
INTJ: Fix everything you can
INTJs spot opportunities for improvement and often analyze the world around them. INTJs working in a career that doesn’t thrill them may need to let go of their perfectionism. Instead of focusing on what they can’t fix in a job, an INTJ should look for new ways to view the position and focus on what they can fix. What problems can they solve? How does the career’s history lend to a more interesting analysis of its modern-day workings? Learning more about a position’s background may inspire the INTJ to become more involved and develop a game plan for bettering their work situation.
ENTJ: Work towards a position of leadership, formal or informal
Inefficiency is something that inspires ENTJs to create change and develop new solutions. If an ENTJ works toward a position of leadership, even in a career they dislike, they’ll feel more content when they’re able to enact change. Even if they aren’t leaders, they can look for weaknesses in the workplace that could use more organization and offer solutions. They dislike inefficiency and incompetence the most, so ENTJs should look for ways to make their workplace better, as well as be more tolerant of others.
INTP: Root out questions then find the answers
INTP personalities spend a lot of time in their heads trying to find the answers to the complex questions of the universe. An INTP needs to search for inspiration in a bland job in various routes. Having conversations with colleagues about innovative job solutions, asking a boss for more independence and taking more time for on-the-job intellectual thought will make an INTP more inspired. If complex problems aren’t at hand, INTP should look for weaknesses in the workplace and draft solutions to present to the team.
ENTP: Ask for more flexibility
The ENTP “Visionary” is an innovative personality type that thrives on solving intellectually challenging problems and influencing others. ENTPs tire of routine and find some careers tedious. To feel inspired, an ENTP may ask their boss if they can work a hybrid schedule, allowing them more flexibility in where and how they complete their work. If that’s not possible, an ENTP may feel more connected to the company and get to flex their intellectual muscles by hosting a weekly trivia match or planning unconventional meetings.
ISFJ: Focus on personal goal-setting and relationship-building
ISFJ traditionalists long to care and provide for others while offering their protection. ISFJs prefer jobs with clear expectations of them and a structured hierarchy. If that isn’t the case, though, an ISFJ can find meaning in their career by building relationships with those they work with and setting a regular goal list for themselves. Having a structured game plan is important to them, even if it doesn’t come from their boss.
ESFJ: Organize team building and other activities
ESFJs are tuned to the feelings of others and find joy in helping people. In work, ESFJs like structure and leading people in a methodical way. When a job doesn’t thrill the ESFJ, though, they may need to step back and reassess their values. If working on a team, an ESFJ can find inspiration through team building exercises or regular company happy hours to build a sense of belonging. Otherwise, an ESFJ should look for ways to establish guidelines in their work and create their own structure, even if the job isn’t outlined for them in clear steps.
ISFP: Look for creative ways to find purpose in your work
Creative ISFPs find pleasure in the moment and the aesthetic beauty life has to offer. In careers, ISFPs desire a job that supports a cause they believe in and they prefer to work independently, taking support from colleagues as needed. When an ISFP is in a so-so career, they should look for creative ways to find a purpose in their work. This can be finding practical ways to assist coworkers if they feel disconnected from the team or volunteer to plan company outings. They may also ask a boss if they can start a hybrid work schedule that allows them the freedom to work from home part time.
ESFP: Reframe problems as people-centered problems
Fun-loving ESFPs enjoy experiencing the things around them, including people, animals, fashion and nature. In a job, ESFP longs to be active in a social workplace and loves tackling people-centered problems. If an ESFP is working in a job they don’t love, it may be helpful for this free-spirited soul to volunteer to plan extracurricular activities like a hike or trip to a local museum as “company meetings.” Although ESFP dislikes planning, they can keep it as spontaneous as possible.
ISTJ: Step up your organization
A lover of procedure and structure, ISTJ likes tradition and has a reliable work ethic in every aspect of their lives. In the workplace, ISTJs dislike surprises and prefer a clearcut hierarchy. If an ISTJ feels dissatisfied in their career, a good way to spark inspiration is to implement as much organization as possible. If an ISTJ feels unstable in a disorganized workplace, they should take charge of the things they can organize on their own and stick to a rigid schedule where possible.
ESTJ: Take charge of efficiency drives
ESTJs are organized and traditional. Structure and systems are key for ESTJs, but if a career doesn’t feel like a great fit, an ESTJ may need to reassess their job requirements. Does their position lend to any level of leadership? If so, ESTJ should seize these opportunities to lead. Otherwise, an ESTJ can look for areas in which they can develop a methodical way to complete tasks. If organization is lacking in the workplace, an ESTJ may volunteer their services to inject some needed order.
ISTP: Bring underused skills to the forefront
Mechanically-minded ISTPs love to find practical solutions to the problems at hand. Demonstrating technical expertise is the ISTP’s workplace dream, and when a job feels less than desirable, an ISTP may need to take an inventory of their skills. Although an ISTP may not be able to use their favorite tools of their trade, an ISTP can determine which overlooked skills they can apply to their current position and push them to the limits. When their talents and hard work shine through, an ISTP will feel more inspired.
ESTP: Put yourself in the middle of the action
The ESTP “Dynamo” is a thrill seeking personality type that enjoys finding pragmatic solutions. They avoid serious emotions and use their social skills to create humor wherever they go. When an ESTP doesn’t find meaning in their job, they can turn it around by looking for ways to put themselves in the action. This may mean working up the ladder or volunteering to take on extra responsibilities. When an ESTP can be more hands on in a job, they’ll feel more content about their position.
You can find inspiration in almost any career if you know what makes you tick. Using your personality type to gauge where you can improve your situation can help you feel more motivated to go to work. In the rare case, however, that you can’t find meaning in your work, you may want to make a major career change.